Mortgage origination volumes reached a record in 2020 driven by a spike in purchase and refi volumes off of the back of record low interest rates and near record home sales. Despite a slight slowdown in 1Q 2021, volumes look to remain robust supported by an accommodative Fed. After briefly collapsing during the COVID-19 crisis, consumer credit levels have rebounded past pre-pandemic highs and are growing in line withhistoric trends. The current low interest rate environment and compressed credit spreads is shining a light on the importance of reducing origination costs forall types of debt, spurring demand for lending technologies.After declining 48.9% during the COVID-19 crisis, AGC’s Lending Tech Index rebounded 191.4% through April 15, 2021 putting the group up69.2% since the beginning of 2020 and 7.4% YTD, beating the S&P 500 by 39.2% for the full period and only trailing by 2.4% YTD. The highly favorable public market backdrop paved the way for 6 names to join the ranks of publicly traded Lending Tech companies including Opendoor, United Home Mortgage, and Open Lending via SPAC mergers and Affirm, Rocket Mortgage, and Upstart via IPOs. The continued strong public market backdrop is setting up 2021 to be an even busier year with Blend filing for an IPO and Offerpad, Doma, Katapult, and Sofi with announced and pending SPAC mergers as of the date of this report.Year-to-date, 15 M&A transactions have been announced totaling $21B in deal value, on pace to easily beat 2020’s record of $52B in value. While the top of the market has been dominated by SPACs and big-box PEs, strategics in adjacent industries and PE platform companies have driven deal count as everyone from iBuyers to title companies look to participate in the digitization of mortgage lending. The largest deal to date was the Stone Point / Insight joint bid to take real estate data provider CoreLogic private for 3.9x EV / LTM Revenue. SPACs captured the next three biggest deals with Offerpad at $2.4B (22.7x EV/Net Revenue), Doma at $3.0B (16.0x) and Sofi at $7.0B (11.3x).During 1Q 2021, 39 private placements were completed for a total value of $2.7B. As with M&A, private placement dollars are going to companies that speed up the process in obtaining a mortgage loan or expand access to financing residential real estate more broadly. The largest financing of 2021 so far was a £500M round by LendInvest (financed by J.P. Morgan), a UK based platform that helps property professionals secure bridge loans, development finance, and buy-to-let mortgages, disrupting the arcane CRE mortgage brokerage business. Other notable mortgage tech rounds were done by Better ($500M), Notarize ($130M), Blend ($300M), and SimpleNexus ($108M), the last two of which are believed to have been at multiples exceeding 15x revenue.

Lending Tech Market Update - A Deep Dive into Digital Finance

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