Credit Karma Acquires Approved in a Move to Modernize Mortgage Lending

A huge milestone, but so much left to do…

Whoa — let’s get the big news out of the way: we’re excited to announce that Approved has been acquired by Credit Karma to build a consumer-facing digital mortgage experience for its 80 million members.

How’d we get here?

When we left Redfin 3 years ago to tackle the often painful and tedious process of getting a home loan, nearly everyone in the real estate space was focused on the front end: home search, finding agents and seeing homes. The industry had lost sight of the fact that a majority of lenders still used fax machines as a regular part of doing business. (seriously)

You may have seen one of these things hanging out at your favorite Kinko’s.

We started Approved with a vision that borrowers could visit an open house not having even talked with a lender, find the home of their dreams, and get fully pre-qualified on their mobile device before a listing agent offered them a business card. After all, why should they have a better customer experience buying a pair of shoes than spending $500k+ (or more) on a home they’ll own their whole life?

After nearly $5B in loan originations, our technology has shown major improvements in the time to get a loan, transparency in the process, and ease of loan application and doc collection. What the numbers won’t show you is how we’ve improved the lives of thousands of homebuyers by restoring a little sanity to the home buying process.

Joining forces.

Working with Credit Karma gives us the resources and immediate scale to accelerate our mission-driven work, reaching significantly more homebuyers than we could have imagined when we started. It also doesn’t hurt that CK has amassed a team of some of the smartest, most creative and humble people we’ve ever met.

Credit Karma shares the same DNA that made us proud to work at Redfin, with unrelenting attention to how technology can improve the financial lives of its members. They’re the troublemaker that doesn’t care how things “have always been done”; contrarian, but not combative; and we’re joining them to change how people buy homes.

The journey begins with one step.

It seems like ages ago that Nav and I were working out of a rented garage, using a table that just happened to have been left by a previous tenant as a desk. And even though Credit Karma offers free snacks, we promise to remain just as humble and consumer focused as we’ve always been. We can’t wait to reveal what we’re working on next.

Our makeshift garage office — submitting a loan file to DU for the first time.

A big shout out and thank you goes to our engineering team who built this amazing beast, our investors and advisors who believed in us when we were just two guys in a garage, EvoNexus for taking us in from said garage, and of course, our customers, whose attention to detail and home-buyer insight made things shine.