Staircase is stepping up its efforts to build the “AWS Marketplace for the Mortgage Industry” with a fresh $ 18 million – TechCrunch

If you’ve ever had to apply for a mortgage, you know that it can be a time-consuming, expensive, and often painful process – both while completing the application and while waiting for the transaction to complete.

In the past few years, a number of digital lenders have emerged who bring more technology to the process with the aim of making everything less tedious and slow. What we have seen less are startups building the digital infrastructure to help these lenders settle a mortgage much faster than they have been able to do in the past.

Enter the stairwell. The Philadelphia-based startup has developed an application programming interface (better known as an API) that aims to bring together the various parties involved in the mortgage lending process. By integrating all of these different parties, Staircase promises to provide a better – and significantly faster – experience for the borrowers and the companies providing the mortgages.

“The sheer number of companies and systems that need to exchange and validate data in order to issue a loan makes the transaction a complicated one. The lack of a universal language among all of these systems makes it even more difficult, ”said Staircase CEO and Co-Founder Adam Kalamchi. “We’re creating an integration orchestration layer that brings all of these parties together and makes all of these new mortgage-related technologies instantly available.”

Let’s look at some numbers.

It currently takes an average of 45 days to get a mortgage loan, and according to a recent one Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) report, total loan preparation spending averaged $ 9,140 per loan for the third year Quarter of 2021. Staircase says its API can give anyone in the process the ability to talk to one another “in a few clicks”, the time to get a mortgage to 10 days and the cost of a loan to be $ 1,000.

Kalamchi (a former proptech investor) and co-founder Soofi Safavi (who worked in application development at JPMorgan Chase for years) started Staircase when they realized there wasn’t a clean API infrastructure built specifically for mortgages.

There are so many amazing technologies out there right now, but you have to integrate them one by one. And they’re all different, ”Kalamchi told TechCrunch. “We’re here to do it better, faster, and cheaper Staircase does for the mortgage industry what AWS Marketplace does for businesses. Like AWS, we want our product to stand on its own and be easy to integrate. “

That is a high demand. But one that a number of investors are willing to bet on. Staircase closed $ 18 million in a Series A financing round led by Bessemer Ventures, raising a total of $ 24 million since its inception in early 2020. RRE Ventures, ONEVid Ventures, Clocktower Technology Ventures, MetaProp Ventures and Zigg Capital also put money into the round.

“As with many of our most successful developer platform investments at Bessemer and within the industry, the Staircase team has done the hard work building a developer platform that solves the most critical data, integration and workflow problems in the mortgage landscape.” said Charles Birnbaum, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. Having learned about Staircase since the company’s inception and working with early customers, we were thrilled to support them on this journey to help finally bring even the slowest segments of the financial services landscape to the cloud by providing access on modern solutions without making it easier to completely replace old systems. “

One interesting thing about Staircase’s APIs is that its founders claim that in addition to helping digital lenders, they can also help a wide variety of businesses, including government sponsored companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, job verification services, and first-generation mortgage technology providers like Ellie Mae and Black Knight, mortgage insurers, retail banks, and wholesale banks.

That too appeals to Bessemer.

“There have been some great new products that have enabled the mortgage industry to offer their end customers more digital experiences in recent years, but not a real platform like Staircase that connects everything and works with both innovative, digital-first.” Legacy vendors to automate more of the process and leverage the cloud in the same way that many other segments of consumer financial services have been doing for some time, ”Birnbaum told TechCrunch.

Looking ahead, Staircase plans to use part of its new capital to hire people so it can develop its product further. Of the 50 employees, more than 40 are engineers.

“It is It’s all just about product development and maturation, then going into the market and making sure the technology helps borrowers, ”Kalamchi said.

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