New billionaire, 25 year old Austin Russell, CEO of Luminar Technologies

Austin Russell, the 25-year-old, who at 17 founded Luminar Technologies, a maker of sensor-tech for self-driving cars, became a billionaire after his company went public via SPAC last Thursday.

Gores Metropoulos, a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC firm (organizations that are created solely to combine with another firm and take on its stock listing), bought Luminar in August in preparation for the initial public offering. Luminar reportedly raised about $7.8 billion in its market debut on Nasdaq Thursday, as shares sold at $22.98, up 28% from the initial asking price.  

Russell’s stake of 104.7 million shares, worth $2.4 billion according to Forbes, makes Russell the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.

Time Magazine’s Dec. 14, 2020 issue, featuring 15-year-old Gitanjali Rao

In other firsts among young super achievers, Gitanjali Rao, 15, of Lone Tree, Colorado won the first Kid of the Year award granted by Time Magazine. She was one of the top five finalists from more than 5,000 Americans ages 8 to 16, who “have already achieved positive impact.”

Time said it selected Rao for using tech to do good not because she’s a tech-wiz per se, but for her commitment to increasing peer awareness and engagement in solving critical social issues ranging from opioid addiction, cyber-bullying and contaminated drinking water, according to Time.  

Meanwhile, Snapchat announced that it plans to grant up to $1 million by December 31, 2020, to platform users who participate in a contest of images captured using Snapchat’s technology.

While we’re on the subject of millions and billions, the global servicing tech market is expected to reach an impressive $2.43B over the next five years. In other industry news, FI Consulting & QFlow deliver the updated Form 1003, SoftWorks AI & Tavant also join forces, and Ellie Mae releases Ecompass 20.2

Global loan servicing tech market to reach $2.43B during 2020-2024

The loan servicing software market likely will grow by $2.43 billion, progressing at a CAGR of almost 12% during 2020-2024, led by the US and Canada, according to the latest market research report published by global technology research and advisory company Technavio.

By geography, North America will have “a lucrative growth during the forecast period,” with nearly 48% of the overall market growth expected to originate from North America.

The loan servicing software market likely will grow by $2.43 billion

“Increased financing offering for mortgage lenders by the federal government created government-sponsored enterprises is one of the key factors driving the growth of the market in North America,” analysts wrote.

The US and Canada are the key markets for loan servicing software in North America, the report notes, as market growth in this region “will be faster than the growth of the market in APAC.”

Vendors covered by the report include Black Knight Inc., Fiserv Inc., ISGN Corp., LOAN SERVICING SOFT Inc., Mortgage Builder, Nortridge Software LLC, Shaw Systems Associates LLC, Applied Business Software Inc.

Entitled Global Loan Servicing Software Market 2020-2024, the report found, “the rising demand for efficiency in lending operations is one of the major factors propelling the market growth,” even though factors such as “the threat from open-source loan servicing software will hamper the market growth.”

The loan servicing software deployment landscape “saw maximum growth in the cloud-based segment in 2019,” driven by increased digitization of businesses, expanding geographical presence of financial services companies, and innovations in data security, the report notes. Data suggest market growth in the segment “will be significant” during 2020-2024.

Technavio’s forecast scenarios may be optimistic, probable, and pessimistic when considering the impact of COVID-19. The reports offer market share assessments at the regional and country-level based on market data for 2019, 2020, until 2024, including market trends drivers, opportunities, threats, investment opportunities, and strategic recommendations based on the market estimations and competitive landscape.

FI Consulting & QFlow integrate form 1003

FI Consulting, a fintech specialized in supporting federal agencies, and cloud based QFlow Systems, have joined forces to integrate the document intake and processing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) or Form 1003 into FI Consulting’s Program Investment Manager (PIM).PIM will support federal direct and guaranteed loan programs.

The new Form 1003 redesigned to comply with the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) v3.4 data specification, will become available for use by all lenders on January 1, 2021 and becomes mandatory on March 1, 2021.

PIM is the first suite of FedRAMP-compliant SaaS applications built on Microsoft’s low-code Power Platform technology “specifically to help federal agencies manage loans, grants, and other subsidy investment programs” from origination to closing, according to the company website. It consists of several applications implemented individually as value-added components to existing system architecture or as an integrated suite.

