LoanSnap, the self-styled “smart loan” company backed by billionaire Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and former NFL quarterback Joe Montana, is kicking butt and taking names. The San Francisco startup raised $8 million in July 2018 for its artificially intelligent (AI) platform that matches loan options with buyers, and in November it rolled out a bespoke service for military personnel. Now, to further its campaign against the U.S.’ collective $931 billion in household credit card debt and the “dumb loans” that cost U.S. borrowers $58 billion in 2017, it’s raising more capital.
LoanSnap today announced that it has raised an additional $4.7 million in a round led by Thomvest Ventures, along with existing investors, including Baseline Ventures, Branson’s Virgin Group, Core Innovation Partners, Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures, OVO Fund, Transmedia Ventures, and angel investors. This brings its total capital raised to $17 million and will be used to expand its offerings and team in the months to come.
“Since our launch last year, we’ve received widespread positive feedback, and we’ve helped our customers improve their financial situation,” said CEO Karl Jacob, the early Facebook advisor and serial entrepreneur who cofounded LoanSnap with Allan Carroll in 2017. “This financing is a recognition of our strong progress toward helping consumers improve their financial situation. We are excited to have Thomvest Ventures as our strategic partner as we work to make financial stability more accessible to all Americans.”
LoanSnap claims its technology is the first to account for “important factors” like the U.S. financial environment, but the rest of its stack comprises pretty standard stuff. It regularly runs compliance checks to minimize potential snags in the application process. And when someone signs up for its service, LoanSnap pulls applicable personal data either by scanning their driver’s license (through apps on Android and iOS) or by cross-referencing their social security number and address, which it uses to identify the best-matched loan from “thousands.”
Before and after customers sign on the dotted line, they get financial recommendations, like “Pay off your credit card debt and save $580 per month” and “Get cash back by tapping into your home’s equity.”
LoanSnap began making loans last year after acquiring Costa Mesa, California-based lender DLJ Financial. The service is not available in all states just yet, but LoanSnap plans to expand this year.
“We are excited to work with Karl Jacob, Allan Carroll, and the entire LoanSnap team on their journey to improve housing finance,” said Thomvest Ventures’ Nima Wedlake. “As part of this investment, we plan to explore further ways to partner across the broader Thomvest platform, including via our real estate and credit funds.”