- Staircase, a Philadelphia-based company, has developed an application programming interface (API) that aims to connect the mortgage origination process’s several players.
- Staircase promises to provide a superior and significantly faster experience for customers and mortgage lenders by aggregating all parties.
- The firm asserts that its API enables all process participants to interact “in a matter of clicks,” lowering the time required to secure a mortgage to 10 days and the cost of origination to $1,000.
If you’ve ever applied for a mortgage, you know that the process can be time-consuming, costly, and frequently painful — both in terms of completing the application and then waiting for the transaction to finish. In recent years, several digital lenders have developed to infuse the process with more technology, making it less laborious and time-consuming. We have seen fewer entrepreneurs developing the digital infrastructure necessary to assist these lenders in delivering mortgages much more quickly than was previously possible.
Staircase, a Philadelphia-based business, has created an application programming interface (API), which attempts to connect the many stakeholders in the mortgage origination process. By combining all of these stakeholders, Staircase commits to offering a better — and much faster — experience for consumers and mortgage lenders.
According to Adam Kalamchi, CEO and co-founder of Staircase, the sheer number of entities and systems that must communicate and evaluate data to originate a loan complicates the procedure. The lack of a common language among these systems complicates matters further. They are developing an orchestration layer that connects all parties and instantly makes all of these new mortgage-related technologies available.
Staircase promises a superior experience for its customers
A mortgage loan presently takes an average of 45 days to get, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has reported that total loan production expenses will average $9,140 per loan in the third quarter of 2021. Staircase claims that its API enables all participants in the process to communicate “in just a few clicks,” reducing the time required to obtain a mortgage to ten days and the cost to originate a loan to $1,000.
Kalamchi (a former proptech investor) and co-founder Soofi Safavi (who spent years in application development at JPMorgan Chase) founded Staircase after noticing a lack of purpose-built mortgage API infrastructure. So many great technologies are available, but they must be integrated one by one. And they are all unique. They’re here to make it better, faster, and cheaper. The Staircase is the AWS marketplace for the mortgage sector. As with AWS, they want their solution to be self-contained and straightforward to integrate.
That is an audacious claim. However, one on which several investors are ready to wager. Staircase has raised $18 million in a Series A round led by Bessemer Ventures, increasing its total funding to $24 million since its founding in early 2020. Additionally, the round was funded by RRE Ventures, Avid Ventures, Clocktower Technology Ventures, MetaProp Ventures, and Zigg Capital.
As with many of their most successful developer platform investments at Bessemer and in the industry, Charles Birnbaum, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, stated that the Staircase team has been working diligently to build a platform for developers that addresses the mortgage industry’s most critical data, integration, and workflow problems. After getting to know Staircase since its inception and working with early customers, they were excited to support them in their mission to finally bring the slowest moving segments of the financial services landscape into the cloud by making modern solutions more accessible without completely replacing legacy systems.
One exciting aspect of Staircase’s APIs is that their founders claim they can benefit a broad range of entities, including government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, employment verification services, first-generation mortgage technology providers such as Ellie Mae and Black Knight, mortgage insurers, retail banks, and wholesale banks. This also appeals to Bessemer.
Birnbaum explains that while there have been some great new products that have enabled the mortgage industry to begin providing more digital experiences to their end customers over the last several years, there has been no trustworthy platform like Staircase to tie it all together and collaborate with both innovative, digital-first and legacy providers to automate more processes and leverage the cloud in the same way that many other segments of consumer financial services have.
Staircase intends to spend some of its new funds on hiring to continue developing its product. Over 40 of the company’s 50 employees are engineers. As Kalamchi stated that It’s simply a matter of product development and maturation, followed by market entry and ensuring that the technology benefits borrowers.