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HousingWire Magazine: December 2021/ January 2022

AS WE ENTER A NEW YEAR, let’s look at some of the events that we can look forward to in 2022. But what about what’s next for the housing industry?

Back to the Future of Mortgage Lending

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FintechMortgagePolitics & Money

Real estate and fintech solution CertifID raises $1.7M in seed round financing

Initial round led by Wakestream Ventures

Authentication software provider CertifID has announced it raised $1.7 million in its seed round of financing.

The round was led by Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Wakestream Ventures and included several prominent angel investors, the company said.

“During our diligence process, we heard so many horror stories, events where people involved in real estate transactions, who, through no fault of their own, were victims of aggressive hackers, able to hack into the wire transfer process and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting individuals,” said Wakestream Founder Rick DeVos.

“The problem has grown into a multi-billion dollar epidemic over the last few years. CertifID not only offers a secure authentication process, but is the first and only company we are aware of that insures each and every transaction. We are very impressed with this technology and even more so with the founding team of Tom Cronkright, Lawrence Duthler and Tyler Adams, a team of seasoned entrepreneurs,” DeVos said.

The financing round was initiated and oversubscribed within two days, the company announced in a press release.

“This round went quickly and we were overwhelmed with interest from people wanting to invest,” added DeVos. “It’s rare to see a technology solution created by individuals with the level of domain expertise held by this team.  This is an extremely relevant product and the go-to-market timing is perfect.”  

CertifID was founded in 2017 by Cronkright, Duther, the owners and founders of Sun Title, and Adams. In 2015, Sun Title fell victim to a social engineering fraud scheme that cost the company almost $200,000. The fraud stemmed from an elaborate transaction scheme that took place over two months and exposed Cronkright and Duther to the level of knowledge and sophistication that cyber criminals acquired within the real estate industry.  As a result, they developed CertifID, a wire fraud prevention platform designed to safely authenticate the identities of transactional parties and securely share sensitive banking information.

CertifID uses proprietary digital device analysis and knowledge-based authentication sequencing and provides a guarantee up to $500,000, the company explained.

“We were very pleased with how quickly and efficiently the Wakestream team was able to complete their diligence and pull this financing together with us.  We look forward to building a highly successful company together,” said Cronkright.  “We are thankful for the overwhelming confidence in the company and our team and we are excited to launch such a significant piece of technology out of Grand Rapids.” 

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