While other financial technology companies, like Lending Club and OnDeck, had the idea of burning the traditional banking industry to the ground, GreenSky Credit decided to embrace the old regime and allow it to function with less friction. GreenSky Credit now appears to be the model that is taking hold across the financial tech industry. With OnDeck and Lending Club both experiencing stock price declines of more than 85 percent, it seems that the GreenSky Credit model of pairing existing lenders with merchants who are looking to make additional sales may be the definitive way forward for the fintech industry.
GreenSky Credit founder David Zalik is one of the most reclusive CEOs of a major corporation. The former child prodigy scored so high on the SAT test that he was invited to begin attending classes at Auburn University when he was just 12 years old, completely skipping high school in the process. But Zalik quickly grew bored with academia. A couple years into his studies, he dropped out to form computer assembly company MicroTech. The company proved to be a success, and Zalik sold it for around $5 million a in 1996.
By 2006, at the age of 32, Zalik had made some good investments in commercial real estate and was ready to try founding another company. He had gotten the idea for GreenSky Credit while working on another one of his firms, Outweb, an e-consultancy company. He knew that many businesses in the home-remodeling space struggled to close point-of-sale purchases with customers who had often badly underestimated the true cost of home renovation projects.
GreenSky was able to step in with promotional financing terms that were too good for most customers to turn down. At the same time, Zalik was able to sell GreenSky Credit loans to lenders as a way to bring in far more business from the most sought-after loan customers: prime borrowers. Because the average FICO score of a GreenSky borrower is 760, lenders can rest assured that they will not have to deal with many delinquencies or defaults.
The pairing of traditional lenders with over 17,000 merchants has proven to be a winning formula.
ClassDojo has made news by raising $21 million in venture funding in a Series B round. The funding is toward tech that seeks to provide a connection between parents and educators. The tech will help in consistent communication about the activities the students are undertaking, their social as well as behavioral development in school.
The constant communication all year round and throughout the day will ensure that the parents are kept in the loop of what their children are experiencing and their behavior in school at all times. This will ensure that they are not surprised by incidents that are addressed in a parent-teacher meeting that occurs once a semester.
As the co-founders Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary pointed out, the company closed the round late in 2015 and the capital raised was being used in growing the ClassDojo team. They are also figuring out the type of content and features that are bound to help the parents that use the app, not only when the kids are in school during the day, but also at home. According to Chaudhary, the idea was to aid parents to guide conversations at home and enhance the learning process of the kids in school.
Teachers make us of ClassDojo to make daily schedules of various activities known to parents. They can also utilize the app throughout the day to show off the latest work of the students or their participation in activities by snapping and sending photos and videos to the parents.
When ClassDojo was established back in 2011, the founders took note of other education tech businesses that were creating digital curriculum, testing platforms, and grade books. However, they did not see any free app that was easy to use and that would end up creating a culture and community among the students, teachers and parents.
ClassDojo is a communication platform that is gaining popularity in American schools. The platform is currently being used in 2 in 3 schools in the country. The platform brings together teachers, students, and parents through an app that keeps the parents in constant communication with the teachers about the activities and progress of their children.
ClassDojo has set out on a mission to reinvent the classroom. The app has received huge support from all teachers as well as parents. To facilitate the learning process, teachers point out that the classroom has to be a fun place to be. ClassDojo works to achieve this positive culture within classrooms and schools.