A recent acquisition of an Orlando tech firm will give Home Lending Pal the technical talent it needs to build out a deeper version of its online mortgage marketplace, which will use artificial intelligence to determine loan-worthiness.
The Horizons team will work to integrate a way for lenders to engage with the platform more easily.
Home Lending Pal has been one of Orlando’s most consistent startups since CEO and cofounder Bryan Young launched in 2017.
Young and his company have since been featured in several high-profile outlets, including on CNN, BET, Bloomberg and Entrepreneur magazine.
The reason usually revolves around Young’s efforts to make home ownership more accessible to minorities through AI.
Home Lending Pal leverages that technology when determining who qualifies for home loans.
However, he also wants to use technology to create smarter consumers of color.
“Home ownership is the greatest means to wealth and we all want to have money or leave generational wealth,” Young said. “If we can create this Jarvis-like assistant that understands you and your vernacular, then it can also help in so many other financial decisions, like when to consolidate debt, pay off student loans or get a credit card.”
Home ownership is the greatest means to wealth and we all want to have money or leave generational wealthBryan Young, Home Lending Pal
The impact of race on financial transactions received a spotlight last week, when the N.Y. Times highlighted a Johns Hopkins University professor who had his home appraised.
When the appraiser came back with an unexpectedly low number, he resubmitted but removed family pictures from the house and had a white colleague ask for the appraisal.
The appraisal ended up being 59 percent higher than his.
“I realized a while back that lenders will give us lip service about equality but, behind the scenes, they are not doing anything about it,” said Young, a former digital strategist for Barack Obama during his successful 2012 presidential campaign.
With that background, Young knew the next step for his company was to build technology that would appeal to lenders.
“We have been converting well but there have been issues with connecting people with lenders,” he said.
That’s where the acquisition of Orlando company Horizons came in.
The new team will become the technical talent that bring what Young calls his company’s “full vision” into fruition.
“What sold us on Bryan’s mission, on top of the connections they have already made, was that we had a similar goal, which is to simplify home ownership,” said Chad Maycumber, Horizons cofounder who is now Home Lending Pal’s VP of Product.
Maycumber had gone through the home buying process shortly before partnering with cofounder Kyle Walsh to launch Horizons.
“In a few months, (Horizons cofounder) Kyle (Walsh) and Chad put together a platform that is really compatible with what we were putting together,” said Steven Better, Home Lending Pal cofounder and COO. “This will cut down development time for us. It’s significant.”
Better pointed out that the company’s app will be launched commercially soon, potentially in September.
“It’s not a secret that we aren’t technical founders who have been looking for great tech talent here for a while,” Young said. “Now we have it.”