Anatomy of the Deal: Why Willow Was Ready for Seed Money

Anatomy of the Deal: Why Willow Was Ready for Seed Money

“Thomvest has, from a focused perspective, spent the past decade investing via fintech and over the past five or so years in real estate technology, or more specifically, mortgage technology,” he said. “We surveyed the tech landscape in the mortgage. Software and automation became table stakes in the build process – I think Rocket did a lot to encourage and catalyze that industry as it was gaining market share while the bigger banks started the modernization strategy. So we invested in companies like Blend, in The point of sale side, and we are an investor in Maxwell which also has a point of sale offering.”

This is not to say that defining companies to invest was not a systematic process: “For a long time, we have been interested in the category of mortgage services, more from a user perspective. The process of transferring service rights from the originator to the owner of these service rights felt unraveling.”

Read more: Mortgage solutions platform among the fastest growing private companies

What’s more, the net Promoter Score (NPS) for most companies in the industry – a measure of customer loyalty to a company’s brand, products or services – is among the lowest in the business-to-consumer (B2C) category, adding another and suggesting the challenge in assessing companies. “The NPS scores in the Mortgage Service category are very low – some of the lowest in any B2C category. Then we also realized the dominance of the single vendor providing services in the form of Black Knight. We knew we were interested in the service but weren’t sure what the right project investments would be in This category. We looked at a lot of companies in this category.”

Wiedlick suggested the emergence of willow as a natural fit for a Thomvest investment. And he gives much of the credit for the digital platform’s allure to lead CEO and co-founder Laura Cain, who previously served as Senior Director of Product at Snapdocs. As it happened, I also worked for a while at Thomvest.

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