David Zalik was a child prodigy. He moved from Israel to Alabama at age four. By the age of 12, he had scored so high on the SAT test that he was invited to skip high school and begin attending classes at Auburn University. Although he was a genius, Zalik became bored with academia and left school at the age of 14 to found his own computer assembly company.
Over the next 8 years, he grew the company into a viable business, selling it at the age of 22 for $5 million. He then reinvested this money into Atlanta-area commercial real estate. This also proved to be a solid investment. By 2006, his properties were worth on the order of $12 million.
During this time, Zalik had also founded an e-consultancy company called OutWeb. This work brought him into close contact with many major players in the home renovation space. Companies like Benjamin Moore, Home Depot and many smaller entities were primary customers for Zalik. From this, he learned a great deal about the home improvement industry.
One of the things that caught Zalik’s eye was the sheer volume of business that companies and contractors were losing as a result of homeowners incorrectly assessing the cost of renovations. When bids came in a thousand or two over what homeowners expected, the deals could still be salvaged. But when homeowners underestimated costs by $50,000, they often ended up walking away from the deal.
This was the impetus behind Zalik’s founding of GreenSky Credit. GreenSky Credit is an instant lending platform that matches contractors, homeowners and banks, allowing deals to take place that otherwise would have certainly fallen through. GreenSky Credit has focused strongly on high-end prime lenders, the homeowners, which makes for loan with great terms. GreenSky Credit can also provide high-quality loans to banks, helping them to strengthen their balance sheets. And last but not least, GreenSky Credit helps contractors to get jobs that otherwise would have not materialized.
For its services, the banks themselves pay GreenSky 1 percent of the loan amount and contractors pay 6 percent, which is taken directly out of the loan itself.