Mortgagetech innovator Blend is the latest fintech to go public. The company, which unveiled its “data-driven mortgage” solution in its Finovate debut five years ago, made its debut as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange last week under the ticker BLND. Blend raised $360 million in the IPO, earning a valuation of $4 billion.
In a blog post, Blend CEO and co-founder Nima Ghamsari reflected on the irony of launching a mortgagetech business “out of the ashes of the great recession” in 2012. The goal then was to build a solution that leveraged technology and data to made financial services simpler and more transparent, specifically in the “complex and paper-based” mortgage process. Since then, the company has expanded its product portfolio beyond mortgages to include initially home equity loans and lines of credit, before helping streamline origination workflows for financing products ranging from personal loans and credit cards to deposit accounts. This expansion has allowed Blend to enable its financial institution clients to cross-sell personalized offers and services to their customers and members.
“At every step of our journey, our customers have asked us to build more,” Ghamsari wrote. “That’s why this moment means so much to me and everyone at Blend.
A winner of the NAFCU Services 2021 Innovation Award for Best Digital Lending Platform in June, Blend facilitated more than $1 trillion in loans in 2020, an increase of 2x over the previous year. The company also introduced a variety of new platform features in 2020 including a new loss mitigation workflow for homeowners, and a digital portal to process PPP loans. Blend currently has more than 290 lender partners, representing 30% of all mortgage volume in the U.S.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Blend began the year with a $300 million Series G round, featuring participation from Coatue and Tiger Global Management. The funding gave the company a valuation of $3.3 billion. This January investment was less than six months after the company secured a $75 million Series F financing led by Canapi Ventures.
In addition to its debut at FinovateSpring in 2016, Blend is also an alum of our developer’s conference, FinDEVr. At the event, the company’s technical team showed the thinking behind the design of its platform including the importance of automated workflows, data connectivity, and innovation by design.