AvantCredit rebrands, acquires ReadyForZero

by Tessa McLean
March 31, 2015

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As one of Chicago’s most well-funded startups continues to add product offers and improve their platform, AvantCredit has announced they will drop the “credit” in their company name. The company is rebranding to simply “Avant.” The FinTech startup has been reinventing the personal loan industry by putting the application process online and using sophisticated algorithms to match borrowers with better loans.
 
In conjunction with their expansion to the West Coast, Avant has acquired ReadyforZero, a San Francisco-based online financial software provider that helps customers manage debt and protect credit. The company will move its operations and six employees to Avant’s 10,000 square foot Playa Vista office. 
 
“It opens up our mission and our vision to a broader set of consumers,” CEO Al Goldstein said. “We want to offer better access to credit for the middle class.”
 
Through cutting-edge speed optimization, big data and machine-learning algorithms, Avant has transformed the traditional personal loan process into a streamlined, customer-friendly experience. In the coming months, Avant will diversify its product mix by applying its technological philosophy to launch additional financial products and services. 
 
The acquisition of ReadyForZero equips Avant with consumer finance management tools including free credit score monitoring and personalized debt payment plans. 
 
“We are committed to creating innovative and practical financial products and services to empower the everyday consumer,” Goldstein said in a statement. “We are excited to bring a new level of personalized service to our customers and to enrich our mission of lowering the costs and barriers of borrowing.”
 
In addition to plans to continue hiring across all departments in their Chicago headquarters, Avant plans to hire aggressively in L.A., adding 80-100 new employees in the next 12-18 months. Most hires will focus in engineering. 
 
ReadyForZero co-founders Rod Ebrahimi and Ignacio Thayer, former Y Combinator classmates of Avant co-founders John Sun and Chief Technology Officer Paul Zhang, will lead engineering and product management at the LA office.
 
“We are thrilled to forge ahead in this partnership with Avant and bring our services to a wider audience,” Ebrahimi said in a statement. “Our tech-driven approach helps consumers take control of their financial destiny so they can borrow and manage debt responsibly.”
 
Avant has raised over $1 billion in funding to date, with investors like Peter Thiel and RRE Ventures among its backers. The company plans to expand to two more countries, in addition to the United Kingdom, as well as offer two new products this year. 
 
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