ZestFinance

  www.zestfinance.com
  www.zestfinance.com

ZestFinance Reviews

Updated December 2, 2014
Updated December 2, 2014
7 Reviews
4.2
7 Reviews
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ZestFinance Founder & CEO Douglas Merrill
Douglas Merrill
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Product. Great Benefits. Great Mission. Magic Lost. Still Believe.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at ZestFinance full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The product is a good one. It's a weird space with attempting to help people, maneuvering around some really tough regulations (props to legal), and sharing a market with some very shady competitors.

    You cannot get better benefits in a startup. Douglas truly understands the importance of strong benefits in tech startup. Zest is competing against talent hogs like tech company's, financial institutions, & other startups that can afford to salary out their employees hence the great benefits package.

    The office environment is a really fun feel. Big open floor plan in the main work area and a handful of meet up spaces, bright colors and lots of windows, great location in the heart of Hollywood, space encourages community and communication, and the tech is constantly evolving.

    There are some really awesome gems (talent) there. They are hard workers that supply structure and really know what they are doing or that are fast learns that add immensely to the product.

    Cons

    Promotions are almost nonexistent and if you do get one it's not based off accomplishments and successes of projects but the personal relationships you hold the C-level.

    Holding on to bad apples even after it's acknowledged these employees are not pulling their weight, while taking full advantage of the great benefits. Some of these employees go out of their way to sabotage others trajectory, while others fly below the radar for as long as they can, wracking up the equity and free food. They are a liability in many ways.

    Morale is becoming terminal. The volatility of the product (to their credit, they can't control) and the wickedly political office environment can be completely exhausting. There tends to be a major business pivot every 3-4 months leaving the team deflated. Seems like the people that made Zest great are no longer there, not because they left for awesome opportunities but to escape the fatigue.

    Culture is the greatest deficit that Zest has. The culture that we had was magic. It allowed us to build relations between colleagues and customers. It improved communication and understanding of the mission/ goals and winning multiple "best places to work". The original culture has been deconstructed piece by piece with the churn of the original team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The decision to reduce the workforce a while back was a huge blow. After a couple of critical members were cut, shaking the confidence of the team. The churn that it created has cost more than the salaries that were saved.

    A focus on culture building and office morale is imperative.

    Make those gems in-office as happy as possible (train, promote, and let lead). They are a critical to the success of Zest.

    I would encourage C-level to focus on people management skills, it's great that you're good at being an Exec., but Zest needs great managers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great benefits, good people, cutting edge technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Relationship Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Relationship Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at ZestFinance full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Ability to work from home or office, choose your own hours, be a part of a new technology that provides loans to the "under-banked". Executives have mastered the art of raising capital, so there's no shortage of funds, no expense spared, for the most part. It's a fun atmosphere, almost like the excitement of certain Silicon Valley start-ups. The technology is brilliant, providing a new financial scoring system that far surpasses FICO.

    Cons

    If your position deals directly with clients / borrowers, you may have to deal with some pretty low level people that are trying to scam the system. The interest rates may be lower than payday loans, but not by much, so borrowers are paying a lot of interest which may raise some ethical questions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A little too late, but I would say crawl before you walk. Growth is a good thing, but only if the foundation is set. Make sure you stick to your morals of why you started the company, to help those in need. It's not just about making money and beating the competition.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun work environment, super smart people and great learning opportunities from co-workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at ZestFinance full-time

    Pros

    1. Lots of benefits.
    2. They value learning in all aspects.
    3. Fun and engaging work environment.
    4. Good technology stack.

    Cons

    Miscommunication between the team members and management.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Smart people trying to change the world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ZestFinance full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - insanely smart coworkers
    - great mission
    - good benefits (and they continually make them better)
    - lots of responsibility / tons of learning opportunity

    Cons

    - some cross-team communication issues as the company scales

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - continue to keep people focused on the mission

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    High pay, high stress, high churn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at ZestFinance full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good pay, flexible work schedule, lots of new technology. Also a great IT setup with your own new computer of choice and the freedom to configure as you like.

    Cons

    Too much politics for a small company. Management surrounds themselves with old friends and does not listen to anyone else. Benefits unbalanced with nice perks like free lunch & gym membership but stingy retirement and health plans. Projects, employees and development environment are changing all the time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and try to build a more stable work environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    I have learned so many new and exciting things at ZestFinance and met so many fascinating people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at ZestFinance full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - very smart and sociable fellow employees
    - fast-paced environment with lots of room for personal and professional development

    Cons

    - an increasing level of bureaucracy where it becomes difficult to introduce new things
    - very strong personalities that sometimes leads to conflict without clear resolution

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - find a compromise with the collective group rather than force your structure upon them

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's been a challenging, rewarding experience with a group of creative and insanely intelligent people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ZestFinance full-time

    Pros

    In itself, the company is forward thinking. The management is first class. They listen and provide productive, useful feedback that helps encourage growth and development. The employees on the whole, are wicked smart and open for conversation. Also, working remotely is an option that is available.

    Cons

    Department communication tends to be the biggest set back. Teams will make decisions that effect others, but not communicate the idea, and cause unnecessary issues. Some teams have a limited understanding of what others do, thus making decisions questionable based on lack of knowledge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on inter-departmental communication between teams and lower management to reduce the number of avoidable errors.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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