person using laptop to get a loan Source: Shutterstock.

Zest AI, a Los Angeles-based provider of artificial intelligence-powered loan underwriting software, has further solidified its role in the credit union industry by officially becoming a CUSO, Zest AI announced Wednesday. In addition, it received a new investment from credit union industry-focused venture capital fund Curql and welcomed four new credit union clients.

To achieve its CUSO status, Zest AI had to demonstrate that it primarily serves the credit union industry and is owned in part or wholly by a credit union. In June 2021, VyStar Credit Union ($11 billion, Jacksonville, Fla.), along with First National Bank of Omaha and venture capital company NorthGate Capital, announced an $18 million investment in Zest AI, enabling the fintech to qualify as a CUSO.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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