Zest AI

ZestFinance applies machine learning and large-scale data analysis techniques to credit underwriting allowing for more equitable financial service offerings to over 60 million underbanked Americans.

Founded 2009
16-50 employees
  • Banking, Corporate Finance, & Investing
  • Headquarters address
    6636 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA

    Our Story

    As it stands today, more than 60 million Americans do not have access to traditional financial services. These hardworking individual often rely on collateralized or high-fee structure loans to make ends meet.

    In 2009 our Founder and CEO, Douglas Merrill, set about changing this paradigm. He formed a team comprised of fellow ex-Google engineers who had deep expertise in modern machine learning and large-scale data analysis techniques, and paired them with lending experts from CapitalOne. Together they have developed an advanced credit underwriting engine that allows the company to offer smarter, more accurate, and more transparent short-term loans at a fraction of the rates of its competitors. The company also makes its technology platform available to other organizations, enabling them to use data to make smarter underwriting and business decisions.

    Company Culture

    In our view, fast is always better than slow. We use data to drive solutions but we move on this information quickly and iterate until we have the solution perfected. Our culture is very open. Individuals are encouraged to share ideas as long as they remain open-minded towards other solutions. There is a social mission behind our products, and we strive to keep this in mind as we implement new business lines and features. As our name implies, we work with a great deal of energy and excitement, and look for others who share this same approach to life.

    Interview Process

    Challenging. Fair. Transparent. Fast.

    All candidates are given a short homework assignment to complete prior to their interview. We try to give you at least a week to prepare the assignment and a short presentation of your solution. You will then be asked to present this solution to a group of your peers and counterparts within the organization. After that stage is completed, we will conduct a series of one-on-one interviews focusing on related job skills, finding a good culture fit, and assessing the individuals problem solving skills and raw horsepower. Our process emphasizes talent over skills to better match the long-term needs of our dynamic environment; skills evolve if you have the intelligence and drive to continue to learn. At some point during the day, we will take you out to lunch with other Zestians who are not involved in the interview process. The goal is to give you a good picture of our of the people and personalities within the organization.

    Much like our corporate edict to move fast, offer decisions are made within 24 hours of your visit. It is not uncommon for us to extend an offer the same day as your interview.

    Tech stack

    Ruby on Rails, MySQL, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, AWS


    Compensation and retirement


    Health and wellness

    Health insurance
    Dental insurance
    Vision insurance
    Life insurance
    Disability insurance

    Values and quality of life

    Catered lunches
    Zest AI - Places to lounge
    Zest AI - Open office environment
    Zest AI - Don't worry... the keg has been retapped
    Zest AI - Free lunches and snacks daily
    Zest AI - Collaboration
    Zest AI - Know when to let loose
    Zest AI - We're better at pong
    Zest AI - Pong, Xbox, and a kegerator