Fintech Fridays EP43: Taking the Mortgage Process From 40 Days to Minutes

NCFA Canada | Oct 9, 2020

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EP43:  Taking the Mortgage Process From 40 Days to Minutes

GUEST: CHRIS GRIMES, Co-Founder and CEO, FundMore.ai (Linkedin)

BIO: Chris has worked in the financial industry for 20 years, gaining experience in wealth management, credit lending, and mortgage origination. He is passionate about advancing the mortgage industry through technology and forward-thinking initiatives.  Chris spent 12 years managing a local mortgage team. He is actively involved in real estate investment and other entrepreneurial ventures.

Links:

Chris Grimes, Co-founder and CEO (LinkedIn)

FundMore.ai (website| twitter)

 

About this episode:

Chris Grimes, Co-founder, and CEO of FundMore.ai chats with Tristram Waye about the mortgage market, inefficiencies, and entrepreneurship. Vetting mortgages by lending companies is a complex process involving several parties and considerable time. Whether a first-time buyer or doing a refinancing, this process can last up to 40 days. The conversation explores the mortgage process, its deficiencies, and how technology is being used to enhance this financial transaction.Fundmore.ai logo - Fintech Fridays EP43:  Taking the Mortgage Process From 40 Days to Minutes

 

 

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Fintech Friday Transcript: Chris Grimes of FundMore.ai

 

Intro: Welcome to fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners. Covering all things fintech, blockchain, AI and alternative finance.

 

Tristram Waye: Welcome to the FinTech Friday podcast. My name is Tristram Waye, and I'm your host for today's session on behalf of the National Crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada. FinTech Friday gives us a chance to talk to interesting personalities from the FinTech space. Today, my guest is Chris Grimes from Fundmore.ai. Chris, great to have you here.

 

Chris Grimes: I appreciate that. Tristram, I'm looking forward to the conversation today.

 

Tristram Waye: Let's, let's start off with a bit about your background. What was your journey prior to Fundmore?

 

Chris Grimes: As I probably, you know, like most technology founders, I had zero coding experience, zero technology experience, and decided I would start a technology company. I actually - my background started in banking. So when I was going to school, I started as a teller at one of the big banks and then jumped ship to the green-colored ship. And we drove on the investment side of the world and then eventually into CIBC, where I sort of got my footing in the mortgage space. I was there for a few months and realized, you know, there was this cool world and mortgage brokering. I didn't know very much about mortgages. I'd only been in it for about six months. But I said, this was a cool industry, and I was going to go and dive headfirst into it. So I left the security of the bank started a mortgage team in Ottawa, back in 2006, and into 2007. And sort of a way I went, traveled through a couple of different brokerages and got to experience what it was like at different brokerage houses here in Canada. But really started to understand the mortgage process that both a lender goes through and, more importantly, with the consumers going through.

 

And just to quickly summarize, what I found was, every single time the government came out and added a new regulatory change or every single time there was a bit of a change in the market, it really impacted the borrowers' experience. And as a team, we started realizing that there had to be better ways of processing mortgages. And we began to sort of journey on the broker side of the space and looking at helping my actual mortgage team become more efficient at processing more mortgage files. And as we did that, we started realizing that this is actually stemmed, not necessarily from the broker side, or even the consumer side, but really it fell back on the lending side. The impact that they had, based on the regulatory guidelines and the underwriting guidelines that these lenders had to underwrite, it became an extremely arduous process. They have huge workforces spending hours, and hours a day, going through paperwork, analyzing applications for credit risk. And as this process goes on, it becomes more and more of a time-consuming exercise. If you look today, I think it takes roughly 40 days to fund a mortgage. Costs to the underwriter, going and funding in particular, going through the roof. There's a lot of factors that go into that. But especially if you look at, you know, in the US there, the numbers are more than $9,000 to fund a mortgage today. It's staggering. Profitability on mortgages are going down year over year. And it's becoming much more...and really, it's all driven by labor costs. And a lot of it is just simple inefficiencies because they're forced to do certain things that automation can do a really good job. And not necessarily replacing people, but really assisting people and making them more efficient. And that's really where we see Fundmore as a bit of a game-changer for these mortgage lending companies. Being able to leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation to give them a better head start when they're when they get the application in the door

 

Tristram Waye: For people that maybe have had some interaction with a mortgage broker and have been through the process, but you know, don't really get to see all the other things that go through during those 40 days. What what does that process look like? And why does it take so much time?

