New York-based digital mortgage lender Better.com, formerly known as Better Mortgage, plans to add 1,000 jobs in Charlotte over the next five years.
The expansion marks Better’s second East Coast hub and reflects a collaboration between the city, online bank Ally Financial and Carolina Fintech Hub, a partnership of financial services firms and fintech startups promoting the region as an emerging technology powerhouse. Better isn’t receiving any state or local incentives, according to city officials.
Mayor Vi Lyles, Ally Financial Inc. executives and a variety of city council members attended the announcement at the RailYard building in South End.
Better launched in 2016, backed by California-based Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm that was an early backer of Amazon.com, Twitter and many other tech companies, and New York-based Goldman Sachs Group, according to the CrunchBase website. Engineers from Google and Spotify helped start the business.
Last month, the firm opened an office in the WeWork coworking space at the RailYard building in the South End neighborhood. It plans to hire 100 employees at its Charlotte location by the end of the year.
Better is looking to fill sales, business development, marketing, partnership, operations and a number of other positions. Company review website Glassdoor lists salaries for similar jobs at Better.com to range from $60,000 to $115,000.
“Today’s announcement is the strength of our existing business community and our belief that Charlotte is the best place to grow their business,” Mayor Vi Lyles said at an announcement event. Better will solidify the city’s ranking as the second-largest financial hub in the nation, she said.
Earlier this year, Better.com and Ally Financial announced a partnership in which Better will supply software services as part of Ally’s mortgage lending business. Ally employs 851 in the region and expects to move into a new downtown headquarters building next year.
“The partnership that Ally and Better.com established, in my view, truly underscores how and what opportunities exist for fintech companies in Charlotte, which is quickly becoming the leading financial center in the country,” said Dinesh Chopra, chief strategy officer for Ally Financial.
“We are really charmed by Charlotte, we’re really entranced by the energy and the dynamism that is here from the young people who work here,” Better.com CEO Vishal Garg said. “It feels very much like they want to make a difference and a difference in consumer finance, which is very similar to what young people used to come to Manhattan for in the 80s, or go to Silicon Valley for during the first dot com era of the 1990s; they want to make things better.”
Better.com has been one of the country’s fastest-growing digital mortgage companies and is on track to lend more than $4 billion in 2019, according to real estate news service Housing Wire.
Last year, Better added 550 new workers and the new positions in Charlotte will represent a quarter of its total 400 planned hires for 2019, according to Housing Wire. In August, the company raised $160 million, bringing the company’s total funding to $254 million and its capital valuation to more than $600 million, according to CrunchBase.