Mortgage rates, loan limits and forbearance

We cover the increase in conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie and what forbearance numbers and record-low rates could mean for the housing market.

Untying business growth from the housing market cycle

Lenders need business growth that is not linear and is not tied to the market cycles – leveraging automation technology can help.

The practical use of AI for LOs

The combination of tightly-packed schedules and intensive oversight means augmenting loan officer’s efforts with intelligent systems is more relevant than ever.

HousingWire's 2020 Tech Trendsetters

This year’s list of Tech Trendsetters certainly earned their status as the industry was met with incredible challenges and new opportunities.

FintechMortgage

Better.com snags $200 million in series D funding for $4 billion valuation

What's another $100 million?

Online mortgage lender Better.com revealed it raised $200 million in a series D financing that put the New York-based startup at a $4 billion valuation, according to an internal memo reviewed by Bloomberg. The Monday news of Better’s new funding round is $100 million more than it had previously quoted in late September.

According to the memo, the company has now raised a total of $410 million, with investors in this round that included Activant Capital, Ally Financial, American Express Ventures, Ping An and 9Yards Capital.

“We’re excited about new and existing investors continuing to support our mission to make homeownership simpler, faster and more accessible for all Americans,” Better founder and CEO Vishal Garg said in response to a Bloomberg inquiry.

In October’s Lendit Fintech’s USA 2020 virtual event, Garg noted that Better’s funding was also backed by Goldman Sachs, Kleiner Perkins and Citi, among others, and had no intentions of edging out customers when it eventually files for IPO.

“We’ll do it when it’s right,” he told FinLedger Managing Editor Mary Ann Azevedo. “One of the core tenets of American capitalism is the ability for your customers to buy your stock.”

Since the market took off in the midst of the pandemic, a number of companies have released, or at least discussed, IPOs including Rocket Companies, United Wholesale Mortgage, Amerihomes and Caliber Home Loans. The grapevine is even picking up possible talks from Loan Depot, so stay tuned.

Better has seen significant growth, and Garg commenting that before the pandemic, the company was processing about $1.2 billion a month in loans. By October, they were funding over $2.5 billion in the same amount of time.

Better.com, founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Vishal Garg, raised $235 million last year and has been on a hiring spree ever since. In June, Taina Oquendo, Better.com’s director of corporate recruiting, said the company had hired over 1,200 people since the beginning of the year, and estimated another 1,000 through the end of 2020. It now roughly now has over 3,000 employees, many of whom, about 500, are non-commissioned loan officers. 

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