How Blend Labs Saved Mortgage Lenders From A Mid-Pandemic Meltdown

Blend Labs is a San Francisco fintech company that offers a platform focused on mortgage lending. The firm was founded by Nima Ghamsari, a 35-year-old Iranian immigrant, Stanford graduate and former Palantir employee.

Become a Subscriber

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading this article.

Subscribe Now

Ghamsari started Blend Labs, in 2012. “I have always felt like I wanted to bet on myself. I’m willing to take a lot of risk,” he recently told Forbes. And this bet has more than paid off.

Blend provides a digital lending platform that is used by 287 other financial institutions such as First Republic Bank and Wells Fargo to offer mortgage and consumer loans. Using its software, Blend’s customers process more than $4 billion in mortgages and consumer loans daily. Its technology facilitated $1.4 trillion in mortgages and consumer loans in 2020 alone.

Though what makes Blends especially disruptive has been its ability to aid the housing market, especially during a particularly difficult time.

With Blend’s technology everything from the underwriting and closing process can turn a months-long pile of paperwork into a quicker digital process. Removing paperwork during a pandemic ostensibly prevented a meltdown.

In fact, MarketWise Advisors estimates that Blend saves an average of 7.3 days and $520 in operational costs per loan and allows a typical banker to close 14 mortgages a month, consultancy. Blend also integrates with CoreLogic for credit scores, Plaid to check on bank accounts and Google Maps for location data. This enables some banks to offer home buyers quick tentative mortgage approvals with just a few clicks.

In January, Blend announced a $300 million Series G led by Coatue Management. The new injection of capital nearly doubled Blend's valuation to $3.3 billion just five months after its previous funding round, bringing its total funding raised to more than $650 million.

In April, Blend Labs confidentially filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. The San Francisco-based fintech submitted its draft registration statement with the regulator for an IPO. Blend did not disclose how many shares it would offer or their price range. The company is expected to launch its IPO once the SEC completes its review.