Online Lender Launches with $27M in Financing

Clara, a new online mortgage lender, has launched with $27 million in equity financing.

The company recently began operating in California and plans to roll out its services to Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Arizona. The company currently offers conventional, conforming residential home loans, including both purchase and refinance loans.

Among the products the company offers are fixed-rate mortgages at 30-, 25-, 20- and 15-year durations. Clara also offers 7/1, 5/1 and 3/1 adjustable-rate mortgages. The company also notes on its website that it requires as little as a 5% down payment for certain applicants.

Currently, the company has around 60 employees. The $27 million in financing came from lead investors Redpoint Ventures and Venrock and "a group of industry experts, entrepreneurs, and executives," according to a blog post.

"We've brought together a unique team with diverse backgrounds in technology, design, finance, and public policy to build a modern mortgage bank from the ground up," Clara co-founders Jeff Foster and Lukasz Strozek wrote in the blog post. "We're re-imagining how lending can and should work, simplifying the origination process, lowering borrowing costs, and making the U.S. mortgage finance system more transparent and stable."

Most recently, Foster served as a senior adviser with The Blackstone Group. Before that he was a senior policy adviser at the U.S. Treasury Department working on housing finance reform following the financial crisis. He will also serve as Clara's chief executive.

Strozek most recently worked as co-founder and chief technology officer at Earshot Technologies, where he developed portable device discovery technology. He also previously worked as senior technology architect at investment management firm Bridgewater Associates.

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