With rumors of an impending IPO swirling, Better has just received a $500 million investment from Japanese investment giant SoftBank, valuing the online mortgage lender at $6 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company is now hiring at its NYC headquarters, with more than 100 open tech positions available now.
SoftBank’s investment comes at a time of massive growth for Better, which just brought in a $200 million Series D in November that valued the company at $4 billion. People familiar with the deal told the Journal that SoftBank is buying shares from Better’s existing investors and agreed to give all its voting rights to CEO and founder Vishal Garg as a “sign of its eagerness” to invest in the company.
Home financing hasn’t always been this hot, though. Better came on the scene in 2016, at a time when mortgage lending was a “trillions-of-dollar industry that the internet forgot” and was bogged down by “phones and faxes,” as Garg put it in a 2019 interview with Built In. The company works to fix that by helping users complete their entire financing process, from title policy to home insurance, through its digital marketplace of mortgage lenders.
Now, the COVID-19 pandemic and record-low mortgage rates have fueled a massive wave of home buying and refinancing activity in the last year, driving demand for platforms like Better’s way up.
Back in November, the company told Built In its loan volume had grown by 4x in a year. It told TechCrunch recently that it has funded $14 billion in loan volume in the first quarter of 2021 alone, and is currently funding more than $4 billion in loans a month. This rapid growth is what ultimately attracted SoftBank to Better, as reported by the Journal.