Avant plans to add 600 new employees in 2016

Sam Dewey

By almost anyone’s definition, AvantAvantVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert had a pretty rockstar year. And they’re gearing up to make an even bigger splash in 2016.

According to Crain’s, the Chicago-based online lender has opted to add an additional 40,000 square feet to the 80,000 square-foot lease they signed back in June for their new headquarters at 222 N. Lasalle St.

The expansion will help house the 600 new employees Avant projects to hire in the new year, company spokeswoman Carolyn Blackman told Crain’s.

Those 600 positions will almost double Avant’s current 800-strong employee count.

Avant also has satellite offices in both Los Angeles and London, with plans in motion to build up a presence in Canada.

Using machine-learning algorithms and big data, Avant provides installment loans and lines of credit to middle-class borrowers with scores just below prime but at higher interest rates.

The company, which only launched in 2013, has had a year chock-full of milestones. In June, the company announced they’d breached $1 billion in loan originations, and Blackman told Crain’s that they crossed the $2 billion mark just last month.

In September, the company officially entered Chicago’s most exclusive club of billion-dollar tech companies. At the time, the Wall Street Journal reported a valuation closer to $2 billion.

Blackman told Crain’s that Avant’s 2015 revenue will top $200 million.

CEO Al Goldstein this year saw his company collect accolade after accolade, from Inc’s 30 under 30 to Built In Chicago’s own Moxie Award for Breakthrough Digital Company of the Year. Goldstein himself picked up a 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

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