Since it was founded in 2012, Blend has signed up some of the biggest banks in the country — including the likes of Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank — as well as a bevy of smaller, more traditional financial institutions across the U.S..
Now, it’s setting its sights on the startup and fintech market, hoping to power the lending and banking services of some smaller, but fast-growing digital lenders.
Blend, which went public just a few months ago, started off selling software designed to simplify and digitize the mortgage lending process for both borrowers and lenders.
But as time passed, the company has expanded its product set in two important ways: First, it has gone deeper into the broader homeownership journey, offering up ways for applicants to find homeowners insurance, title insurance, and even be matched up with a real estate agent as part of its mortgage application flow.
The second big expansion comes from a new suite of services that moves it beyond mortgage by offering deposit accounts, credit cards, and support for other lending products like personal, home equity, and auto loans. By doing so, the company seeks to provide a single platform for its customers, according to Blend founder Nima Ghamsari.
“A lot of the DNA for how those products work is the same, but typically at these institutions, these product lines have completely disparate and siloed organizational structures, as well as technology stacks,” Ghamsari said. “What we’ve done the last four years is take our platform and make it a single place for a consumer to work with a financial institution across all these products. So you could show up and get four or five products on Blend now that you couldn’t historically get within one system.”
By reusing a lot of the same components necessary for mortgage origination, including know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) verifications, as well as identity, income and employment verification, the Blend consumer banking suite can speed up the onboarding and application process for banking, credit card, and loan products. It also rolled out a “Blend Builder” tool that lets customers customize the components they wish to use with a drag-and-drop interface.