LenderClose plans to expand after Next Level Ventures funding

Things are looking up at LenderClose.

On Wednesday evening, LenderClose relaunched and held an open house for the new office space out in West Des Moines — a sign of growing times for the fintech startup, which closed a round of funding in March with Next Level Ventures. 

“It’s about us taking that next big step to the next level,” said Ben Rempe, chief operating officer.  

As for the new digs — “it’s brand new, new paint, new carpet, new everything, and there really are five of us that are working out of this office right now,” Rempe said. 

Rempe and CEO Omar Jordan hope to fill those extra chairs soon. 

Over the next 18 months, the company expects to hire 25 new positions, Rempe said. LenderClose currently employs eight team members full time, and is seeking applications for three new positions.

In 2015, Jordan founded LenderClose as an answer to streamlining the real estate lending process for community banks and credit unions. Today, nearly 100 financial institutions are using LenderClose, Rempe said. 

“We created a platform where community lenders — banks and credit unions — can access a single source and have access to all the data they need in order to underwrite a real estate loan,” Jordan said. 

“What we’re projecting with what the market need is … we think we can add hundreds more over the course of the next two to three years,” Rempe said. “If we’re going to grow that much, we’re going to need a team to help us do it.” 

The two also brought up the much-lamented need for skilled workers in Iowa, where the unemployment rate sits below 3 percent.

“We’re doing something for the startup community. … We want to draw talent toward Iowa,” Jordan said. “That’s what we’re struggling with today, filling in some positions that require certain talents. Other states are competing against us, and we feel like we should do a better job here in Iowa. This is what it’s about.” 

“This isn’t ‘we think it’s going to happen.’ It’s happening,” Rempe said. 

(Here’s a guest opinion piece on the need for CIOs to recruit tech workers.)