Figure Brings First Patent Application and $3.2B Valuation to Merger

Figure Technologies and Homebridge Financial Services are merging to expand the uses of blockchain in mortgage and lending services. Figure, founded in 2018, is a start-up that has been using blockchain to originate, service and finance loans and securities, including student loans, mortgages, and personal loans. Homebridge Financial focuses on mortgages and the housing industry, which has traditionally been a more low-tech process. In July 2021, Figure announced a $200M Series D funding round and a $3.2B valuation. Figure also brings another asset to the deal: a patent application for a blockchain network supporting financial transactions, including encryption and protocol adherence. 

Third-party lenders face competition from banks, which have been developing in-house blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies for some time. This merger may be the start of a trend of traditional lending companies partnering with blockchain companies to upgrade their practices and bring in more funding. If that’s the case, patent data can help predict which companies would be strong partners. SALT Lending accepts cryptocurrency assets as loan collateral and has three patent applications for managing loans, as well as token ownership. Argentinian startup Ripio facilitates peer-to-peer microloans and has one published patent application for a credit network using smart contracts. If they are able to successfully prosecute their applications, these companies would be able to bring exclusive technologies to potential partners, which is valuable in a relatively young space. Use Patent Forecast® to assess future mergers and acquisition opportunities.