Thoughts from our Founder: In Fintech Dog Years
In 2018, LenderClose was a presenter at NACUSOs Next Big Idea competition.
By Omar Jordan, Founder & CEO
In 2018, LenderClose was a presenter at NACUSOs Next Big Idea competition. We had received our first credit union investment not long before and were a small, but mighty, team of three serving 27 credit union and community bank clients. We were a young company, inspired and energized by the strivers and success stories around us that night.
Four years later this April, we were honored to take the very same stage at the NACUSO Network Conference. I accepted the Contemporary CUSO of the Year award on behalf of the LenderClose team, which today is more than 70 and growing.
Four years isn't a lot of time. (Is there a dog years equivalent for fintech?) But for us, four years has marked many significant milestones. In that time, LenderClose:
Grew from a team of three to 70+, hiring the best talent at every opportunity.
Expanded our office space to more than 24,000 square feet.
Went from 27 financial institution clients to nearly 400.
Raised $11.35 million in capital ( A + B rounds).
Continuously put our clients first.
Reviewing that list of accomplishments, I'm reminded of the unbridled potential of this team. If I have learned anything about the journey of entrepreneurship, it's that no one founder builds alone.
Dream, Try, Fail, and Succeed Bigger
A talented and empowered team has absolutely been the foundation of our success. I look back now and see that we had the right people at the right time, for each stage of the company's growth.
We are a very different company than we were four years ago. Our technology has evolved significantly, thanks to product development teams that iterate and solve problems in a very nimble way. This is due, in no small part, to the credit union and community bank clients that care deeply about the experience they create for borrowers and are willing to put that experience to work, building alongside LenderCloses product experts, developers and technologists. When they make us a partner in solving problems, it pushes the envelope for creating stronger products, faster.
One of the reasons I'm confident in a bright future for LenderClose is the collaborative decision-making that takes place here every day. Even some of the biggest, most audacious decisions are not left to C-suite executives alone. I'm continuously amazed at what happens when founders hire the right people and give them the space to dream, try, fail and ultimately succeed in ways those founders never imagined possible. It has certainly happened here at LenderClose.
There's an important reason I'm eager to praise our team. Because of how we work with our clients, our team is their team. LenderClose employees enabled the company's growth by working side by side with lenders to achieve their goals, and our goals naturally followed.
Upleveling Partners Matters More Than Upleveling Budget
Increasing technology spend to compete with big banks and fintechs is a challenging proposition. Instead, credit unions and community banks are partnering with fintechs like LenderClose to keep pace with borrowers expectations while operating efficiently. We invest in innovation, technology and top talent because delivering incredible value means we will all succeed.
We are continuing to put resources into automation because we know that is necessary for our clients to create the ultimate borrowing experience. We are focused on removing the pain points from backend lending processes that inevitably become the borrowers pain points.
With each passing year, the goalpost for what makes the ultimate borrowing experience will continue to move. The team we have in place, which includes our board of directors and investors, will not only move with it, but will no doubt move ahead of it. In a fintech dog year, who knows what we will accomplish together.
Special thanks to the current group of LenderClose credit union investors:, Ardent Federal Credit Union, Ascentra Credit Union, Collins Community Credit Union, Financial Plus Credit Union, Serve Credit Union, Strata Credit Union, and Tucson Federal Credit Union.