We’ll start with the fun stuff.
Today, we’re excited to officially launch Vesta and announce that we’ve partnered with and raised $35 million from some of the best investors in the world — including a16z, Conversion Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, and Zigg Capital! We couldn’t be more grateful, humbled, and excited to build and deliver the next generation of core infrastructure for mortgage.
We’ve spent a lot of time with mortgage lenders and banks, and the one thing that has been strikingly clear is that financial institutions everywhere recognize the need to reframe themselves to be technology companies, and are doing so with remarkable urgency.
Historically, lenders met customers almost entirely in the local community, whether it be at church, in a branch, or via a real estate agent. But as demographics have shifted, and consumers increasingly spend most of their day in front of a screen (only accelerated by the pandemic), the core focus of banks has also changed. Nowadays, they interact with customers primarily online and differentiate from one other through their technology choices. This means that instead of picking one vendor with the most features, or working off pen and paper, lenders now ask: “What is the best solution for this step? And are we going to build that here, or find a partner?” This has produced an incredible opportunity for mortgage technology companies to innovate across every part of the customer journey — from borrower experience to pricing to title — and finally bring best-of-breed solutions to the industry.
Yet despite all this, the core systems that the mortgage industry runs on have not changed since they were built last century. These systems, which originate all mortgage loans and are the systems of record that all other tech solutions must integrate into, have not been built to modern standards and are still walled gardens architecturally. These legacy cores restrict lenders from becoming truly tech-forward, and their closed architecture makes it exceedingly difficult for modern tech solutions to integrate deeply with the lenders, holding back the technological progress of the industry as a whole.
This is why we built Vesta. Vesta is fundamentally a bet on a core transformation — that in order to build a fully automated process and fully digital customer journeys, lenders will have to adopt a system of record platform that is modern, open, and orchestrated by best-in-class software workflows.
This vision for Vesta has been over 5 years in the making. Devon and I met in 2016 at Blend, which pioneered the modern mortgage stack and convinced the industry that people would indeed apply for mortgages online. Devon was the first engineer and an engineering leader at Blend, and I had somehow convinced them to take me on as the first-ever product intern. Over the next four years, we would work closely together as Blend grew from 50 to 500 employees and from single-digit to over 100 customers by the time we left, including some of the biggest banks. Through that time, we collaborated closely on a number of projects, keeping the platform scaling as we launched our first big customers, trying to start entire new business lines with a single engineer, and sampling every boba shop in FiDi on our weekly walks. It was an incredible journey but by 2020, we knew it was time for us to embark on an adventure of our own.
In the coming months, we’ll share much more about what we’re building and our vision for the future — and the long-term opportunities lenders will have by switching to Vesta. We’re incredibly excited to share our funding news and even more importantly, that we’re hiring to take Vesta to the next level! We’ve brought on a stellar team, and we’re excited to continue to grow the team across all functions, especially engineering, product, and design, in the new year. If you’re excited to transform a core platform in financial services, raise the ceiling for one of the biggest industries in America, and do it with an incredible team, please reach out!