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  • Writer's pictureKevin Terhar

Two veterans walk into MBA school and meet a computer science engineer

Few things in life can forge a stronger friendship than battle or business. At elphi, the founders have been fighting alongside each other on the battlefield and in the boardroom for years. Daniel and Eilon met in the Israeli Air Force, became best friends, and moved to the United States to pursue their MBAs at Chicago Booth and MIT Sloan, respectively. While in school, Eilon started working on elphi while Daniel interned at startups with the full intention to take what he learned and apply it to an entrepreneurial venture. The co-founding team became complete when Eilon met William, a computer science engineer who had worked at Facebook and Google, on MIT’s campus. With the dream team assembled, they embarked on a search to find an area where they could put their talents to best use. After a year of researching industries and pivoting from a student loan venture, they discovered the ripest enterprise software market of them all, mortgage origination systems.

elphi is an iPhone 12 in the age of Nokia 5100s

If you’ve purchased a home, then you know that taking out a mortgage isn’t quick or easy. elphi’s vision is to fix this process by easing the frustration of borrowers, simplifying the process for originators, and shortening the time to close for lenders. (what Michael Scott would call a Win-Win-Win situation) So the elphi team got to work. Developing an intuitive and collaborative SaaS product that eliminates bottlenecks, streamlines workflows, and allows stakeholders to communicate in real-time. These synergies result in a time to close reduction from the industry standard of 45 days to only 15 days with elphi.

The reason it takes 45 days to close a mortgage today is because lenders operate on old, legacy systems focused on one thing, processing mortgage applications in a linear fashion. Mortgage originators must use paper checklists to manage workflow, email and fax to communicate, printed documents and stamps to stay compliant, and Ellie Mae to close mortgages. elphi accomplishes all of these tasks in a singular system by allowing users to concurrently work on active mortgages, communicate with stakeholders, track workflow and mortgage completeness, maintain compliance, and of course, close mortgages faster than ever.

Taking on the 8,000lb Ellie-phant in the room

What makes the mortgage origination industry so special is also what made it so appealing to the elphi team. 1) It is an enormous market with $2.4 trillion1 US mortgages originated in 2019 (and expected to be over $4T in 2020). 2) It is currently a labor-intensive and fragmented process. 3) It is dominated by a legacy platform built in the ’90s by a company named Ellie Mae (Ellie Mae was recently acquired by ICE for $11b). elphi has created a truly superior product to the current players in the market, and their challenge now is overcoming change inertia within the industry and replacing their aging Ellie Mae security blanket. The arduous journey ahead has done little to detour the elphi team, who are convinced that partnering with customers and working with them to relieve pains and grow their business will eventually break up the monopoly they’re up against.

The future of elphi

To this point, elphi has bootstrapped their venture by dominating new venture competitions, partnering with a prominent credit union to build a proof of concept, and reinvesting revenues earned after going live with their platform in June 2020. They’ve surrounded themselves with a great group of mortgage veterans acting as angel investors & engaged advisors, such as several C-suite executives from the GSEs and the former Chairwoman of the National Credit Union Administration. They’ve also leveraged their MIT Sloan and Chicago Booth networks to leverage MBA interns for both product and business development.

elphi is currently fundraising to take the next step in their business lifecycle. They are seeking $2 million of seed capital to use toward further product development, as well as aggressively target small-medium U.S. mortgage lending banks. To learn more about elphi’s product, the founding team, their vision, request a demo, or have any questions feel free to visit or email Daniel directly at


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