One of the quiet achievers in fintech is a company called GreenSky. They have flown under the radar for years despite their astounding success. Every time the Lend Academy team has seen them mentioned in the press we take great interest since little is known about the company. It wasn’t until this cover story in Forbes last year that we learned much at all.
This could be about to change. The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon that GreenSky has confidentially filed with the SEC for an IPO. From the article:
The Atlanta company, which operates a lending platform that enables retailers, health-care providers and home contractors to offer loans to their customers, could seek to raise $1 billion at a valuation of roughly $5 billion, some of the people said.
If GreenSky manages to raise $1 billion in a debut, it would be in rare company. Since 2015, just six U.S.-listed technology companies have raised that much or more, according to data provider Dealogic.
So who is GreenSky exactly and what do they do? We wrote about the company earlier this year when we learned of their $200 million funding round from PIMCO which made them the most valuable company in the online lending space. The company has a unique model where they partner with merchants and contractors to offer financing at the point of sale. They view themselves as more of a tech company since they do not actually lend any money. This capital light business model has likely led to much of the success they have seen. Instead of lending their own money GreenSky has relationships with about 15 banks. On the tech side, the process is paperless and all done through a mobile device.
According to details from the WSJ, the IPO could happen as soon as this summer for the Atlanta based company. However, people noted that the IPO plans are still in their early stages and the company may still do another private share sale.
It has been quite some time since we’ve seen a US fintech IPO, but GreenSky could change all of that. There are many companies out there that have publicly indicated a willingness to do an IPO when conditions become favorable. Maybe the GreenSky IPO could provide a trigger and we could see more companies follow. Other fintech IPOs across the globe that may come to fruition this year include FundingCircle and Lufax who have discussed going public in London and Hong Kong respectively.