Fifth Wall and Lennar Invest in Blend in Marquee Transaction
Leading real estate tech VC and the U.S.’s largest home builder consummate strategic deal with preeminent Silicon Valley company revolutionizing modern consumer lending
For decades, the estimated $2.5 billion U.S. consumer lending industry has been prime for an innovative technological solution to streamline mortgage origination, brokerage, lending, and workflow processing.
The mortgage business of the future will facilitate a better experience for both lenders and borrowers. In a landmark deal, Fifth Wall and Lennar have joined an amazing team to back Blend, a best-in-class Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tech-enabled mortgage business. Helping modern lenders delight modern borrowers, Blend changes the consumer mortgage lending landscape with its intuitive mobile design and data-powered intelligence that empowers lenders to originate loans more efficiently.
Fifth Wall and Lennar recognized the antiquated nature of the mortgage application process and sought a more streamlined, tech-forward solution. Lennar tasked Fifth Wall with connecting them to a top-tier company whose platform would fit into their homebuilding model. In contemplating an investment, Fifth Wall performed extensive market analysis and met with half a dozen companies in the mortgage origination and mortgage software spaces. After exhaustive due diligence, Fifth Wall identified Blend as the preeminent platform in the market and structured an investment plus commercial deal with Lennar that will see Blend’s software deployed across Lennar’s captive mortgage origination business, Eagle Home Mortgage. Eagle originations approximately $10 billion in mortgages annually.
Lennar Financial Services (collectively referring to Eagle Home Mortgage, Rialto, and Lennar) represents a promising new vertical for Blend in its journey to power a more frictionless, compliant, and accessible consumer lending ecosystem. As the largest home builder in the country with a pipeline of captive home buyers, Lennar will adopt Blend’s innovative digital platform for its mortgage origination business, Eagle Home Mortgage. This is a major strategic advantage for both Eagle Home Mortgage (the 13th largest national non-bank mortgage originator) and Lennar’s vast base of borrowers. Blend supercharges Eagle Home Mortgage’s ability to rapidly process a constant stream of loans at scale in an organized, efficient manner while cutting origination costs across the board.
Having raised $160 million to date, Blend represents one of those rare opportunities where the necessary pieces have come together to truly challenge the status quo. Fifth Wall is in good company supporting Blend, along with many other known Silicon Valley investors: Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Found, 8VC, Lightspeed Venture Partners, as well as angels Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and SV Angel. Co-founders Nima Ghamsari, Erin Collard, and Eugene Marinelli have expertise gained from combined experience at Palantir, Clarium Capital Management, Armored Wolf Family Holdings, and the Peter Thiel network. The stars have aligned to truly change the consumer lending landscape with Blend’s groundbreaking approach.
How Blend Transforms Lennar’s Consumer Lending Capabilities
Under the hood, Blend is the engine powering faster, smoother, and more connected modern lending experiences for both lenders and borrowers. Built on a secure, scalable SaaS platform, Blend enables its customers — mortgage lenders like Eagle Home Mortgage — to easily collect and evaluate information in their mortgage underwriting processes. The connected, optimized experience allows lenders to safely navigate the industry’s changing rules and regulations as well as help borrowers make informed and secure decisions faster using verified data from trusted financial sources.
On the lending side, Lennar needed a sophisticated tech-outreach platform capable of connecting its borrowers to loan officers in an accessible, easily navigable workstream. Lennar has underwriting expertise and deep, on-the-ground market knowledge, that can be elevated and expanded using modern technology.
Pairing Blend and Lennar is a leading-edge solution. Although other mortgage technology companies exist, none offered Blend’s perfect balance outstanding team and scalable technology. Blend’s SaaS business model, perfected product, and experienced team are key differentiators from the competition.
Beyond being a win for Lennar, Eagle Home Mortgage, and Rialto, Blend sees tons of potential in its work with Lennar and other homebuilders. Eagle Home Mortgage has considerable financial distribution amongst its existing retail network, and processing mortgage originations represents a pipeline of $10 billion in annual loan originations from both Lennar homebuyers and others.
Together, Blend and Lennar will offer a truly intuitive and transparent mortgage application process allowing Eagle Home Mortgage to process more applications with a faster turnaround time on approval (eight days faster, on average).
Changing the Consumer Lending Landscape
Fifth Wall believes Blend’s product is the first-in-class offering for the consumer lending industry and the ideal mortgage technology partner for Lennar. With both an established customer base (including US Bank, Wells Fargo, First Republic Bank, and Movement Mortgage) and backed by Silicon Valley’s elite investors, Blend is poised to continue leading the market against both new entrants and incumbents thanks to its experienced executive team, significant product differentiation, and capitalization.
Blend, Lennar, and Fifth Wall’s partnership is a first-of-its kind deal that will fundamentally transform the consumer lending landscape. By lassoing the previous mortgage origination process and pulling it into the 21st century, Blend’s mobile-optimized, cloud-based mortgage software platform gives both lenders and consumers a streamlined and simplified (but no less thorough and powerful) application process. When used across Lennar’s impressive origination pipeline, both companies will usher in profound shifts to modernize the consumer lending industry.