Zest AI raises over $50m to advance the next generation of AI-automated underwriting
By Edlyn Cardoza
Zest AI, one of the leaders in automating underwriting with more accurate and inclusive lending insights powered by AI, announced that the company has raised over $50 million in a new growth round. The round was co-led by existing global software investor Insight Partners and new investor CMFG Ventures, with participation from CU Direct, Curql, Suncoast Credit Union, Golden1 Credit Union, Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union, and NorthGate Capital.
“We’re working to build a better future for the financial services ecosystem where underwriting is swift, equitable, and frictionless across the United States,” said 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.”
Zest AI plans to use the new funding to expand access to AI-automated credit underwriting for all lenders rapidly. In broadening access to this technology, Zest AI will fuel more accurate and consistent underwriting decisions — levelling the playing field for all borrowers and fostering a more inclusive economy.
“Zest AI’s accelerating growth is a testament to the power and value of its advanced explainable AI technology for loan underwriting,” said Lonne Jaffe, Managing Director at Insight Partners. “By using more features, or ingredients, in its prediction system, Zest’s customers can issue more loans, take less risk, and be more inclusive — all while adapting more quickly to changing macroeconomic conditions and explaining loan decisions more effectively. We look forward to doubling down on our partnership with Zest as they rapidly Scale Up.”
As more financial institutions adopt artificial intelligence tools to make better credit decisions, Zest AI is well-positioned to transform the industry. Zest’s technology uses AI to identify, predict, and remove inherent biases and render more consistent and equitable lending decisions. The technology allows customers to approve more borrowers without taking on more risk, resulting in a 25% increase in approvals and full automation.
“Our credit union partners have found Zest AI’s technology to be a great way to automate their underwriting. Zest not only allows credit unions to make better loan decisions but also expands access to more affordable credit across the credit tiers,” said Mike Kraus, Principal at CMFG Ventures. “The timing for credit unions to adopt more inclusive credit underwriting could not be better, and we’re thrilled to help demonstrate Zest’s value to the industry.”
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