Tech startup Blooma launches out stealth with $2.75 million seed funding for its loan origination AI platform
Blooma, a tech startup that reduces time to revenue for commercial lenders, launches out of stealth with $2.75 million seed funding to transform the lending experience for commercial and private lenders and other organizations. The financing was led by Floodgate, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based investor. Other backers include: Abstract Ventures, Crescent Ridge Partners and Serra Ventures. In conjunction with the funding, Blooma also announced that Arjun Chopra, Partner at Floodgate, has taken a board seat, joining Blooma Co-founder and Chairman Michael Persall and Co-founder and CEO Shayne Skaff on the board.
As the company’s first outside seed round, the funding will be used to further build out the company’s engineering, operations, product, marketing and sales infrastructure, moving toward scaling the business for accelerated growth.
Founded in 2018, the San Diego-based Blooma automates AI-driven decision making to reduce the time, cost and risk associated with commercial loan origination. It drives a faster, more intelligent and profitable commercial lending experience using an automated AI-driven platform. Blooma reduces commercial loan origination time and costs by as much as 75% and significantly improves time to revenue for private and commercial banks and other lending organizations.
Blooma, which launched its first production module in May 2019, offers the first AI-driven platform designed to take commercial lenders from the point of the borrower’s request all the way to the credit memo stage without manual intervention. Early users of the platform have been able to reduce loan origination time and costs by as much as 75%.
“The Blooma platform improves lending profitability and quickly aligns lenders with desired borrower profiles, enabling them to make better decisions and speed the overall origination process, from prioritizing the right deals, to creating configurable workflows and risk settings, to driving simplicity and productivity throughout every stage of the complex commercial lending process,” said Skaff. “In early use cases, our commercial lending customers are experiencing significant improvements in time to revenue.”
Blooma’s target customers include lending organizations, such as commercial and private banks, with $1 billion or more in commercial real estate assets. The company aims to license the Blooma platform to these lenders, enabling customization that meets each customer’s precise requirements for borrower profiles, compliance preferences, sales pipeline management and more.
“We are excited about our recent implementation of Blooma. The ability to manage our loan pipeline in a more efficient and automated manner drives better, faster decision making, resulting in improved overall experience for our customers and healthier loan quality for the bank,” said A.J. Moyer, CEO of C3bank. “Also, the asset valuation module is a real game changer for our underwriting process. The ability to get instant feedback on commercial real estate valuations early on in the underwriting process will allow us to make better loan decisions throughout the organization, resulting in higher quality loans and overall profitability for the bank.”
As Founder and Chairman of ABP Capital and C3bank, Persall has vast experience in commercial lending. A successful technology entrepreneur, Skaff spent more than a decade as Co-founder and President of MaintenanceNet, Inc., a software platform provider that automated how companies managed and transacted annuities. He successfully sold MaintenanceNet to Cisco Systems, Inc. in 2015. Rounding out the executive management team is Chief Technology Officer Shy Blick, an accomplished technology pioneer and skilled entrepreneur with a 28-year track record in delivering big data, AI and machine learning systems, as well as a long history of collaboration with Skaff.
Until now, Blooma has been self-funded through both Mooring Ventures, Skaff’s boutique investment firm, and ABP Capital, Persall’s privately capitalized financing company. The idea behind Blooma started with Persall, who approached Skaff to help build a platform to automate his commercial loan origination business. After months of evaluation, research, and technology and market analysis, Skaff agreed to build the SaaS platform through The Sandbox, an incubator and accelerator organization he founded in 2017 to nurture innovation for AI and machine learning technologists.