 

Chris Grimes: So if you're, pick a first-time homebuyer as an example. So you've decided you're going to buy your first home. You've chosen to work with a mortgage broker, or maybe even just go right to the big banks, and you walk in the door, and you say, I want to get a mortgage. Thanks. That's great. We're here to help you. We're excited. And we're gonna hand you a mortgage application. And you're going to complete the mortgage application. This might be done in person. Today, there are tools that maybe allow you to do it online, and it feels like the experience is getting better because maybe they don't ask you 20 or 30 minutes worth of questions. They might only ask you 10 or 15 minutes worth of questions to start with. But it's only a starting point. After you completed the mortgage application, they have to actually do all the due diligence to validate that mortgage application. And what that means is today, roughly 60 documents are required to actually validate that information. So you will tell your lender, I make X amount of dollars. You have to validate that with anywhere up to five or six pieces of documentation today to actually confirm that. Same with the down payment. There are anti-money laundering laws. There are counterterrorism funding laws. There are Know Your Client requirements that these lenders have to do to actually validate you as somebody that could have a mortgage. This is all before they've even thought about, you know, whether, on the credit guidelines, they can even meet their credit guidelines or even lend to you. Or you know, the affordability factors. So you can see how all this starts compiling. And you know, to look at downpayment and then meet all those checkmarks, I just talked about AML, CTF, and KYC documents. You know, you're looking at least probably another half dozen to a dozen documents to verify that information, especially today. Cost of housing is going up. And there's some housing shortages and things like that that's occurring. And, you know, people looking to get into the market today are, are faced with these challenges. That, you know, they may not have all that money sitting in their bank account, where traditionally, if you're buying a home and it was $250,000, you probably could save that 5% or 10% or 20% quite quickly. Today, it's a lot more difficult. And so you rely on parents, or you rely on other sources of funding to be able to help secure your downpayment. And all of these little things you're going to do to actually buy your home actually make it more difficult for the lender today to actually approve you because they have to collect more documents. So this is really the biggest driving time factor behind the 40 days.

 

We were talking to one of the large lenders this summer. And they were telling us they employ 50 people simply to look at documents and then go through a document checklist. They look at an appraisal. They have four pages of four letter-size pages of one line checkmarks that somebody has to go through to validate that appraisal, as an example. So you can see it's quite - that's really what's driving a lot of that the time factor. There's also the issue of Equifax, and Home Trust did a study last year, and they found that 70% of mortgage applications have some sort of fraud involved with them. I mean, it can be as simple as you misstated your income, which coming from the mortgage broker background, and any other mortgage brokers listen to this, they'll know most people will say they make $100,000 when the truth is they make, you know, $96,500. It's not a big glaring, you know, error, but it does require additional time on the back end, and even on the on the front end to validate that information. So if there was ways to go about this, you know, i.e., looking at some of the technology solutions in the industry today, Flinx in Canada, Stripe in the US. Now they have these tools where you can scrape bank account data, and it has some analytics built-in, where it can help sort of validate this information at source. Rather than having to go through the phase of first-time homebuyer, gives you an application with a number. Lender asked for a bunch of documentation. Someone's manually checking it. So a simple solution like that would save quite a bit of time in the process. Once you've gone through the app, Oh, go ahead.

 

Tristram Waye: No, no, go ahead.

 

Chris Grimes: I was gonna say what once you've gone through that documentation process, the application process, you're now in a bit of a waiting period. And this is a period where the lender is going to make a final credit decision on you. So you know, they've taken into account your credit. They've taken into your income your down payment sources. And now they're going to take a bet on you that you are a good risk or you're not a good risk. And a lot of this is based on you know, your, your credit profile. And then that'll take -  could take up to two or three days, depending on how busy the lenders are. And you'll get an approval. Assuming you get an approval, you're really you're in a position to maybe waive that condition or go out and find that property if you hadn't found one already. And then we have another phase where now the lender has to validate the property. So the first day is all about you. The next phase is about the property and some of this if it's insured the mortgage insurance default insurance company like CMHC, or Genworth, or Canada Guarantee. They have some automated tools in their systems to help with that. But sometimes it becomes another manual process, especially if the property is slightly unique. So this can now add two or three or four or five days in a process when they're validating the property. And making sure that, you know, if things go sideways, they have the ability to recoup their costs. After that phase is done, we know we know typically get lawyers involved. They're doing title searches, and they're looking for anything else that might be might come up as a potential risk. And that could take several days. And then, the lender validates that information. It keeps going back and forth with the different parties that are involved. And eventually, 40 days go by and you can - the lenders done all their processes, and they're ready to find your mortgage.

