Erin Collard has over a decade of deep financial and technology experience, having served as both head trader and managing director at Clarium Capital.

Today, Blend’s customers, including financial behemoths like U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, now account for over a quarter of the U.S. mortgage market.

Erin CollardBut it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Collard: “It’s very easy to be a leader during times of success and revel in the momentum, but I have found throughout my career that what separates long-term success stories from passing fads are the teams who always stay focused on the broader vision and don’t get distracted by success or discouraged by minor setbacks.”

While the average mortgage application can require up to 400 pages of paper documentation, Blend’s technology has enabled many of its partners to eliminate paper altogether. Furthermore, Blend’s technology cuts down the application cycle by up to 10 days. Collard ended 2017 on a strong note, leading Blend’s Series D fundraising round. Over a period of six months, he and his team worked tirelessly to find the right partners for the company and ended up raising $100 million in a round led by Greylock Partners, bringing the company’s total funding up to $160 million. The additional backing also helped the company grow its headcount to over 300 and open offices in New York City and Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, Collard brokered Blend’s partnership with Lennar, America’s largest homebuilder, marking the first time that the digital mortgage extended directly to homebuilders.

What one habit has made a crucial difference in your success?

“I think the key to success is definitely persistence. Most of the time in business it’s about how you handle your failures.”