2016 HW Vanguard Award winners
40 executives leading the mortgage industry
Nima Ghamsari is the CEO and co-founder of Blend, a Silicon Valley technology company that empowers lenders to quickly originate efficient, data-driven mortgages.
The platform gives borrowers a frictionless, end-to-end digital consumer experience that allows them to interact with their lender on any device, through any channel and at any given time during the process. Since the company was founded in 2012, Ghamsari’s leadership has led Blend to quickly become the standard technology for powering the modern mortgage lending enterprise.
Prior to founding Blend, Ghamsari worked with some of the largest financial services institutions following the 2008 financial meltdown and realized one of the largest problems in the country stemmed from more than $10 trillion in mortgages at stake.
His team found the 50-year-old technologies powering the largely paper-based processes and people performing primarily repetitive tasks were contributing factors to the housing crash.
Despite the fact the data revolution had already happened in many other industries, his team found so many problems with mortgages that data was practically an afterthought.
Today, Ghamsari continues to work to impact the entire mortgage industry. Partnering with numerous top-50 lenders, Blend is dramatically speeding up and simplifying the mortgage application process for both borrowers and lenders, while reducing costs, increasing efficiency and ensuring robust compliance.
In addition to its customers, the Blend team is armed with a strong roster of experts who range in experience from spending 15 years in originations at Wells Fargo to lead engineers and designers from companies like Google, Facebook and Palantir.
Blend deploys as a stand-alone system or as a command center to a lender’s existing software and data sources.
The Blend Platform can be rapidly deployed within a few weeks, and it can be extended by customers or third-party developers through its API and series of endpoints.
Blend operates in-browser through the cloud, so it works on any operating system and from any desktop, table, or mobile device. Data is saved in real time, allowing borrowers to begin on one device and finish seamlessly on another.
Under Ghamsari’s leadership, Blend has partnered with large, innovative lenders to reengineer the technologies powering the home-buying process. Blend’s customers include banks and nonbanks such as Movement Mortgage and Mason-McDuffie, among others.
Overall feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. In one example, a 76-year-old borrower completed the entire mortgage process using Blend, with all of his documentation and information, in just over an hour. The company wants to transform a once-painful process for these lenders and borrowers into a delightful experience that empowers all parties.
Blend also takes security seriously. The platform automatically encrypts data at all levels during transfer and storage using AES-128, the same system as some of the most respected banks in the world. Blend undergoes constant quality checks, including the financial industry ISO 27001 security certification, SOC1 Type 2, vulnerability scanning, and continuous custom tests completed by an in-house team of security experts.
Blend publicly launched in August 2015. The team raised $40 million in Series C in January 2016, led by Founders Fund, with participation from Lightspeed and Formation 8. Additional Blend backers include leading Silicon Valley and financial technology venture capitalists, such as Max Levchin, Hans Morris, Andreessen Horowitz and Peter Thiel.