 

Tristram Waye: So basically, there's, you know, there are at least five or six different groups by the sounds of it involved in this process. And they all do completely different things. And there's a ton of paperwork that needs to be moved around. Sounds like a pain in the butt.

 

Chris Grimes: That's how I would describe it today, for sure. I mean, it was a pain in the butt whenever it was 12 years ago when I bought my first property. But, going through it now, even knowing everything I know about this industry, it's still a pain.

 

Tristram Waye: And this is a similar process for people that are doing refinancings and stuff like that, is that right?

 

Chris Grimes: It is absolutely. Sometimes it can be even more challenging with those the B20 guidelines that came out in 2018 and 2016, restricting how lenders can ensure refinances is really put a damper or really restricted, you know, some lenders and what they can actually offer you. So in some ways, it's can almost be worse because you have a smaller lending pool that was willing to do that. And now you're at the mercy of several lenders instead of several hundred lenders.

 

Tristram Waye: And what is the difference between, let's say, a bank approach to this versus a versus a private lender? What is like, Is there some crossover there? Are they totally different in terms of their approach to the mortgage market?

 

Chris Grimes: Yeah, I often say this. I do a lot of training with our agents on our, in our team. And this question comes up a lot. And the best way I always think to look at this is there's you know if you look at the sort of the key driving factors of our mortgage approval today, it's credit and your credit history. You're basically what your credit report says. Then you have the affordability factor. Can you actually afford to live in that property or, or at least afford the mortgage? And then the third thing being the property. And if you look at the way, you know, schedule one banks, the large TDs, the Scotias, the RBC's, etc., would underwrite something like that, it's really credit first, affordability second, property third. They're really betting on the covenant on the applicants to being a good suitor, assuming it meets their criteria. On the private lending side, it's flipped. It goes property number one, affordability number two, and credit number three. And the reason for that is typically they have a lower loan to value and what they're willing to how much money they're willing to put up. And then two,  they want to make sure that their asset is - can be flipped back on the street if something goes wrong with a mortgage. They don't want to be holding a property that needs a lot of work. They don't want to be holding unique properties or properties out in rural areas. And most private lenders, you'll see, will have very defined geographic areas, but not so much credit guidelines. Where a lender will not care so much about geography but really care talking about the schedule one banks will really care about the applicant. So the credit, the income, things like that.

 

Tristram Waye: Okay, and so let's talk about Fundmore. You know, how - you were saying a little bit about how it got started, but, you know, where did the idea evolve from? And how does it help address some of the problems in this area?

 

Chris Grimes: So, Fundmore, I started saying before, really came about from this idea that I had a mortgage team of, we had 15 agents at the time, and how could we make them more efficient? We basically - I mean, there are certainly exceptions to this rule, and the top brokers in Canada are going to exceed what I'm about to say. But, you know, the average broker that we found over the last seven or eight years of running mortgage teams are really capped at about four files, maybe five files a month, personally. This is without extra team support and things like that. And, you know, some certainly could do a lot more. Some were doing a lot less. But it was sort of the average number is about four or five a month. And so we wanted to see what would it take to make them more efficient. What can we do to turn the needle from four or five to 10, 12, or 20, or 50 files at any given time? And so we started scouring the world. I started looking in Canada realized that we were really behind the ball - is what I actually realized, eventually. There wasn't a lot of great solutions to make them more efficient. Certainly, there are newer loan origination systems out there. And there are some good ones, and people do, companies do some great things around that. But it wasn't changing anything. It was just making the wheel shinier.

