One of the main advantages that marketplace lenders tout is that technology powered lending takes many of the pain points out of the loan origination process. Probably the most cumbersome and complicated process in lending that consumers will face in their life comes when they apply for a mortgage. It’s a process that should be more efficient. Blend was founded in 2012 and hopes to improve the mortgage process for both lenders and borrowers by providing an experience far better than the decades old technologies that are currently in place.
Blend is well funded, having raised a $40 million Series C round in January 2016, led by Founders Fund (Peter Thiel’s investment company), Lightspeed and Formation 8. Other notable investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Max Levchin and Hans Morris.
On the consumer side, they aim to simplify and automate the application pre-approval process. This includes the use of electronic statements, the ability to take pictures of documents such as W-2s and a soft credit pull earlier in the process. This process isn’t new in the unsecured lending space with companies such as Lending Club and Prosper among many others who were pioneers in getting a loan online, but this trend is just starting to take hold in the mortgage market. The result is a much better borrower experience. [Read more…]