Texas-based lender Thrive Mortgage plans to merge with digital multichannel rival Lower, which will create a unified lender with more than 650 loan officers and 120 active branches across the country.
Financial details of the merger, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, were not disclosed.
Over the last 12 months, Thrive has originated about $1.42 billion while Columbus, Ohio-based Lower has originated $1.88 billion during the same time period, according to mortgage recruiting platform Modex. In total the lenders have originated about $3.3 billion over the 12 months, which puts a combined company just outside the top 50 mortgage lenders in America by volume, according to Inside Mortgage Finance data.
The merger would change the leadership structure but maintain each brand. Selene Kellam, the Thrive CEO, and Randell Gillespie, the lender’s production head, would join a combined executive team with Lower.
The executives would be under the leadership of Dan Snyder, Lower CEO and cofounder, who said in a statement that the company is “building a better approach to mortgages with Lower’s streamlined tech powering multiple channels.” Snyder added that Thrive is a national lender with the same belief.
Thrive Mortgage Chairman Roy Jones said the company focuses on “having the best people with the most forward-thinking technology in the industry, all of which is propelled forward with this partnership with Lower.”
In a statement, Kellam added that in September 2022, Thrive struck a deal to acquire the Ohio-based lender American Mortgage Service Company (AMSC). The deal’s goal was to expand into areas lacking a brick-and-mortar presence. Both companies generated most of their origination volume through the retail channel.
“Last year, we acquired AMSCo, a storied Midwest company that added incredible talent to our model. We are now excited to share another amazing opportunity that has presented itself to join Lower.com,” Kellam said.
Thrive was founded in 2011 in Georgetown. In 2021, Veritex Holdings, the parent company of Veritex Community Bank, acquired a 49% stake in the lender for $53.9 million. The deal valued the company at roughly $110 million. Veritex is expected to keep a stake in the business following the Thrive and Lower merger.
Lower is a multichannel, digital lender backed by venture capital firm Accel. It operates an online consumer-direct channel, an offline retail channel, and a third-party origination platform servicing brokers and other fintechs.
Due to market conditions, Lower slashed 6% of its workforce in October 2022, leaving about 1,200 employees across its businesses.
In January 2023, Lower rolled out a mortgage as a service platform that enables consumer finance, banking and real estate companies to offer its mortgage products. iBuyer Opendoor was Lower’s first white-label customer.
In November, Denver-based Universal Lending announced it will become a division of Lower. Both retail and wholesale channels will be overseen by industry veteran, TJ Kennedy.