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獨家:Blend借貸平臺獲1.3億美元融資

Robert Hackett 2019年06月26日

隨著這筆資金的注入,Blend估值達到10億美元。

Blend公司創始人及首席執行官尼瑪·加姆薩里。圖片來源:Stuart Isett—Fortune

Blend公司在最近一輪風投中籌集了1.3億美元資金。隨著這筆資金的注入,這家總部位于舊金山的金融科技初創企業距離成為“獨角獸”企業近在咫尺,即該公司的估值將達到10億美元或以上。

相關交易條款及最新估值均未披露。知情人士告訴《財富》雜志,在獲得最新一輪融資后,該公司的估值達“D輪的兩倍”,D輪是該公司的上一輪融資,發生在2017年8月,根據行業跟蹤公司Pitchbook提供的數據,當時投資者對Blend的估值為5億美元,其中還包括該輪1億美元的融資。

Blend為包括富國銀行(Wells Fargo)和美國合眾銀行(US Bank)在內的150多家銀行將相關貸款流程轉移至線上。這家成立7年的初創公司最著名的產品是抵押貸款應用和包銷軟件,不過它也提供與房屋凈值、存款開戶和房主保險相關的產品。

Blend的首席執行官及聯合創始人尼瑪·加姆薩里于上周出席了在紐約蒙托克舉行的《財富》雜志首屆頭腦風暴金融會議,在一個以貸款為主題的圓桌會議上做了發言。他說,Blend每天經手大約20億美元的貸款。

富國銀行的執行副總裁兼房屋貸款主管邁克·德維托說,他的公司和Blend“優先工作事項相同”,其中包括利用科技讓人們的生活更便捷。他說,與Blend合作“幫助我們加快了創新步伐,更好地為我們的客戶服務。”

紐約投資公司General Atlantic的董事總經理保羅·斯塔瑪斯與新加坡主權財富基金淡馬錫(Temasek)共同領投此輪融資。斯塔瑪斯表示,Blend有潛力讓貸款過程“更容易、更迅速、更透明”,他為此感到激動。

在籌集資金的同時,Blend還任命皮克斯(Pixar)前任首席財務官、Alphabet、愛彼迎(Airbnb)和Netflix現任董事安·馬瑟為董事會成員。今年,Blend還聘請房利美(Fannie Mae)前任首席執行官蒂姆·馬約普洛斯擔任董事長。

加姆薩里第一次感受到紙質流程數字化的神奇是在21世紀初,當時他在eBay上出售《萬智牌:旅法師》(Magic: The Gathering)的集換式卡牌。銷售很費力,而且需要等好幾天甚至好幾周的時間,才能夠等到客戶郵寄的支票兌付。加姆薩里說,后來eBay加入了硅谷新興公司推出的PayPal支付方式,這些痛點消失了。

斯坦福大學畢業后,加姆薩里后來在Palantir工作,Palantir是由PayPal的前首席執行官彼得·泰爾和他人共同創辦的一家創業公司。2008年金融危機期間,加姆薩里在這家數據挖掘公司的工作領域是金融服務業務,他萌生了創立Blend的想法。

加姆薩里說,他計劃利用新籌集的資金在現有400人的基礎上招聘更多員工。他還說,希望能夠拓展至新的產品領域,比如為汽車貸款提供支持等。

Blend自2012年成立以來已經籌集了3.1億美元。光速創投(Lightspeed)、Greylock Partners、8VC和創始人基金(Founders Fund)等現有投資者也參與了最新一輪融資。(財富中文網)

譯者:Agatha

Blend has raised $130 million in new venture capital funding. The cash injection likely puts the San Francisco-based fintech startup within striking distance of “unicorn” status, meaning a private valuation of $1 billion or more.

The terms of the deal, including the latest valuation, were not disclosed. A source close to the deal told Fortune, however, that the latest round was “about doubling the series D valuation,” referring to a prior round of fundraising in which investors privately appraised Blend at $500 million, including the $100 million raised, in August 2017, per data provided by Pitchbook, an industry tracker.

Blend digitizes paper processes for more than 150 banks, including Wells Fargo and US Bank. The 7-year-old startup is best known for its mortgage applications and underwriting software, though it also offers products related to home equity, deposit account openings, and homeowners’ insurance.

Nima Ghamsari, Blend’s chief executive and cofounder, spoke last week on a lending-focused roundtable at Fortune’s inaugural Brainstorm Finance conference in Montauk, New York. He said his firm processes about $2 billion in loans every day.

Michael DeVito, executive vice president and head of home lending at Wells Fargo, said his company and Blend’s “share the same priority,” which includes using technology to make people’s lives easier. He said that working with Blend “has helped us accelerate the pace of innovation and, in doing so, better serve our customers.”

Paul Stamas, a managing director at General Atlantic, a N.Y.-based investment firm, co-led the fundraising deal alongside Temasek, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore. Stamas said he was excited about Blend’s potential to make the lending process “easier, faster, and more transparent.”

In conjunction with the fundraising, Blend appointed Ann Mather, former chief financial officer of Pixar and current director at Alphabet, Airbnb, and Netflix, to its board of directors. Earlier this year Blend hired Tim Mayopoulos, the former CEO of Fannie Mae, as its president.

Ghamsari got his first taste of the magic of digitizing paper processes when he was selling Magic: The Gathering collectible cards on eBay in the early 2000s. Sales were laborious, and they required waiting days, or weeks, for mailed checks to clear. But when the e-commerce site integrated payments options from an upstart Silicon Valley firm, PayPal, these pain points vanished, Ghamsari said.

After studying at Stanford, Ghamsari later worked for Palantir, a startup cofounded by Peter Thiel, erstwhile CEO of PayPal. Ghamsari got the idea to start Blend while working on the data-mining company’s financial services business amid the 2008 financial crisis.

Ghamsari said he plans to use the newly raised funds to hire more employees at his 400-person company. He also said he would like to expand into new product lines, such as supporting auto loans.

Blend has raised a total of $310 million since its founding in 2012. Existing investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners, Greylock Partners, 8VC, and Founders Fund also contributed to the latest round of funding.

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