Home equity lending fintech raises $ 2 million in seed funding

Button Finance, a New York-based fintech focused on home equity loans, announced Monday that it had closed an initial financing of $ 2 million.

Thanks to a artificial intelligence-powered subscription platform, the mortgage company plans to work with traditionally underserved borrowers and empower them to gain greater financial independence by leveraging the value of their home. It aims to make funding decisions in as little as five days.

“US homeowners now have more untapped equity than ever before, given the recent rally in home prices,” Jason Harris, CEO of Button Finance, said in a press release. “Button Finance’s products allow borrowers to access their home equity, pay off interest debt, and make renovations that add value to their home. “

Homeowners with less than ideal credit looking for a consumer loan were often limited to high-interest credit cards or peer-to-peer lending programs, where rates could reach 36%, Harris observed.

“It was really amazing to me how many people were getting bigger consumer loans at interest rates that were just completely absurd when compared to a mortgage rate,” he said. in an interview with National Mortgage News.

While the model carries more risk than more traditional products, it is designed for a customer base that banks overlook, Harris said.

“We believe that if Lending Club is going to give someone an unsecured consumer line, we are prepared to give them a much larger mortgage, given that they are using their house as leverage,” he said. .

Structured credit asset management firm Hildene Capital Management led the round, joined by L&L Capital Partners and angel investors active in New York fintech. With the funding, Button Finance intends to further develop its proprietary technology and make strategic recruitments as it expands.

“Traditional players in the mortgage industry have been slow to embrace new technologies and innovative underwriting,” said Dushyant Mehra, co-chief investment officer of Hildene Capital Management, which specializes in distressed and event credit opportunities. “The Button Finance team spotted a gap in the market and built a robust underwriting model to address it, leading to higher risk-adjusted returns. “

Along with the capital increase, the company also announced the appointment of Josh Hager to head mortgage operations. An industry veteran for over two decades, Hager previously held leadership roles with fintech mortgage originators including Better.com, Homeward and Divvy Homes. Earlier in his career, he held underwriting and mortgage operations positions in the lending units of Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Founded in 2019, Button Finance plans to expand into other products over the next two years, according to Harris.

“We’re probably going to expand into other mortgages first and unsecured consumers, but it really depends on the market at the time. It just seems like there is such an open playing field today with home equity, ”Harris said.

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