Politics & Money

Blockchain lending startup Figure is now a billion-dollar company

Reaches unicorn status in less than 2 years

If there’s one thing that Mike Cagney specializes in, it’s quickly building billion-dollar companies. He did at SoFi, before leaving the company in 2017 after reports emerged about the alleged toxic culture at the online lender.

And now he’s done it again with Figure Technologies, the blockchain lending startup Cagney helped found just last year.

Thanks to a new round of funding, Figure is now worth more than a $1 billion and has now reached unicorn status, a term for privately held startups that are valued at more than $1 billion, in less than two years.

Reports emerged earlier this week that Figure was looking to raise more than $100 million, and that’s just what the company has done.

Figure announced this week that it raised $103 million in in Series C round of funding, bringing the company’s total capital raised to more than $225 million since last year.

The latest funding round also values Figure at $1.2 billion, firmly in the unicorn category.

According to the company, the funding round was led by Morgan Creek Digital and joined by MUFG Innovation Partners and other new and existing investors.

It’s the company’s second capital raise of 2019. Earlier this year, the company raised $65 million in its Series B equity funding.

Other Figure investors include DCM, Digital Currency Group, HCM Capital, Ribbit Capital, RPM Ventures, The Partners at DST Global, and others.

Cagney helped found Figure in 2018 after leaving SoFi in 2017.

Under Cagney’s leadership, investors also took a liking to SoFI, including separate capital raises of $500 million and $1 billion.

But the shine wore off quickly after allegations of how SoFi actually operated came to light, including claims that the company fired a former employee for reporting sexual harassment allegations to his superiors.

Cagney resigned shortly thereafter, moving on to Figure, which provides different lending options via blockchain.

The company entered the home equity lending market first, rolling 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 expanded into a different form of equity, unveiling a 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.

According to details from Figure, the company now also provides mortgage and student loan refinances in addition to its other offerings.

In a release, the company states it has originated more than $700 million in loans thus far.

The company’s lending platform is operated on Provenance.io, a blockchain platform developed by Figure last year that is used to originate, finance and sell HELOCs to banks, asset managers and credit funds.

“The team at Figure has accomplished so much in under two years, and this funding is a testament to that work,” Cagney, who serves as Figure’s CEO, said in a release. “This investment is going to give us the resources we need to further fuel our mission of leveraging blockchain to reinvent lending, borrowing and investing for consumers and the financial industry, both in the U.S. and abroad.”

As part of the funding, Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and Partner at Morgan Creek Digital, will join the company’s board.

“One of our core investment theses is that every stock, bond, currency, and commodity will eventually be digitized. Figure is leading that transition from the front and is bringing radical change to finance and lending markets,” Pompliano said.

Leveraging blockchain technology to drive speed, efficiency, and cost savings to lending, Figure is focused on driving out waste and dead time inherent to the lending process,” Pompliano added. “It is not often that you get the opportunity to partner with an entrepreneur like Mike Cagney and a world class team like Figure. We are excited to have a front row seat to the transformation of finance.”

According to Figure, the company also recently added several executives to its ranks: C.D. Davies as head of lending, Tony Morosini as vice president of banking and payments, and Tina McNulty as chief communications officer.

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