FirstClose Plans to Accelerate Growth with $35 Million Investment from Lateral

AUSTIN, Texas (May 17, 2022) - FirstClose, Inc., a leading fintech provider of data and workflow solutions for mortgage and home equity lenders nationwide, has closed a $35 million investment from growth equity firm Lateral Investment Management to accelerate its product and growth strategies. 

FirstClose provides underwriting workflow automation technology, point-of-sale software, and data services for the U.S. home equity and mortgage markets.  FirstClose will use the funds to expand its ever-growing financial services footprint to leverage property data intelligence, industry-leading partners, and groundbreaking technology to enable lenders to compete for and close consumer loans unlike any other solution in the industry.

“FirstClose is excited to announce this next step in our company’s journey,” said Tedd Smith, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FirstClose.  “Our mission has always been to improve the way that banks and credit unions serve consumers by accelerating loan closing times, increasing loan volumes and reducing costs. This year, as interest rates continue to rise and home equity lending volumes skyrocket, this funding will allow us to continue innovating faster and provide a superior customer experience, while delivering end-to-end solutions that are in high demand in today's constantly changing lending environment.” 

Soaring home prices have made home equity lending products a clear option for lenders looking to diversify their lending portfolios while creating new revenue streams.  The increase in mortgage rates since the beginning of the year has caused the additional demand for home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and other home equity lending products to increase significantly.  The new funding for FirstClose is the first institutional equity investment round in the company which has been self-funded since it was founded in 2000. 

“Lateral is excited to partner with the FirstClose team as they accelerate growth,” said Stuart Barden, Managing Director at Lateral Investment Management, a San Mateo, California-based growth equity investment firm. “We believe that FirstClose has a critical role to play in streamlining the origination, underwriting and closing processes in the $200 billion consumer home loan market.” 

Based in Austin, Texas, FirstClose provides solutions that dramatically reduce the time to close HELOCs and mortgages for more than 400 banks and credit union customers.  Lenders using the FirstClose EquityIQ solution have experienced a 35% increase in online applications, a 25% increase in pull through, and a 77% reduction in time to close from application to funding. The company has strategic partnerships with MeridianLink and other industry-leading LOS companies to embed its workflow automation and data solutions into their platforms.

“We want to keep providing more value for our customers.  The demand for a simple and easy way to get instant feedback on a home value, available home equity, and instant loan decision while applying for a HELOC has become a business imperative,” said Tim Smith, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of FirstClose.  “We are expanding our sales and customer success teams to serve more customers across the home loan market.  By partnering with Lateral, we have found a team that has the skills and experience to support our growth – both organically and through acquisition.”

FirstClose recently expanded the leadership team to add Pat Carney as Chief Technology Officer and Kathy Mantych as Senior Vice President of Sales.  Carney has more than 20 years of industry experience formulating strategies and developing innovative products for the real estate and title industries, including as Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at ClosingCorp.  Mantych has been a veteran sales leader in the mortgage banking and financial services industries.  


Black Knight Empower LOS Now Integrated with DocMagic

Lights-out integration with Empower LOS streamlines loan document generation and compliance 

TORRANCE, Calif., May 17, 2022DocMagic, Inc., the premier provider of loan document generation, compliance support and comprehensive eMortgage services, announced an integration with Empower, Black Knight’s loan origination system (LOS), to help automate the DocMagic document generation process for lenders and provide access to additional DocMagic services.

Lenders now have access directly from Empower to DocMagic’s intelligent document generation solution, supporting compliance, data integrity and trackability. DocMagic’s data-driven technology leverages its sophisticated audit engine for automated data validation testing and regulatory compliance audits to analyze relevant compliance rules, regulations and applicable laws, assisting lenders with compliance on pertinent loan documents throughout the lending process.

