Blend digital lending platform valued at over $ 4 billion at public debut – TechCrunch


Mortgages may not be attractive, but they are big business.

If you’ve recently refinanced or purchased a home digitally, you may not have noticed that the company is using the software behind it, but thathere’s a good chance that the company To mix

Founded in 2012, the startup has steadily become a leader in the mortgage technology industry. Blend’s white label technology allows mortgage applications to be submitted on the websites of banks including Wells Fargo and US Bank, for example, to make the process faster, easier and more transparent.

The SaaS (software as a service) platform of the San Francisco-based startup currently processes over $ 5 billion in mortgages and consumer loans a day, up from nearly $ 3 billion last July.

Blend debuted today as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange, traded under the symbol “BLND… “As of noon ET, the stock traded more than 13% higher at $ 20.36.

The company said Thursday night it will offer 20 million shares at $ 18 per share, indicating that the company is targeting a $ 3.6 billion valuation.

This compares to the $ 3.3 billion valuation at the time of the last raise in January, the $ 300 million Series G funding round in which Coatue and Tiger Global Management participated. Also, let’s not forget that Blend only became a unicorn last August when it grossed $ 75 million worth of Series F. During its existence, Blend has raised $ 665 million ahead of its public market debut on Friday.

When submitting your S-1 On June 21, Blend announced that its revenue grew to $ 96 million in 2020 from $ 50.7 million in 2019. Meanwhile, its net loss fell from $ 81.5 million in 2019 to $ 74.6 million in 2020.

In 2020, the San Francisco-based startup has significantly expanded its digital consumer lending platform. With this expansion, Blend began offering its lender clients new configuration options so they can launch any consumer banking product “in days, not months.… “

Looking ahead, the company said it expects revenue growth to slow down in the future. It also does not anticipate achieving profitability anytime soon as it continues to focus on growth. Blend also revealed that its top five customers accounted for 34% of revenue in 2020.

TechCrunch spoke with co-founder and CEO Nima Gamsari today about the company’s decision to pursue a traditional IPO instead of the ubiquitous SPAC or even a direct listing.

First, Blend said he wanted to show his clients that it was “a company that has been around for a long time,” by making sure it has enough cash on its balance sheet to grow further.

“We had to talk and convince some of the largest investors in the world to invest in us, and that says how long we will serve these clients,” he said. “So it was a combination of our need for capital and our desire to cement ourselves as a truly reliable software provider in one of the most regulated industries.”

Gamsari stressed that Blend is a software company that supports the mortgage process rather than offering mortgages. As such, he works with a group of fintech companies that work to provide mortgage loans.

“A lot of them use Blend under the hood as an infrastructure layer,” he said.

Overall, Gamsari thinks this is just the beginning for Blend.

“One of the features of financial services is that they still mostly work on paper. So Blend’s significant growth is just going deeper into the process we started many years ago, ”he said. As mentioned above, the company started with its mortgage product, but continues to complement it. Today, it also provides other loans such as car loans, personal capital and real estate.

“Most of our growth is actually driven by our other lines of business,” Gamsari told TechCrunch. “We still have a lot to do because the larger trends in the digitalization of financial services are just beginning. This is a relatively large industry with a lot of changes. “

In May, digital mortgage lender announced that it would merge with SPAC and go public in the second half of 2021.

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