Our Investment in Blend: Transforming the Lending Experience
The mortgage industry is going through a period of rapid transition and change. The drivers of this have been present for quite some time, stemming back to the previous housing boom that contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown. After the financial crisis, many of the mortgage lenders that sprung up in the boom closed their doors, sending all the mortgage volume back to the large banks. Given the lack of competition, along with an enhanced regulatory burden, these banks no longer needed to provide the best consumer service — and didn’t have any forcing function to move off of their legacy software tools or pen-and-paper loan application processes. However, it was just a matter of time until the housing market bounced back, the competition returned to mortgage lending, and borrowers demanded a more friendly experience when contemplating the mortgage and home buying process.
Today, we are excited to share that Salesforce Ventures has made a strategic investment in Blend, who is aiming to do nothing short of overhaul the mortgage origination and application experience. As Salesforce and Blend jointly aim to digitize the lending workflow for customers, we’re excited to see the partnership continues to evolve. It’s been an incredible opportunity to spend time with such a talented founding team, and we look forward to partnering more closely with Nima, Erin, and the entire management team to help them realize their vision.
Continued Leadership in the Mortgage Space
Blend is a leader in digital lending software today, working with customers representing ~25% of the US mortgage market. The product’s technical sophistication to manage a number of complex integrations both inside and outside the lender at scale, and its ability to collect and act on the borrower data captured in the process is used to create a seamless mortgage experience for the end borrower. This results in much faster mortgage close rates for Blend’s customers, which can cut the origination process down by weeks at times. This is all corroborated by Blend’s impressive customer list which includes household names such as Wells Fargo, US Bank, SunTrust, Movement Mortgage, and Lennar, just to name a few.
Aiming to Drive Financial Services Forward
Blend is leading a revolution to make all consumer financial transactions available in one tap within the next five years. The company’s lending platform reaches beyond the mortgage process and aims to create a unified digital user experience for other loan categories across a financial institution. Blend’s vision is to create an ecosystem that can leverage the data captured in its platform to enable more transparent and consumer-friendly distribution of third-party financial services and products.
Strategically Valuable End Market
The movement of the entire mortgage workflow process to the cloud has been a key driver and tailwind for Salesforce’s Financial Services Cloud strategy for quite some time. CRM is only one key piece of a loan officer’s workflow to originate a loan and build relationships with their end customers — the loan origination system (LOS) which acts as the system of record to price a loan, and the digital lending platform which acts as the glue between both the LOS and CRM to provide a seamless and transparent application experience for the end customer, are also needed.
In recent years, digital lending platforms like Blend have emerged as a disruptive force, ultimately providing a user experience that customers and borrowers love, along with transparency into an industry that historically may not have prioritized it — it’s now a critical and necessary component of the mortgage workflow that ties the entire experience together. As Salesforce continues to help drive digital transformation for our customers in the lending space as the system of record for customer relationships, it’s paramount for Financial Services Cloud to have close lending digital lending platform go-to-market partners in order to provide a more integrated end customer lending experiences.
We could not be more excited to work closely with the Blend team as we collectively look to continue helping the financial services industry navigate their transition to the cloud, and build a more robust and transparent lending process for our joint customers and their borrowers.