 

And, and then, when I started looking at the US and Australia, in the UK, I started realizing that they were much further ahead on simple things that made a mortgage agent's life easier. And they started negotiating with them and saying, Hey, I know you don't offer product in Canada. What would it take to bring a product to Canada? And it started with a document management system. And slowly rolled out, and we ended up bringing in about four or five different platforms. And so what I was trying to do was make my team more efficient. What I ended up doing was giving them five platforms, and nobody was using them because there were too many. So we had all these tools, which were meant to save time and no way of actually making it efficient. And that's how Fundmore was born, to be honest with you. We brought in some - we hired a couple of Co-Op students and brought in someone on the technology side and said, you know, here's our - here's what I want. I have all these platforms. I need to aggregate it into one platform so that somebody can go in access all these data points to make their job easier. And so you know, parts of that were validating income. Parts of this were validating property details. Part of this was validating down payment information.  All these things we talked about earlier about what -  somebody through a mortgage process has to go through. And so that's what we did, we started building on this platform.

 

We realized relatively shortly into the process, I guess that what we were building probably had way more value in the lending space. Particularly in the private and alternative lending spaces. And this is going to be companies like credit unions, mortgage investment corporations, private lending, and private lenders. A lot of real estate lawyers represent a lot of private lenders. Things like that, where their job was to actually underwrite these files, to be able to provide them a solution that could do many of these tasks for them. And in seconds, rather than hours or minutes and saving them hiring additional staff and things like that. And so we went out to the market, and we said, Hey, we had this idea, we've built half of it. What is it in there that you would need to actually make this a viable product for you? And so we did a lot of research, spoke to dozens of lenders, of all different sizes. And took their feedback and then built out Fundmore. What happened through that journey, though, is that we realized it's great for the small private lending institutions, you know, companies that were maybe running under $200 million in assets under management. But once you sort of exceeded that number, and then you got into the larger credit unions and you got into big the large mortgage finance companies was that they had these legacy-based systems that - I will be shocked in our lifetime, if they ever actually can replace them, they've invested too much time, they're very fragmented. But that didn't mean that our solution couldn't be available to them. They just had to be exposed in a different way. So through conversations with them, we've now launched our fund or relaunching our Fundmore Score, which has three key components to it. One is it, it triages, and it triages based on the idea that every application that comes in the door, you know, has a lender will have a set of credit guidelines. But credit guidelines, as I said, are really based on credit, first, income second, or property third, or maybe flipped, depending if it's a private investor or a large company. And were there other opportunities to make lending decisions outside of that scope. So bringing in additional data. Better understanding that applicant to then give them an opportunity to potentially approve files that may not have even been in their scope. And then on the flip side is files that will never - should never have come into that lender they don't have to spend time actually underwriting. So that's why we see this sort of triage function of our Fundmore Score. A second component is around the idea of risk and fraud identification. So we know we'll highlight, you know if we think there are some issues with the application, or we think there are issues with the documents we're gathering, we can flag that, and, you know, provide some analytics around the risk metric, and of that applicant. And then the third part is understanding the funding ratio. And this is a big challenge. One of the reasons why the cost of underfunding mortgages and underwriting mortgages have gone up so much is because, you know, on top of all the due diligence work, a lot of files just don't fund. I mean, some of the biggest lenders in Canada have funny ratios at 65%. And what that means is, when they get a mortgage application in the door, they get the documents, that file doesn't actually get closed, even if it meets their lending criteria. So everything else they've sent out a commitment, they're happy to fund the mortgage, the client doesn't actually go there. They may go off to another lender. Maybe they just don't even, maybe they decide they don't want to buy a home, or they decide they don't want to refinance the property anymore. But the lender is completely blind to that decision making. And what we're really looking at right now is through the data, we have to be able to better understand that score for that idea for them and provide that in our Fundmore Score. Which ultimately, again, helps drive profitability because one, they can work on files that are going to absolutely fund and maybe the ones that were at a much lower funding ratio or funding score opportunity, they may just pass. But I actually believe that the biggest value there is that it allows them to change the conversation, maybe change the narrative with a potential applicant, and have a conversation around, you know, what is it going to take for us to close this, this file with you. As opposed to letting them walk out the door and go to another lender or go to another broker or go to another or change their mind and altogether.

 

Tristram Waye: Is a part of that just like the amount of time that it takes to get this stuff done?

