It's not easy growing a business in this economy. Yes, housing prices are recovering, particularly in some markets, but lenders, servicers, investors and those involved in real estate still face increasing regulatory burdens that raise costs considerably. The reality is, every company has to do more with less. Which makes the winner of our HW Tech100 growth category — Ellie Mae — even more noteworthy.

From the HW Tech100 story:

Ellie Mae has been an industry leader for years, as HousingWire detailed in 2014 when we awarded the company our Market Influence award. At that time, the company’s Encompass solution processed more than 20% of all mortgage originations in the U.S., giving the company an impressive impact. The company had also made a critical investment in compliance, outfitting Encompass with a built-in compliance engine and Total Quality Loan program.

The company's decision to infuse its mortgage management solution with compliance proved to be strategic, and has paid off in spades. With every new regulation, the automated technology just gets more valuable. Consider Ellie Mae's performance in 2015:

In the third quarter of 2015, the company reported financial results that exceeded expectations, growing revenue by 61% over the third quarter of 2014. Ellie Mae’s customers also continued to grow their businesses and add more seats, which helped the company achieve another quarter of record seat bookings, with 11,900. That growth is even more striking when you consider the market share the company already had — it’s not a startup posting huge growth because they just opened for business.

Other third-quarter highlights:

  • Record revenue of $68.9 million, up 61% from $42.8 million in Q3 2014
  • Net income of $6.2 million, up 24% from $5 million in Q3 2014
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $20.3 million, up 45% from $14 million in Q3 2014

Ellie Mae's success reflects the savings its customers were able to gain from using Encompass. An independent study by MarketWise Advisors revealed that lenders using Encompass could achieve $970 savings and value per loan, $446 reduction in per-loan origination costs, 477% projected ROI and an average payback period of 2.64 months. Revenue of the average active Encompass user increased 24% in 2015 from the year, spurring a 30% rise in the number of those users. 

The HW Tech100 gives us the perfect opportunity to celebrate the most innovative companies in the housing economy. In addition to naming companies to the larger list, we singled out six companies as winners of specific tech categories: growth, market potential, market influence, unique solution, elegant implementation and something else entirely. See the whole list here