Mortgage and home equity fintech FirstClose received a $35 million investment from Lateral Investment Management on Tuesday. This is FirstClose’s first institutional equity investment round: The company has been self-funded since its founding in 2000.
The fintech firm currently provides underwriting workflow automation technology, point-of-sale software, and data services for the U.S. home equity and mortgage markets. Its customers include more than 400 banks and credit unions.
FirstClose said it will use the investment to accelerate its product and growth strategies, including expanding its financial services footprint by better utilizing property data intelligence, partnering with top lenders and technology providers.
“Our mission has always been to improve the way that banks and credit unions serve consumers by accelerating loan closing times, increasing loan volumes and reducing costs,” Tedd Smith, the co-founder and CEO of FirstClose, said in a statement. “This year, as interest rates continue to rise and home equity lending volumes skyrocket, this funding will allow us to continue innovating faster and provide a superior customer experience, while delivering end-to-end solutions that are in high demand in today’s constantly changing lending environment.”
According to FirstClose, lenders who use the FirstClose EquityIQ solution have seen a 35% increase in online applications, a 25% increase in pull through, and a 77% reduction in time to close from application to funding.
“The demand for a simple and easy way to get instant feedback on a home value, available home equity, and instant loan decision while applying for a HELOC has become a business imperative,” Tim Smith, the co-founder and chief revenue officer of FirstClose, said in a statement. “We are expanding our sales and customer success teams to serve more customers across the home loan market.”
The firm has also recently announced the nominations of Pat Carney as chief technology officer and Kathy Mantych as the senior vice president of sales. Carney has more than 20 years of experience and has previously served as the chief innovation officer and senior vice president of strategic partnerships at ClosingCorp, while Mantych is an experienced leader in the mortgage banking and financial services industries.