Pompliano Joins Board of Blockchain-Based Lending Firm After $103M Raise

5 December 2019

Blockchain-based consumer lender Figure Technologies has added Morgan Creek Digital’s Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, one of the sector’s most exuberant supporters, to its board. It’s also announced a $103 million funding round.

Figure plans to use the funds to expand its lending products that run on a blockchain, but the Series C funding round was primarily opportunistic, said chief executive Mike Cagney.

“The company has plenty of cash from an execution standpoint,” said Cagney, who previously led online consumer finance company SoFi.

Morgan Creek pushed the idea of the round, and Figure agreed to it to add Pompliano on its board and secure other strategic partners, including Japan’s MUFG (the bank’s VC arm participated in the round), Cagney said. 

The raise brings Figure’s total funding to more than $225 million and values it at $1.2 billion, according to a company press release. Aside from Morgan Creek, which led the round, and MUFG, participants included DCM, Digital Currency Group, HCM Capital, Ribbit Capital, RPM Ventures and The Partners at DST Global. While the size of the round was disclosed in a securities filing last month, the other details were not revealed until now.

Best known for its home equity line of credit (HELOC) product, Figure began offering student loan and mortgage refinance products earlier this year. Figure has originated around $1 billion in loans, with $700 million of that being blockchain-based HELOCs. 

“Figure has grown from an idea approximately two years ago to become the fourth largest HELOC originator in the United States,” Pompliano said.

Provenance, a distributed blockchain with 12 node operators, is the foundation of Figure’s lending products. It removes the document workload involved in loan origination, financing and sales, according to the company. Cagney claims that the blockchain saves Figure more than 130 basis points on originating HELOCs. That would add up to $1,560 on an average-size loan of $120,000.

Figure’s business model aligns with the Morgan Creek fund’s investment thesis that every stock, bond, currency, and commodity will eventually be digitized, Pompliano said. 

“Currently, the DTCC settles approximately $2 quadrillion of transactions annually, but their technology is not equipped to settle these digital asset transactions,” he said, referring to the central securities depository for the U.S. “Figure has shown that the combination of numerous frontier technologies can significantly disrupt these markets.”

Morgan Creek also participated in Figure’s $65 million Series B round this year. In May, Figure closed a $1 billion uncommitted line of credit from investment bank Jefferies and WSFS Financial Corporation. The line ran on Provenance.