Zest AI lands more than $50m in growth funding round
Credit underwriting software provider Zest AI has secured more than $50 million in a new growth round, co-led by existing investor Insight Partners and new investor CMFG Ventures.
The round also saw participation from CU Direct, Curql, Suncoast Credit Union, Golden1 Credit Union, Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union and NorthGate Capital.
With the new capital, Zest AI plans on increasing access to its AI-automated credit underwriting service.
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Zest uses artificial intelligence to “identify, predict and remove” inherent biases and provide “consistent and equitable” lending decisions.
Customers can approve more borrowers without taking on more risk, with Zest claiming a 25% increase in approvals and full automation.
Zest says it is on target to “nearly double” its customer base in 2022 after tripling it in 2021 and has built more than 250 AI-underwriting models to date. Some of its partners include Citibank, First National Bank of Omaha, Truist and Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union.
“We’re working to build a better future for the financial services ecosystem where underwriting is swift, equitable, and frictionless across the US,” says Mike de Vere, CEO of Zest AI. “Our work is to help our customers efficiently and confidently approve more loans — creating economic opportunities for all consumers.”
In June 2021, Zest AI raised $18 million from Vystar Credit Union, First National Bank of Omaha and returning investor, NorthGate Capital.