Original Tech helps banks offer better loan applications

Americans apply for more than 250 million new financial products each year, but the majority of those applications are completed on paper or over the phone. A startup called Original Tech wants to change that by providing white-label software to improve loan applications completed online.

While many of the big financial institutions have their own in-house engineering teams focused on building better products for consumers, it’s difficult for the mid-market and smaller banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders to compete on the customer-facing user experience. That’s where Original Tech comes in.

It enables borrowers to apply for loans on desktop, tablet or mobile devices without needing to go through the manual process of filling out paper applications or fax documents to the financial institution.

For lenders, Original Tech takes care of the data collection, fraud prevention and compliance enforcement. But its system is designed to work within lenders’ existing workflows and allows them to apply all their own underwriting rules.

Original Tech was founded by Heang ChanSean Li and Chris Blaser, all of whom are former employees of Blend, a B2B fintech company focused on providing technology solutions to mortgage lenders. Like Blend, the Original Tech team wants to take the pain out of the application process for borrowers, while also increasing application completion, and thus increasing the number of loans issued by lenders.

There are a few differences, however: Blend is currently focused almost exclusively on providing white-label tools to process mortgage applications, while Original Tech’s system can be used for multiple different lending products.

In addition, Blend historically has taken a top-down view of customer acquisition, going after some of the largest financial institutions as its anchor clients. Meanwhile, Original Tech is targeting the mid-market and below for its initial customer outreach, as it believes it can best serve financial institutions with limited engineering resources.

Finally, Blend has raised about $60 million since being founded, while Original Tech is angel-funded and just got started. That said, Original Tech is angel-funded and just about to graduate from Y Combinator’s Summer 2017 class.

Though it just launched, Original Tech has signed up 10 customers, including banks like Metropolitan Capital Bank, Rockhold Bank, Conventus Lending, Guarantee Mortgage, Loan Factory, Pacific Private Money and Clear Choice Credit. With Demo Day next week, the company is hoping to attract more funding and maybe also some new customer interest.