Count Dean Sioukas among the entrepreneurs who took experiences from earlier in their careers to improve a process that should be better.
Mr. Sioukas is the co-founder and CTO of Magilla Loans, a search engine for business, home and real estate loans. Users are never asked for their name, phone number or SSN, Magilla Loans does not require a credit check, and applicants are not contacted until after they choose a lending option.
Before founding Magilla Loans with current CEO Chris Meyer, Mr. Sioukas said they required more than 10 loans for the different businesses they ran. That meant many more applications and streams of phone calls from most of those lenders. They also ended up on lists and received ongoing marketing pitches.
Every time he applied, Mr. Sioukas was forced to provide personal information that he hoped was being adequately guarded. Add today’s highly digital environment and those hopes turned to prayers.
“We don’t believe you should have to provide personally identifiable information,” he said. “Myself personally, I am unlikely and unwilling to put my personal information on the internet in order to get a quote.
“We as borrowers now have an anonymous way to survey FDIC-insured institutions to get the best terms without having to provide PII (personally identifiable information).”
Applicants provide basic information and Magilla notifies lenders of the opportunity to lend to Person X. Interested lenders anonymously respond with information requests that are sent to the applicant via push notifications so they see Lender 1 has this question and Lender 2 has that one.
Mr. Sioukas said Magilla Loans has grown with its technology. The engine’s early version was crude but functional. Then they developed an accurate notification system that synched with bank security systems and firewalls, a move that boosted activity velocity. Now thousands of lenders are involved and they can easily submit their questions to applicants in a mobile-friendly environment.
The process will continue to be streamlined, Mr. Sioukas said. As lenders ask more similar questions, Magilla Loans can modify their forms to improve responsiveness.
“The more inputs there are the more accurate it’s going to get,” Mr. Sioukas explained.
Because Magilla Loans deals with so many lenders they can help those lenders identify the sectors where they do well and those in which they don’t, Mr. Sioukas added. A lender may assume where they stand vis-a-vis the competition but that belief may not be accurate, whereas Magilla can tell in real time.
Magilla Loans is perfectly built for the long haul because they provide value to all groups, especially newer businesses who may struggle to attract the attention of the more established lenders, Mr. Sioukas said. Those new entrepreneurs may not know which boxes to check, but through Magilla’s system, they can quickly learn what lenders require. As the business matures and their needs change they can return to Magilla for expansion, equipment, franchise or real estate loans. As they become successful, the number of interested lenders will likely grow.
“There’s a lender for every borrower,” Mr. Sioukas said.