“We are pleased to integrate with Black Knight to facilitate digital document generation and compliance support for the mortgage industry’s leading lenders,” stated Dominic Iannitti, president and CEO of DocMagic. “Black Knight has done an outstanding job aligning with key market providers to support their customer base, significantly growing its LOS business. We’re excited that this integration for document generation will also pave the way to provide lenders with the benefits of additional DocMagic solutions.” 

Black Knight’s end-to-end, feature rich LOS platform supports a growing digital lending ecosystem designed to support business expansion. The cloud-based system offers advanced capabilities that automate the lending process from start to finish. Empower is configured to support a lender-specific workflow and operates in tandem with DocMagic’s automated and continuous compliance checks on relevant documents at key points throughout the process. 

“Empower’s strategic integration with DocMagic offers tremendous benefits to Empower users by providing innovative, lights-out integration to support best-in-class document generation, while preserving the integrity of the data and tracking it throughout the loan process,” said Rich Gagliano, president, Black Knight Origination Technologies. “Together, Black Knight and DocMagic can help lenders support their compliance efforts and provide borrowers with a more satisfying loan experience.”

              Kansas City-based Nutter Home Loans, the first mutual Black Knight and DocMagic client to go-live with the Empower integration to DocMagic, is experiencing positive results. The national lender was founded in 1951 and originates Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, and USDA loans. 

              "Nutter is committed to making the lending process as easy as possible for our customers," stated Tera Guy, EVP of operations at Nutter Home Loans. "DocMagic’s integration with Black Knight delivers multiple efficiencies for our borrowers and our support staff. Like Nutter, the team at DocMagic places paramount emphasis on delivering service excellence, and in part, this is one of the primary reasons we engaged with them. We look forward to continued optimization of our service through future capability expansions.”



Appraisal Logistics Taps Green as Chief Strategy Officer

Collateral valuation expert and industry veteran joins to help drive development.

Washington, D.C., – May 16, 2022 –Appraisal Logistics, a leading provider of high quality appraisal management technology and compliance solutions for the residential/commercial mortgage industry, announced today that Elizabeth Green, an industry veteran and collateral valuation expert who has served the mortgage industry for 30 years, has joined the company as Chief Strategy Officer. In her new role, she will maintain a 360-degree view of the company, direct product and services innovation that impact the company’s current lender clients, their borrowers, valuation professionals and the industry as a whole.

“Liz has worked for some of the leading companies in the space and has supported the industry through her work with the trade associations. That’s the kind of experience we want in a Chief Strategy Officer,” said Frank Danna, Co-Founder and CEO of Appraisal Logistic Solutions, Inc. “She’s an industry software product professional who understands sales, marketing, and operations. She’s going to make a perfect addition to our management team.”

Previously, Green served as Chief Data & Product Solutions Officer for LoanLogics. Before that she was President of Centric Technologies, a hosted-technology solution for DIY appraisal quality review for residential real estate appraisal. Earlier in her career she was the Director of Strategic Technology Solutions for Supreme Lending, Director of Valuation Technologies for ACI (now First American), Vice-President of New Product Development for Solidifi, and Vice-President of Valuation Services & Product Development for Basis100.

Green has served the industry as a volunteer for a number of organizations including ECCMA, where she served as Chair of the Property Standards committee; the Open Geospatial Consortium; MISMO, where she has served for the last decade as Chair of the Property & Valuation Community of Practice; and the Collateral Risk Network, where she also currently serves as Chair of the Standards Committee. She is the recipient of an ECCMA Fellowship Award, a MISMO Staff Appreciation Award and is a Mortgage Banking Magazine Tech All Star.

“Appraisal Logistics is a nimble company with an entrepreneurial management team that brings both talent and vision,” Green said. “I am very impressed with the success they’ve achieved and their longevity in the industry. Frank and his partners embrace the opportunity to lead change and now is the time to do it. Their cloud native technology is well positioned for the industry’s coming changes and modernization efforts. I’m excited to become a part of the dynamic environment they have created. I’m delighted to join the company at such an exciting time.”

Liz can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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