 

Chris Grimes: It is absolutely timing. Some of it is, you know, other factors. Sometimes it's as simple as another lender offering a promotion. But a lot of this, you know that the lender doesn't have a better -  have a full picture of that applicant, outside of what comes in the application and the documents. They can't see that. And so we're looking at data points now that can be able to start predicting some of these metrics,

 

Tristram Waye: And you were mentioning that there were some other elements that the system can help identify that by, you know, clarify or, you know, help approve a mortgage that may not otherwise have been approved. Can you talk a little bit about those?

 

Chris Grimes: Yeah, I mean, some of that falls in the secret sauce. But I mean, absolutely. We're just looking at,

 

Tristram Waye: You don't want to give anything away.

 

Chris Grimes: No, no, but we're certainly looking at it - we now have access to more data points on when mortgage applications - and part of it. Absolutely. So here's how I have been sort of talking about Fundmore from another perspective. And maybe this answers this question. So if we look at Europe, and you look at the UK, and you look at their advancements in open banking. You look at the US in the way they're interpreting open banking. And you look at Canada, how we've just put a stick in the mud and said, Well, I don't really know what to do. I don't know if we want to do it - I think we should, it's probably great - we're not really sure - and we're gonna maybe leave it up to the Big Five banks - but I don't think so we should let the government handle it. This is sort of where the discussions have been, even though the government has a mandate to really open up the discussions around open banking in Canada. And really, what we've designed with our platform, is an open banking type model where, you know, we, because we've aggregated so many different data sets, a lot of it is through consumer consent. So it's not - we don't, we don't have access to this information, just by you know, flipping a switch. We have to get that consent from the consumer. But it gives the control and the power to the consumer to, you know, to provide the information that they want to provide for us to help them make a better, almost a better proposal to the lender. So the lender can see a much bigger scope and a much bigger picture potentially, of that lender of that applicant, sorry, a direct, you know, direct with the application opposed to the traditional method, which is, you know, application goes in, lender asked for the documents validates the application and we go back and forth for several weeks. So allowing the consumer to control the data and putting forward as much data points as they believe they want to. I mean, obviously, we're interpreting that within our own algorithms, but it gives that, it does give them a bit more power in the application process. And gives the lender a bigger picture of the applicant in themselves if that makes sense.

 

Tristram Waye: Yeah. And so in terms of your target market, are you focused primarily on Canada now and with, you know, North America, Europe as a potential expansion point, or what are your thoughts there?

 

Chris Grimes: Right now, we're really focused on Canada, and, in delivering this, getting this product out to - we have a goal of hopefully, every, almost every mortgage application or every mortgage application in Canada will have a Fundmore Score attached to it with the ability for the lenders to better understand and take a deeper dive through our data by us revealing it. That actually means our 2021 goal is to enter the US market with the scoring system and our key platforms. And we also have, as I said, because of the relationships we've built early on with these third party companies, in Europe, Australia. We're looking at delivering some of rather core products to their markets through those through some channel partners there.

 

Tristram Waye: That's great. Now, tell me a little bit about the, you know, the evolving nature of the mortgage market as a result of, you know, 2020 and all the things that have been going on there? How is that market changing? And, and how can you know, how is Fundmore helping in this environment?

 

