San Francisco-based Blend, which claims to offer market-leading digital lending technology that makes the process of acquiring a loan simpler, faster, and safer, notes that the standard origination tech stack includes too many tools and systems, “anchored by mortgage loan origination software.”
According to Blend, these stacks typically include “multiple” point solutions, which can lead to “fragmented” experiences for borrowers and loan officers. Users may frequently have to switch back and forth between different systems and also depend on “inefficient, manual touchpoints along the way.” When you add “a complex use case to the equation — start an application on a phone, for example, and finish on a computer — and more challenges mount,” Blend claims.
Blend further notes that they help lenders with “maximizing” the value of their origination stack, which includes their mortgage loan origination software. By offering “flexible omnichannel experiences” and improving workflows, Blend aims to support “a more efficient origination process for lending teams while creating a seamless experience for consumers,” the company writes in a blog post.
When compared to having loan officers or professionals spend a lot of time facilitating data entry within an LOS, Blend claims it provides a better “alternative, modern workspace.” This allows loan specialists to serve as a resource and also as a “trusted” advisor — “freeing them from babysitting form field information and facilitating back-and-forths for required documentation,” the company notes. When using Blend’s “unified” platform, the loan origination process may become more efficient and organized.
Blend’s digital lending platform provides several different “out-of-the-box” integrations with many LOS, such as Ellie Mae Encompass, Black Knight Empower, MeridianLink LendingQB, Wipro NetOxygen, Byte, Accenture MortgageCadence, and Fiserv Mortgage Director.
Blend connects with different core banking systems, data verification providers, pricing engines, CRMs, and document generation providers.
Blend aims to offer transparency and a complete toolkit for loan specialists to utilize during each borrower’s user journey. The company provides guidance and tools for lead management and qualification to final commitment. its digital lending software and tools aim to support better pipeline management, incorporate verification processes, and also make it easier to obtain real-time pricing and fees.
In September 2020, Blend announced that it would be adding support for personal loans, credit cards and specialty-vehicle loans to its platform.
Blend has secured $75 million in capital through a Series F round of funding. The company aims to offer a consistent, unified experience across various products and services such as mortgages, consumer loans, and deposit-account openings.
Blend started out as a provider of mortgage origination software. Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and M&T Bank are some of the major lenders that use the company’s tools and software to provide digital mortgages.
During the past few years, Blend has added support for home equity loans, deposit accounts and auto loans to its offering.
Nima Ghamsari, Co-founder and CEO at Blend, noted earlier this year that the financial sector appears to be heading toward real-time credit approvals.
As reported by American Banker, Chris Kay, EVP of consumer banking, business banking and marketing at M&T, stated earlier this year that Blend has been able to simplify and streamline M&T’s mortgage business. The company’s services have become more user-friendly, and around 70% of mortgage clients use the all-digital platform.
In August 2020, Blend revealed that its valuation had surged to $1.7 billion as the demand for mortgages had increased significantly.
Refinance application volumes had jumped over 1,000% higher in March 2020, and purchase applications increased by over 100% each month since May 2020, according to an update shared by CNBC earlier this year.