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Mortgage Tech Startup Blend Raises $130M, Reportedly Nears Unicorn Status

The process of buying a home is one of the most stressful in a person’s life. A flurry of companies aimed at making that process easier has emerged over the past decade.

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One of those, mortgage tech startup Blend, has just raised $130 million which according to Fortune, puts the company “within striking distance of ‘unicorn’ status.” (Note: I asked the company about its valuation but it declined comment)

Temasek and General Atlantic led the Series E, which also included participation from existing backers 8VC, Founders Fund, Greylock Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The round brings the company’s total funding since its inception in 2012 to $310 million. It last raised $100 million in a Series D in August of 2017 at a pre-money valuation of $500 million, according to Crunchbase data.

Blend-Rounds

Marc Greenberg, Blend’s head of finance, said the company’s SaaS platform “routinely processes nearly $2 billion in loans every day in partnership with more than 150 lender customers.” Essentially, this means that Blend’s “white label” technology is what powers mortgage applications on the site of banks such as Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank with the goal of making the process faster, simpler and more transparent. The company also recently announced it is branching out into new product lines including “deposit account opening, home equity, and homeowners insurance.”

Former Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos in January joined Blend as president, running all the administrative and go-to-market functions for the company

“We see this fundraise as a huge validation of our approach and our business model and partnership with banks,” Greenberg told Crunchbase News. “Having Tim join the company is like another huge brick in the building block.”

While he declined to comment on ARR growth or revenue figures, Greenberg told me that the company tripled its customer base between 2017 and 2018. It also has doubled its number of employees to nearly 400 today compared to the same time last year.

Looking ahead, he said the company will use the new capital to continue to invest in its mortgage product and “expand into the broader suite of consumer lending products” with the goal of digitizing “the entire mortgage process from application to close.” Blend is also growing out its ecosystem of partners, such as companies that help it accumulate financial and credit information. The company will “continue to hire aggressively,” Greenberg added.

Blend also announced today the addition of its first independent board member, former Pixar CFO Ann Mather, who also is currently serving on the boards of Alphabet, Airbnb and Netflix, among others.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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