Deals

Trouble getting a loan from your bank? ZestCash gets $73M to help the underdogs

For most people, getting a loan requires a clean credit record and a strong credit score. Since not everyone’s credit report is spotless, ZestCash offers loans to customers who don’t belong to banks or who don’t have any credit data. The company announced today it has secured $73 million in its second round of funding.

“ZestCash doesn’t pull any information from credit bureaus. Instead we use uses non obvious variables, like cell phone payment records and how much time applicants spend on our site, to offer loans to our customers,” CEO Douglas Merrill told VentureBeat in an interview.

Most banks approve borrowers for loans based on small amounts of data; usually a credit report and credit score from FICO, a company that evaluates credit risks. Since not every person has enough information on file with FICO, some people are turned away for loans from major lending institutions. ZestCash uses thousands of metrics to offer short-term installment loans to customers who can’t get loans elsewhere.

Each loan is designed by the customer, based on how much money they need — up to $800– and how much time they need to pay it back. ZestCash emphasizes smaller payments over a longer time to pay back its loans to help their customers from getting too deep in debt.

“We will use the $23 million capital from Matrix Partners to add more staff, increase our marketing efforts, and push forward with bringing loans to additional states. We will use the $50 million debt line Victory Park Capital to make loans to customers,” said Merrill.

This fundraising round included $23 million from Matrix Partners and $50 million in debt financing from Victory Park Capital. Lightspeed Venture Partners, GRP Partners, Flybridge Capital and Lighthouse Capital Partners participated as well. ZestCash was founded in 2009 by Douglas Merrill, former Google Chief Information Officer, and Shawn Budde, former Head of Subprime Credit Cards at Capital One and has more than 75 employees. Currently, ZestCash is able to offer loans to customers in Utah, Idaho, South Dakota and Missouri, with more states coming soon.

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