What to expect at HousingWire’s Spring Summit

The focus of the Summit is The Year-Round Purchase Market. Record low rates led to a banner year for mortgage lenders in 2020, and this year is expected to be just as incredible.

How real estate agents can increase profitability in 2021

As real estate professionals strategize on how to do business in this competitive, fast-paced market, they’ll discover the need for better tools to market their listings.

HousingWire's 2021 Spring Summit

We’ve gathered four of the top housing economists to speak at our virtual summit, a new event designed for HW+ members that’s focused on The Year-Round Purchase Market.

An Honest Conversation on minority homeownership

In this episode, Lloyd interviews a senior research associate in the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute about the history and data behind minority homeownership.

FintechMortgageInvestments

Former SoFi CEO Mike Cagney’s blockchain lending startup Figure raises $65 million

Plans to use new funding to continue expansion

Figure Technologies, the blockchain lending startup co-founded by former SoFi CEO Mike Cagney, grew throughout its first year of business last year.

The company entered the home equity lending market first, when it rolled out its signature product, Figure Home Equity, which is a hybrid between a traditional home equity loan and a HELOC that allows homeowners to borrow from their home equity.

Then the company went after the reverse mortgage market and unveiled a new program that it called an alternative to reverse mortgages. The program, called Figure Home Advantage, sees the company buy a property outright from a homeowner, who then rents the house back from Figure for as long as they want to.

And now, the company will have some new funding to continue its expansion. Figure announced this week that it raised $65 million in its Series B equity funding.

According to the company, the latest funding round brings the company’s total equity funding to more than $120 million in just its second year of operating.

The funding round was led by RPM Ventures and partners at DST Global, with participation from investors Ribbit Capital, DCM, DCG, Nimble Ventures, Morgan Creek, and others.

Cagney, who left SoFi in 2017 after reports emerged about the alleged toxic culture at the online lender, said that Figure is “encouraged” by the company’s first-year results and is looking forward to growing thanks to the new funding.

“We are encouraged by what we’ve accomplished in our first year, and this investment validates Figure’s market potential," Cagney, who serves as Figure’s CEO, said.

“We launched the fastest HELOC in the market, and we originate, finance and sell every one of our loans on the Provenance blockchain, an industry first,” Cagney continued. “From the diversity of our founding team to our alignment with our members’ financial success, we believe we’re building a different — and better — kind of technology company.”

As Cagney noted, the company built and deployed its own blockchain system, which it calls Provenance. The company uses the blockchain for all of its lending activities, which has its advantages, according to the company.

This is how Figure describes it:

The company leverages the security, efficiencies and cost advantage of blockchain for loan origination, financing and sales and has a diverse set of funds, banks and dealers active on Provenance today.

According to the company, Figure was the first loan originator on Provenance, but the company says that several other originators plan to use the platform by the middle of this year.

The company also said that additional use cases, such as investment funds on blockchain, are also planned for this year.

Beyond that, the company plans to expand its Figure Home Advantage reverse mortgage alternative, which is currently being rolled out in Texas, Illinois, and Nevada, and take the program nationwide this year.

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