Editor’s note: Startup Spotlight is part of WRAL TechWire’s Startup Monday lineup.
DURHAM – A graduate of the 2019 IBM Accelerator in Charlotte, Home Lending Pal (HLP) is developing an app to help home hunters find lenders fundamentally different from similar services such as Lending Tree. It expects to wrap up beta testing and hit the market by March or April.
Founded in 2017 in Miami, now co-located in Durham and Orlando, HLP has raised $1.2 million in backing from angel investors, grants, and co-founder Bryan Young.
Young was formerly a successful strategic consultant for Marketo and longtime marketing professional. At 24 he was recognized by both Bloomberg and Ernst and Young as a top entrepreneur under the age of 40 for launching and building the BEC agency.
After selling the agency he was recruited by the VP of Sales at Marketo to launch the company’s strategy group where Bryan oversaw the Marketo instances at major companies including the NBA league office, Panasonic North America and Xerox EMEA.
A near foreclosure on his mother’s Orlando home, bought with a sub-prime loan when he was still a teenager, inspired his desire to start the company. He sold his condo and his luxury cars to initially fund the company. He teamed with co-founder Steven Better who has s background in finance and the mortgage industry to form HLP.
The company’s Home Lending Pal (HLP) is mortgage research software that simulates underwriting to help potential borrowers determine home loan affordability and compare the likelihood of approval with different lenders. It’s Intelligent Mortgage Advisor allows clients to easily find affordable mortgage options, uncover hidden homeownership costs, and identify lenders willing to work with them.
In an interview with WRAL TechWire, Young said HLP has several fundamental differences from similar services such as Lending Tree. After working with those, “You’ll be bombarded with sales calls,” Young said. “We’re more tied to the buyer’s ultimate success and their concerns rather than the lenders’.”
When a site visitor puts their personal information into the HLP portal, they are only going to see options catered to their needs. “When you understand those options, you become more purchase ready,” said Young.
“The goal is to be educated before you commit to the loan, to identify issues and concerns during the process and after you buy the home. We are consumer-centric. This is the difference between us and companies like Lending Tree,” Young explained.
HLP uses blockchain, bank-level data security, A.I., and machine-learning technologies. It’s a technology stack that’s intended to establish trust and transparency, the company says in its marketing materials.
Giving back to the community
The Founders’ drive to create change in the country, specifically for black, Indigenous and people of color communities led to their plans to give 2% back to the communities. “Steven is Latino. I am black—and less than 2% of the industry is made up of people like us,” said Young.
“For us, while we are a for-profit startup, our goal is to be a B corporation. Creating a social cause is important.”
The company is doing half its hiring in Durham, and half in Orlando. It recently hired two Duke graduates and another from the University of North Carolina.
“Our ultimate goal is to make a living—sure. But we are helping others accomplish a dream. I want one million people to own homes. That’s my goal right now,” said Young.”