Lauren Gensler recently published an article with Forbes titled, “Why It’s No Surprise that Online Lender GreenSky Would Weigh an IPO” and discusses the possibility of going public for the financial technology company.
GreenSky Credit is a financial technology company and has recently become the third most valuable financial technology company in the United States. Though they have grown quietly compared to other fintech companies like Stripe and SoFi, CEO and co-founder David Zalik reveal it is from the desire to be different from the other technology startups in Silicon Valley.
The company began in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia and since its founding, CEO David Zalik has remained reticent with the press. He rarely speaks to the press and he will rarely accept invitations to conferences around the company, though they are begging for him to speak. He even refused to raise outside capital for nearly a decade. Zalik also doesn’t believe in the Silicon Valley necessities of plying the employees with games and free food. He has also begun to challenge the typical Silicon Valley idea that technology companies need to stay private for longer.
Even so, the company has become incredibly successful. When GreenSky Credit decided to raise outside funding, it raised nearly $50 million. The company has been valued at $5 billion according to the Wall Street Journal and would raise nearly $1 billion in an IPO. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company may also have filed confidentially for an IPO.
By going public, GreenSky Credit would differentiate itself from other technology companies like Stripe, Uber and Credit Karma, all of which have tried to put off going public for as long as they can. Many private companies simply don’t want the pressure of having to live up to the quarterly earnings and the pressure of investors while they can still grow their business.
Because GreenSky Credit filed their paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission confidentially, it could still decide that going public isn’t the right path for them. By filing privately, the company has given itself more room to prepare privately if they do decide to go public.