Retailers including Walmart, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and thousands of others are suddenly hot for the 68 million Americans traditionally considered risky borrowers because of their track record of not paying their bills or their lack of credit histories, including credit-card-adverse millennials.
Enter a bevy of fintech companies that have sophisticated algorithms to better predict who will pay up and shoppers with bad or no credit are in high demand. The companies are also assuming the credit risk if customers default.
One newcomer, Zebit, generated $44 million in sales last year and is on track to reach $100 million this year, according to chief executive Marc Schneider, who is raising $20 million on top of the $39 million Zebit raised since 2015.
Zebit, which bills itself as “the Amazon for the under-served,” is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing this year to differentiate itself as the only company targeting risky consumers that is also not “predatory.”But it has plenty of competition for the mantle.