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LoanSnap is a mortgage company that uses an app to streamline the approval process for homebuyers, offering what it calls “smartloans.”
Using a phone number, driver’s license photo, social security number and email address, LoanSnap rapidly assembles a user’s financial profile and returns a tacit approval in a matter of minutes for either a refi or a new loan on a property.
The app, available for both major mobile platforms, also asks for the address of the listing in question.
The company’s primary target is homes between $150,000 and $500,000, which don’t typically require specialized financing.
In a July press release, the company announced Series A funding of $8 million from True Ventures, Baseline Ventures, Core Innovation Partners and Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. In total, LoanSnap has raised $12.3 million.
Leveraging a number of established relationships and user permissions, LoanSnap takes care of all the underwriting work that often burdens a sale, such as bank account documentation, salary, current home value (if owners), credit reporting, investment information and other forms of financial verification and application hassles that commonly send buyers (and their agents) into a tizzy.
Alerts are sent to the buyer when something is missing, and if action isn’t taken, LoanSnap calls the buyer to ensure follow-up.
“I love to invest in companies that make people’s lives better and LoanSnap is exactly that,” said Sir Richard Branson in the press releases. “Its technology allows consumers to take control of their financial lives and will shake up the mortgage market.”
The company is confident its software can streamline all aspects of loan conditioning much faster than traditional mortgage brokers and banks.
In fact, in a call with Inman, LoanSnap’s CEO and founder Karl Jacob said the product will rapidly shorten the time it takes an agent to close a deal.
“By quarter three of next year, we’ll be within the realm of 10 days,” Jacob said.
The company has some obstacles to adoption, however.
For starters, most real estate agents pride themselves on long-established relationships with local mortgage professionals who are relied upon to prioritize their buyers and sellers.
There is also the general industry hesitancy to further “digitize” the transaction, especially when it comes to replacing personal relationships. The reluctance to embrace the “iBuyer” movement is a good example.
LoanSnap adds value beyond a faster mortgage application process. The app will also continually monitor its customers’ financial condition, a natural tentacle to extend given its reach into a person’s financial information during the mortgage process. It will suggest ways to save money, improve credit, and naturally, also offer refinance and equity line options.
The press release states that CEO Jacob was an early adviser to Facebook and has founded numerous companies, some of which were acquired by Microsoft, AT&T, Zazzle and Proofpoint. LoanSnap’s CTO Allan Carroll is a co-founder.
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