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Crystal Financial Funds $30 Million Term Loan for Zebit

July 08, 2013, 07:09 AM
Filed Under: Lender Finance

The makers of Zebit, a Big Data underwriting solution that powers financial products that bridge the gap between payday loans and traditional bank credit, announced that Crystal Financial LLC has underwritten and funded a $30 million term debt facility for the company to fuel its global expansion. Zebit's parent company Global Analytics Holdings, Inc. had previously raised $65 million in equity and debt financing since 2009.

With its open platform, Zebit is able to serve a wide spectrum of customers. Leveraging the platform, companies can offer products that include short term loans, lines of credit, and secured and unsecured credit. The company employs its Zebit platform profitably to operate its own lending business in the UK with expected expansion in other markets.

"As a leader in providing capital to consumer finance companies, Crystal is excited to be a lending partner to support Zebit's rapid growth trajectory," said Stephen Krawchuk, managing director at Crystal Financial. "This is a management team with a proven track record, and their analytics-driven insights position them to positively impact markets across the globe."

Zebit's proprietary advantages include its fraud detection model, which reduces fraud by 90%. Employing Adaptive Data Fusion technology and deep learning technology, the model learns and adapts to fraudster tactics, preemptively responding to attacks before the fraud is committed.

"With our technology, we're able to offer the most financially vulnerable people better access to credit," said CEO Michael Thiemann. "Using sciences like Adaptive Data Fusion gets us better underwriting and lower fraud rates, allowing us to offer superior rates to traditional underwriting. This is a sector that will be won on analytics -- and we know analytics."

Indeed, Zebit has made big investments in analytics talent: while in most tech companies data scientists make up less than 1% of the work force, they make up nearly 25% of Zebit's employees.

Zebit has completed over a million transactions on the platform built by the same pioneers of real-time data analytics who helped create the industry-acclaimed Falcon® fraud detection system (a registered trademark of FICO), used to protect over 2 billion credit cards worldwide, Aptex's SelectCast™, the first behavioral targeting system on the Internet, and Retek's SkuPLAN™, the first real-time retail inventory forecasting system.

"Stephens Inc. advised Zebit in this capital raise. We value our relationship with Stephens and their expertise in the specialty finance sector was extremely helpful in getting the transaction closed," said Andrew Hettinger, managing director at Crystal Financial.

"We are very pleased to add Crystal Financial as a financial partner," added Brian Markworth, Zebit's vice president of finance and Treasurer. "We were impressed by Crystal's strong execution throughout the capital raising process. The additional capital provided enables us to grow at 50% throughout 2013 and 2014."

Zebit is a Big Data underwriting open platform backed by Global Analytics Holdings, Inc. offering simple and flexible ways to serve the underbanked. Global Analytics also operates Lending Stream, one of the UK's top short-term lenders.

Stephens Inc. is a full service investment banking firm founded in 1933.

Editor's Note: Crystal Financial's Stephen Krawchuck wrote a blog on the topic of banking the underbanked for ABL Advisor. To view Krawchuk's blog, click here.

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