Chris Grimes: So, I think one of the biggest hurdles, early on in 2020, with a pandemic, was the idea of how are lenders going to process applications in a remote environment? Most lenders send their staff home, March, whatever it was, March 18, like everyone else, and, you know, there was quite a bit of a backlog early on because it was still a very manual process. And Fundmore really provides a - can provide a key - an important tool to expedite that process, especially in this remote environment. You know, being able to provide that sort of instant picture. Not only if you look at underwriting, it's typically a point in time, but not only looking at that point in time, which, you know, maybe March 18, wasn't so great, but also looking, you know, forward in that application. So, you know, being with the way we, we make our predictions with our AI, that we can take that application, and then look forward in the future. So the lender not only gets there sort of static point in time picture, but they also get a sense of where the file and where that applicant would be headed. In times like this doesn't make it, it does make it challenging. So that was sort of the first, the first thing they were, you know, we would have provided probably a much easier transition from many lenders if they were using our technology at the time. And but also, you know, with the, with this, and I think the continuation of remote working and, you know, wanting to provide their clients with a better experience, a faster experience, you know, we're in this reality, in this digital age now, where, you know, it's not good enough anymore to stick a mobile app up on your website and say, Well, you know, we have an application. You can fill it out online, or you can go on our website and fill out an application because it doesn't actually help the client. Sure it's a different way of ingesting information. But for me, you know, this is information that probably should have been done in 2000, not 2020. And so, you know, how would you so that the next version of this is how do you turn that application into an instant approval? So if you look at the US, there are companies like Figure.co m and Better. com and they're providing solutions, blending solutions to their clients, almost instantly. And they're doing that by using analytics. They're doing that by understanding their - you know, by understanding as much as they can from their applicant on application. Not on the underwriting process. Now, if you look at this, and you say - if you look at the insurance industry about ten years ago, and you started getting these online applications, and you'd fill them out, and, you know, go to an underwriting desk, and underwriting would still underwrite it, and it would be approved. Today, and companies like standards and things like this that are coming out in the marketplace. And they're underwritten on application. And they're done mostly using AI, some sort of machine learning component in the background. You know, so this is where I think the mortgage industry is right now that, you know, we are where the insurance industry was ten years ago. You know, we're trying to provide better solutions. But it's not actually changing the story, where I believe in 10 years from now, you know, what we're trying to provide as a solution today will be the norm across the board. That if you expect to get a mortgage, you should have a mortgage. It shouldn't take 40 days. It shouldn't take a week, frankly. It should be the same day. There's a lot that goes into it. Absolutely. And it's one of the, if you look at lending as a whole SME lending, credit card lending, a lot of this stuff is gone the analytics route and offer instant approvals. Again, a lot is driven by credit. The mortgage application process, short of maybe commercial lending, or large development lending, is probably the most complex. And there's a lot more that goes into it, which is why it's not here today. But you know, it's coming in, you know, with what we're doing today, we can already turn a mortgage application in what would have been, you know, maybe a full week of work, or several hours of work into several minutes of work. And so we're not that far away from being able to actually tell you, as a consumer as an applicant for a mortgage, you have your mortgage approved. You can have the money in your account within two or three business days.

 

Tristram Waye: A whole lot of people with a lot of fingernail left. Right?

 

Chris Grimes: Exactly. Exactly. It's a great analogy.

 

Tristram Waye: Now, tell me. You know, I'd like to hear more about your entrepreneurial journey, you know, what, what does that been like as a founder? I mean, you're a subject matter expert. But what is it been like developing a company, exploring an idea? You know, how's that gone?

 

Chris Grimes: It's been - I'd be lying if I said it wasn't challenging at times, for sure. You know, several late nights, and, you know, my partner sitting there, and she's, you know, basically saying, what the heck are you doing?

 

You know, but coming from a comment, you said, I mean, I've understood the mortgage space, have been in for a long time. I've had some banking experience, but I didn't have any technology experience. And, and I was lucky, early on. I didn't go through my full history and background, but through another company I was involved with, I had met my one of my co-founders. And his background was in technology. He launched and successfully exited multiple businesses, some through IPO t through private sale, things like that. And mostly in the health tech and security tech space. And he also ran a technology company, which was useful. And so we started talking about the mortgage industry, and you know, and his personal experiences and some of my personal experiences, like I said, just getting a mortgage today is not easy, even for people that understand it. And, you know, we were just basically chatting about the difficulties in the space. And he started to get more and more interested in it. And he's done a lot of real estate investment and things like that, as well. So he did understand it from that perspective. But he did give me that opportunity to just sort of pitch in the idea of, you know, what if things were like this? And he thought it was kind of an interesting idea, and we went out and started building something. Spent about, I think we threw maybe five or $10,000 at something, and three months, and we realized, well, that was fun, but that's not going to go anywhere. And but, you know, we're both sort of invested at this point in this idea of what fun work could be eventually. And we've probably pivoted at least a half dozen times in the 18 months we've been in existence. And a lot of that has to do with you know, first trying to develop products for the broker side. Realizing that the challenges were on the lender side, and then pivoting into that space, as our product evolved. And then realizing, well, this is great, we built out a platform that only a select group of lenders can even use, because, you know, their legacy systems are so entrenched in their organizations that they can't even replace what they have. And then we have a pivot again to so that they can ingest our systems or analytics into their platforms. So that is sort of been one of the things I realized when you start a technology company that what you believe you have at the beginning is probably nowhere near what you're going to have when, you know, you're six months, 12 months, 18 months into your journey. The second challenge we've obviously, or we've had is delivering, you know, the sort of technology on time. It's, uh, it's interesting, because, you know, as much as I've said, it takes a long time to get a mortgage, I'm pretty - I can tell someone pretty early on in the application phase, okay, I need this much time to get you approved. I have that just from being in it for so long when I look at an application, okay, I need a week. I need two weeks. This is extra complicated. I mean, three months, four,  now, maybe I do 24 hours. But on the technology side, I've learned that if you - if someone tells you it's a month, it actually means three. If someone tells me it's three, it might mean six.

