据道琼斯VentureSource透露，GreenSky曾先后获得来自日本企业集团SoftBank Group Corp.和名厨David Chang等机构和个人累计30亿美元投资。 摩根士丹利分析师预计，到2020年，在线借贷行业在所有无担保消费者和小企业贷款中的比例将上升到10％。
独立研究公司Autonomous Research分析师表示，假如GreenSky能重新燃起投资者对金融科技IPO 的兴趣，那其他创企上市的可能性也会有所提高。他还说："GreenSky会是Fintech行业上市的晴雨表。"
大型的互联网借贷企业大多采用雷同的营销战术，即对同一类业务收取较低的费用，这很难在众多竞争者脱颖而出。近些年里，高盛集团（Goldman Sachs Group）、美国运通公司（American Express）及其他银行都在发展个人贷款业务。
For all the promise of online lending companies, the two most closely watched stocks in the sector have been flops, while other upstarts have backed away from public offerings. This week, a new entrant, GreenSky Inc., hopes to break the downward trend.
The firm is planning a $700 million public offering that would give it a market value of nearly $4.2 billion at the midpoint of its price range. The deal, which could price as soon as Wednesday, would make the Atlanta firm the most valuable U.S. public company specializing in online loans.
It wasn’t long ago that online lenders were ascendant. More than $3 billion in capital from investors as diverse as Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. and celebrity chef David Chang gushed into lending startups in 2015, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. Analysts at Morgan Stanley predicted that year that the nascent industry would account for 10% of all unsecured consumer and small-business loans by 2020.
Over the past few years, though, LendingClub Corp. , Prosper Marketplace Inc. and their peers have stumbled, due in part to challenges endemic to old-school specialty-finance companies, like rising default rates and difficulties securing enough funding to expand. Combined with self-inflicted wounds like a 2016 governance scandal at LendingClub, this prompted companies to dial back growth plans and lay off hundreds of employees.
Investors soured on the sector. Shares of LendingClub, which once had a market value of about $10 billion, are down 77% from their IPO price. Prosper’s valuation was slashed by more than two-thirds in a private fundraising round last year.
If GreenSky succeeds at rekindling investors’ fondness for fintech IPOs, that could prompt other startups to list publicly, said Robert Wildhack, an analyst at Autonomous Research. “It’s going to be a good barometer,” he added.
Started in 2006 and run by CEO David Zalik, GreenSky said in its IPO filings that it has facilitated more than $12 billion in loans to consumers for home-improvement projects and elective medical procedures. That said, the firm portrayed itself in filings as a “leading technology company,” not a lender.
And GreenSky differs from online lenders in terms of profitability. Its net income rose 11% in 2017 to $139 million. LendingClub, by contrast, has been reporting losses for much of its 12-year history.
Part of GreenSky’s advantage comes from its relatively low customer-acquisition costs. LendingClub’s biggest expense is sales and marketing, which last year rose to $229.9 million, equivalent to 40% of revenue.
Most big online lenders follow the same marketing playbook, which has made it harder to stand out in a more crowded field of rivals offering the same kind of loan, often at cheaper rates. In recent years, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., American Express Co. and other banks have either introduced or ramped up their offers of personal loans.
GreenSky, on the other hand, finds most of its borrowers through 12,231 partner merchants, which range from Home Depot to independent contractors. Those merchants ask their customers if they want to finance home-improvement projects with a GreenSky loan.
GreenSky spent just $2.2 million on sales and marketing in 2017, or less than 1% of revenue.
The company’s loans typically come with a promotional, interest-free period. Should borrowers pay off loans before that period ends, GreenSky is on the hook for some interest payments. The company reports those charges under a bucket of items it calls “settlements,” which totaled $127 million last year.
GreenSky has also eschewed the “marketplace” lending model many firms like LendingClub pursued. In 2016, the fragility of that model was exposed when investors pulled back from funding online loans.
GreenSky, however, has commitments from four of the largest regional banks— Fifth Third Bancorp , Regions Financial Corp. , SunTrust Banks Inc. and Synovus Financial Corp. —to use their depositors’ money to extend its credits. Those four banks provided the funding for around 89% of GreenSky loans and have the capacity to commit even more funding.