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'Uber' of mortgage lending picks up $3.8M

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Mortgage lending is still quite broken, and the crisis of the mid-to-late 2000s only made lenders even more fearful of getting tangled up with unreliable borrowers.

But one company, Privlo, is not convinced that traditional mortgage lenders are catching all good loan candidates. So with a fresh $3.8 million in seed funding, it’s setting out to build an alternative mortgage-lending company.

By using various sets of data and proprietary software, Privlo finds people who might have been denied traditional mortgage financing, but who, according to its criteria, are still reliable candidates. It then issues them a loan, which they interact with through Privlo’s site. Privlo first underwrites the loan and then passes it on to an unnamed investor, which has committed $350 million to Privlo-issued loans.

Privlo is essentially building a mortgage bank.

The idea came from founder and chief executive Michael Slavin’s experience in mortgage private equity, where he started to see dislocations in private lending capital in real estate, he said to VentureBeat in an interview. He founded Privlo, which actually first started in peer-to-peer lending, and after successfully booking $28 million in loans, it decided to shift from peer-to-peer to peer-to-business.

So, unlike the services of other online lending sites such as Lending Club and Prosper, Privlo can scale much more.

Slavin said that while there are some small competitors working on this, it’s focused on a small and local scale, and it has been keeping quiet. Privlo is shooting for a much larger scale than them.

Privlo also wants to be the “Uber of lending,” as Slavin described it, keeping customers in the loop the entire time about what’s going on with their loans, as well as provide a great experience along with great rates.

The company plans on sticking to mortgage loans for the foreseeable future, although expanding beyond that could someday be a possibility, said Slavin. Privlo is currently operating in Texas, Colorado, Maryland, and Virginia, and is waiting for the regulatory green light to enter California.

Spark Capital and QED Investors provided the funding for this round, and the company plans on using the funding to grow its team and for marketing and brand awareness.

Privlo was founded in 2011 by Michael Slavin, and is located in Los Angeles.

 

 

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