NVC Alum elphi Closes Funding Round and Announces Advisory Board

Less than a year after launching its software, elphi has closed a funding round and formed an advisory board of mortgage industry veterans as it looks to being a new, fresh perspective to the space.

Cofounded by University of Chicago Booth School of Business alum, Daniel Gottesmann, MBA ’19, elphi is a business-to-business mortgage loan origination platform. According to Gottesmann, the average mortgage loan origination takes 60 days. “Many of the lending personnel – the under writers, the processors, the closers – have a lot of manual work they’re doing. A lot of paper checklists, and basically a lot of work that is being done off platform or off software. We’re trying to bring in all of the work to happen on the platform,” explained Gottesmann.

With elphi’s software, lenders, such as banks, credit unions, or non-depository lenders, have a completely digital platform for the loan origination approval process. This can expedite the process. A shorter origination process is advantageous for lenders, Gottesmann said, because the savings and profits are bigger.

Elphi’s software includes compliance with state and federal regulations, personalized configurability, and smart checklists. It also allows multiple people to work on the same document at once. “[The software] is very much configured for their own needs by them. They know their operations the best and we make sure to provide them with the tools to configure it to their needs,” Gottesmann said.

He and his cofounders came up with elphi the summer of 2018, between Gottesmann’s first and second year at Booth. “We identified the mortgage industry by researching new technology and then researching the spaces where we can leverage new technology,” said Gottesmann. “The more we researched it, the more we talked with people from the industry, we understood the need that exists there for new technology.”

Elphi cofounders Eilon Shalev (left), William Lopez-Cordero (middle), and Daniel Gottesmann, MBA ’19, (right). (Image courtesy of Daniel Gottesmann)

With just the proof of concept, Gottesmann applied to and participated in the 2019 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), the Polsky Center’s nationally ranked accelerator program. “I knew that [the NVC] would give me access to professors, investors, and mentors that I would not necessarily have access to without it,” Gottesmann explained. “The NVC was a great platform for me to keep working on the startup, getting course credit, and getting exposure to phenomenal people that I’m still in touch with to this day.”

Gottesmann then joined the 2019-2020 cohort of the Polsky Founders’ Fellowship Fund (PF3), a resource available to graduating University of Chicago students who are committed to growing a company after graduation. “The idea was to get access to as many resources as we could that UChicago and Booth, or the Polsky Center specifically, could provide us with,” said Gottesmann on applying to the PF3.

His final year at Booth, Gottesmann split his weeks between Boston and Chicago. He then moved to Boston after graduating in 2019 to be with his cofounders, one of whom had just graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Management. There, the three further developed their product, grew their team, and got their first paying clients.

Elphi’s software went live spring of 2020. Since then, the company has accumulated several dozen users and partnerships. Currently, elphi is working to partner with government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), which are US Congress-chartered corporations meant to provide people with financial services.

The latest funding round will go toward further developing the platform and getting more clients. The team expects to have a new version of its software out later this year, which will cater to different loan products in the mortgage space.

Announced alongside February’s funding round was elphi’s advisory board. “The founding team [of elphi] does not come from a mortgage industry background. We come from a technology background,” said Gottesmann, “we’re trying to bring a new, fresh perspective to this space. But we are well aware that we need to get that knowledge about the space and earn the credibility from different lenders. We were lucky enough to surround ourselves with a great team of mortgage industry veterans.” The advisory board is comprised of 11 members with notable backgrounds, including previous C-Suite officers at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, as well as the former chairwoman of the National Credit Union Administration.

Article by Julianne Lorndale, marketing coordinator at the Polsky Center. Julianne recently graduated cum laude from the College at the University of Chicago, where she divided her time between Creative Writing and Italian Studies. Reach Julianne via email, on LinkedIn or on Twitter @jlorndale.

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