Fintech Startup Blend Raises $130 Million in a Possible Unicorn Valuation
The mortgage technology company announced yesterday that it has raised $130 million in series E funding. The latest cash infusion possibly gives the San Francisco-based startup a tech unicorn status.
Nima Ghamsari, co-founder and CEO of Blend said yesterday that the late-round funding was led by Temasek and General Atlantic. Existing backers such as Founders Fund, 8VC, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Greylock Partners also participated in series E.
The company didn’t reveal the valuation of the latest round. However, Fortune reported that series E was “about doubling the series D valuation,” which was $500 million. If Blend has managed to attain this goal, it means that the company is now officially a tech unicorn—a term used for startups with a billion-dollar private valuation.
Since its founding in 2012, the fintech startup has gathered a total of $310 million in venture capital. According to CrunchBase data, the previous round, series D, brought in $100 million in late August 2017.
The financial technology lending platform provider intends to use the money raised to expand its 400-employee team further, broaden its offer of consumer lending products and invest in new technologies.
Blend, which stands for better lending, is an online platform that provides customers with a simpler and quicker loan application process by cutting paperwork out of the process.
“Together with our partners, we’ve made significant strides in transforming lending experiences for consumers and institutions across the country,” Ghamsarid said in a statement.
What Blend’s SaaS solution essentially does is power the mortgage and loan application process on websites of banks such as U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. Marc Greenberg, head of finance, says that the company “routinely processes nearly $2 billion in loans every day in partnership with more than 150 lender customers.”
Apart from revealing how much venture capital it raised in series E, the tech startup took the opportunity to announce that Ann Mather, former Pixar CEO, will be joining the company as the first independent board member. Mather currently sits on the boards of a number of successful companies, including Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Netflix and Airbnb.
“As we build toward a more transparent and frictionless future where lending transactions happen in one tap, we’re grateful to have the experience of [Mather], along with the teams at Temasek and General Atlantic, in our corner for this journey,” Ghamsari said in a press release yesterday.
Before Mather, Blend had welcomed Tim Mayopoulos to the company in January. The former CEO of Fannie Mae took the role of the company president, taking charge of all the go-to-market operations.
“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.”