As digital adoption across all industries continues to move ahead at an accelerated rate, many banks are struggling to reach and convert new audiences at scale, especially in financial services. In a crowded marketplace for SMB-focused financial products, third-party origination platforms blend informative content, the ability to compare offers, and purchase or apply on the spot, and serve as a frontline means for banks to convert new customers.
ODX LLC and Fundation Group LLC have announced their businesses will merge to become Linear Financial Technologies (Linear). Sam Graziano, who has served as CEO of Fundation since it was founded in 2011, will assume the role of CEO of Linear, and Brian Geary, President of ODX since it was created as a subsidiary of OnDeck in 2018, will serve as the new company’s President. The combined company, armed with greater scale, will be better suited to compete with LendingTree, Nav, Lendio, Fundbox, and other origination services.
“Over the years, our combined platforms have served hundreds of thousands of business customers through many of the leading business banking providers in the market, deploying modern banking experiences that their customers and front-line colleagues expect in the digital era,” says Sam Graziano, CEO of Linear. “Together as Linear, we’ll have the resources to more rapidly expand the breadth of our solutions to bring more value to our clients.”
Both companies have shared similar goals; ODX was created to digitize the small business process for the company’s banking clients, and Foundation, backed by Goldman Sachs and Suntrust, has focused on re-engineering the credit delivery process to small businesses through technology and advanced analytics. Now, as Linear, it will provide digital loan origination, account opening, insights, AI-based analytics solutions, and SaaS solutions for financial institutions, SMB service providers, and B2B vendors.
Once operating as Linear, the company will look to simplify the borrowing and account opening experience for customers, streamline loan and deposit origination workflows for clients. Its clients at launch include Citizens Bank, PNC Bank, Fifth Third Bank, and Bank of the West, to non-bank lenders and SMB service providers. Linear also recently expanded into the Canadian and Australian markets with American Express.
To date, clients have provided over $13B in capital to businesses through the Linear platform, and Linear will continue to help its clients serve business customers at a time when they need it most.
“ODX and Fundation joining forces allows us to turbocharge our technology roadmap and deliver an expanded set of capabilities to our clients,” says ODX President Brian Geary, who today becomes President of Linear. “Linear will equip our clients with flexible technology that is uniquely aided by insights grounded in decades of combined financial services and lending experience.”
Linear’s management team includes Sandip Nayak, Chief Strategy & AI Officer, formerly with Fundation, and Raj Kolluri, Chief Technology Officer, formerly with ODX. The combined company will have nearly 200 employees and have offices in Reston, VA, New York, NY, and Denver, CO.
Fundation’s majority owner, Garrison Investment Group, will own a majority equity interest in the combined company. Enova International, which recently acquired ODX’s parent company OnDeck, will own a minority equity interest. Fundation was advised by Barclays, and ODX was advised by SenaHill Partners in this transaction.