Have You Heard?

The story broke yesterday, but just in case you haven’t heard yet, Optimal Blue, a provider of pricing, point-of-sale, compliance and secondary marketing automation services for the mortgage industry, has acquired one of its competitors, LoanSifter, Inc., a provider of product eligibility and pricing, point-of-sale and marketing solutions for mortgage lenders. Here’s the story:

The sale price was not disclosed. Optimal Blue is clearly looking to establish itself as the dominant standalone pricing solution having acquired another competitor, Sollen, just recently. And this is probably a smart move given that major pricing vendors like ARC Systems, NYLX, and Commerce Velocity have all either been acquired or gone out of business. Similarly, leading LOS companies realize that this function really needs to be a core part of their system and firms like Ellie Mae, Calyx Software and Mortgage Builder have all acquired pricing vendors themselves and have successfully integrated them into the core LOS offering. The days of the standalone pricing vendor having a viable business may just be behind us.

As a result of the Optimal Blue acquisition of LoanSifter, LoanSifter’s operations, employees and customer relationships will immediately become a fully integrated part of Optimal Blue. The new company will have more than 1,500 customers, 200 employees and three offices nationwide with headquarters in Plano, Texas. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 2004, LoanSifter provides content and technology that is used daily by tens of thousands of mortgage professionals to search loan products and guidelines from more than 185 investors. LoanSifter offers a diverse suite of services to mortgage bankers, credit unions, community banks and brokers, including a managed-content pricing engine, point-of-sale solutions, marketing and automated quoting.

Larry Huff and Ivan Darius, co-CEOs of Optimal Blue said, “This is a rare opportunity to combine the strengths of two organizations with exceptional track records and capabilities and focus on the same mission, which is to more effectively provide innovative products and services to our combined customers.”

“LoanSifter’s commitment to innovation has helped lenders grow their business and streamline their origination process,” said Bruce Backer, former president of LoanSifter. “That commitment continues with this acquisition.”