Mortgage Tech: The race to modernize with another $4 billion year in M&A

Fintech, Mortgage Services & Tech, Insurance, Banking & Payments

September 2018 — By John Mathis

As we and many others foreshadowed at the beginning of this year, the drive for innovation continues to propel M&A in MortgageTech. Investments in technology have dominated deal activity. Investors see opportunity in accelerating the burgeoning digital trends in the mortgage space. The success of these bets is tied to the importance of analytics, workflow and disruptive new technologies such as AI and blockchain.

We expect more activity consistent with ongoing themes: 1) Consolidation along the value chain to build scale; 2) Automation, including AI applications to modernize processes; and 3) Potentially disruptive changes to the industry model as mobility and digital innovations such as blockchain begin to take hold.

1. Consolidation

Trend Insight – Scale Still Matters

  • Rising regulatory costs combined with a sluggish home financing market is fueling an environment ripe for consolidation as incumbents look to strengthen their positions and smaller players try to catch up
  • The leading companies are acquiring technology to drive down costs and automate in all areas of the mortgage value-chain from origination to underwriting to servicing

Notable Transactions

  • In August, Pro Teck acquired Direct Valuation Solutions to add complimentary customers and scale to its AMC
  • In April 2018, Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF) announced a $1.2 billion cash and stock offer to consolidate a Title and Services competitor, Stewart Title (NYSE: STC), potentially raising its title insurance market share to above 40%

2. Automation

Trend Insight – Driving Out Mortgage Inefficiencies

  • Mortgage underwriting is a slow, tedious and multi-party process that is in the cross-hairs of investments in innovation and streamlined workflows. Automation through AI and machine-learning could accelerate a multi-day process down to a matter of hours

Notable Transaction

  • June 2018 – Black Knight acquired HeavyWater, an AI and machine-learning company that mimics cognitive thinking and conclusion-making, to add this capability to their LoanSphere solution

3. Blockchain

Trend Insight – New Disruptor

  • Blockchain technology has many potential applications in the mortgage chain. Banks and other loan providers benefit from full transparency and an immutable ledger, thus driving down the cost of due diligence, reducing errors in the chain of financing and valuation

Notable Transaction

  • May 2018 – R3 raised a $122mm funding round led by Bank of America, HSBC and dozens of other banks
  • R3 is led by a group of banks working together to create a blockchain-based distributed ledger technology

Mortgage Tech Capital Invested & Deal Count














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