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Mortgage-focused software startup Blend seeks US$4 billion valuation in US IPO

REUTERS: Blend Labs Inc, a digital banking platform focused on mortgage lending, is targeting a valuation of nearly US$4 billion in its initial public offering (IPO) in the United States, seeking to cash in on the boom in demand for online financial services.

Blend aims to sell 20 million shares priced between US$16 and US$18 each to raise up to US$360 million, it said in an amended filing on Tuesday.

The company, which had filed confidentially for its listing in April, was last valued at US$3.3 billion after a funding round in January.

Blend's cloud-based software platform digitizes banking, making it more convenient for customers to borrow money or deposit cash.

On average, more than US$5 billion in transactions are processed via the San Francisco-based company's platform every day. It had 291 customers including Wells Fargo & Co and Lennar Mortgage, as of last year.

The filing follows the busiest week of the year for U.S. IPOs, which saw more than a dozen companies enter the stock markets.

China's ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc debuted last week, while online brokerage Robinhood Markets Inc disclosed its IPO filing.

Low-interest rates brought on due to the pandemic last year have led to a rise in demand for mortgage insurance. Higher interest rates could hurt demand for Blend's platform, it said in the filing.

Blend was co-founded in 2012 by Nima Ghamsari, its current head and a former employee of analytics giant Palantir Technologies Inc. Ghamsari will have 68per cent of the voting power after the offering, the company said.

Timothy Mayopoulos, a former chief executive officer at mortgage finance company Fannie Mae, is the president of the startup.

Goldman Sachs & Co, Allen & Company and Wells Fargo Securities are the IPO's lead underwriters. Blend will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "BLND."

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

Source: Reuters


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