 

Tristram Waye: Right.

 

Chris Grimes: But, you know, on the other side, though, it's been an amazing sort of experience. You know, we've got to work with already a lot of different organizations. We were part of the invest Ottawa pre-accelerator program that turned into a pitch contest win, which turned into being part of their accelerator program for a while. And most recently, because of the AI work we're starting to do on a really dive into, I should say, we were just accepted into Creative Destruction Labs, which is one of the largest AI accelerator programs in Canada. And now they're actually offering their program to universities across the world. They have launched one in Paris, UK, three, I think, in the US and, and three or four in Canada now. So

 

Tristram Waye: It's a tremendous organization. The people that they collect for that, it's incredible—dream Team.

 

Chris Grimes: Yeah. Yeah. We were quite excited about that news. We just found out actually last Friday. So it's been it was exciting kind of weekend.

 

Tristram Waye: Congratulations. That's Great.

 

Chris Grimes: Thank you. Yeah. So we're excited to get started with that. And it starts in a couple weeks. And yeah, we've had, we've had lots of, we said, there's been a lot of -  Going through this entrepreneurial journey, I think that my biggest takeaway on top of the learning experiences about how technology companies actually work was, you know, the opportunity to meet and work with so many different people and different mentors and advisors and leading in different spaces. So it's been quite a journey so far.

 

Tristram Waye: Now what

 

Chris Grimes: Fraction of the way there.

 

Tristram Waye: Okay, and so what are your plans for the future?

 

Chris Grimes: So we're going to go into this program, and we're about to partner with the University on some on another research project around AI. And then really, for us, it's driving our product into more lenders' hands, to be able to provide our solution to make their processes easier and make their lives simpler, but ultimately impacting the end consumer, which is the person getting the mortgage. We don't want it to take 40 days. We want - if somebody wants to get a mortgage, we want them to be able to have that entire, as you said, nailbiting, stress, anxiety, wiped away because they know that they have an approval. They're sitting there driving around on a Sunday afternoon; they're looking at an open house sign. They pull out their phone, and their phone says, oh, I can afford that. I could fund this mortgage tomorrow if I decided I like that house, and I want to sign a purchase offer. That you know, that's sort of the ultimate vision of how we want to be able to provide our tools to lending platforms to lending companies to loan origination systems across North America, and then we'll see what the next phase is.

 

Tristram Waye: Terrific. Now, if anybody wants to get ahold of you or connect, where can they do that, Chris?

 

Chris Grimes: Yeah, I mean, you can always find me on LinkedIn. I think it's Chris M. Grimes. But our websites Fundmore.ai. And my email is Chris at Fundmore.ai. So anytime you want to reach me feel free. I'm out there. And can always call me too.

 

Tristram Waye: Fantastic. Well, Chris, it's been great to chat with you. Very informative to get, you know, for people that didn't have a full understanding of how the mortgage market works and its complexity. That was very informative. Thank you very much for taking the time.

 

Chris Grimes: Again, I appreciate your time, Tristram, and it was awesome speaking with you. And as you said, if anyone has any questions about the mortgage industry or wants to ask questions about what we're doing, I'm always open to have a discussion. So thanks. Thanks for your time.

Outro : you've been listening to Fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit ncfacanada.org. Oh yeah.

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP43:  Taking the Mortgage Process From 40 Days to Minutes The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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