QFlow Systems’ Q-Action, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) Content Services Platform (CSP) for document, workflow, and electronic records management, so far primarily used by the public sector, government organizations.

Q-Action will integrate with PIM to provide more support to PIM customers.

“Agencies have been struggling to integrate the new URLA into their existing loan origination and underwriting systems in advance of the implementation deadlines,” said Robert Silverman, managing director of FI Consulting’s platform application business. “This integration is an example of our continued commitment to Program Investment Manager as the only COTS software product built specifically for federal credit programs.”

The Q-Action and PIM integration provides compliant intake and document management of new URLA application forms, integrating the data into PIM’s loan application processing engine.

“We’re excited to partner with FI Consulting, combining our respective strengths built on deep expertise and experience, to bring natively-integrated, out-of-the-box solutions to our customers,” said Tim Koehler, president of QFlow.

SoftWorks AI & Tavant strategic alliance

SoftWorks AI, an artificial intelligence powered mortgage automation firm, has entered into a strategic alliance with Silicon Valley-based AI lending peer, Tavant to provide touchless document data automation.

SoftWorks AI’s document automation capabilities will now integrate with Tavant’s FinCapture document ingestion platform.

Headquartered in Forest Hills, N.Y., SoftWorks AI brings to the partnership over 20 years of applied artificial intelligence and computer vision expertise in mortgage lending designed to achieve touchless automation across the mortgage ecosystem.

“Today’s mortgage technology landscape does not adequately address the need to shorten cycle times and improve data quality,” said Tom Wuensch, COO, SoftWorks AI. “This partnership combines SoftWorks AI’s decades of experience in transforming documents to actionable data with Tavant’s deep expertise in mortgage automation to support all phases of the digital mortgage lifecycle. Together, we are helping firms streamline their mortgage process.”

FinCapture automates essential processes such as document indexing and classification, data extraction, data validation and documentation audits, generating critical loan file management information. The SoftWorks AI platform will allow for automated extractions of data from transactional loan documents by instantly and accurately recognizing documents “enabling lenders to complete normally time-consuming reviews in a matter of seconds,” according to Tavant.

Tavant’s VΞLOX suite of products currently help originate one out of every four loans in the United States, according to the company website.

The integration offers lenders substantial loan origination, efficiency improvements, said Mohammad Rashid, head of fintech practice at Tavant. “Together, we are providing an automated solution that will help firms eliminate many time-consuming tasks and instead focus their efforts on quicker decisioning, increased productivity, superior data quality, and reduced mortgage cycle times,” that also substantially improve the client experience.

ICE Mortgage Tech’s Encompass 20.2

ICE Mortgage Technology recently announced its enhanced Encompass 20.2 software includes enhancements that enable lenders to boost their lending and investing productivity.

“With this major release of Encompass, we are providing new levels of automated service ordering, efficient and collaborative workflows and the foundation for our hybrid eClosing which we are launching in just a few weeks,” said Joe Tyrrell, president, ICE Mortgage Technology.

“This is mission critical for lenders, especially when they are experiencing peak volumes, remote workforces and homebuyers seeking high tech capabilities with human touch availability.”

The enhanced Encompass Loan Origination System (LOS) now includes several condition and document management features.

Condition Management – offers lenders flexibility in supporting an omni-channel approach to that improves user experience via Encompass, Encompass LO Connect and Encompass TPO Connect.

It provides a more flexible, lender-configurable model that can support omni-channel business models; enhanced administrative tools; granular options for condition management controls; and extends APIs to support external workflow engines.

Document Management – capabilitieshelp reduce the time it takes lenders to save and open loans as well as how lenders order and manage documents. A new document viewer leverages cloud infrastructure and automatic document conversation to achieve five times faster uploads.

New editing options eliminate third-party dependencies for viewers, side-by-side data and document comparison; while the new document management workflow and document viewer leverage the capabilities of the v3 Encompass Developer Connect eFolder Attachment APIs that are “backward compatible to Encompass.”

All enhancements have been market tested by the lenders participating in the pilot program, the company said.

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