After years as a loan officer at community and regional banks, Justin Bjerkaas was all too familiar with the constraints holding back lenders and hurting the borrower experience.
Reaching a loan application decision can take anywhere from several weeks to months. It’s often a painful, tedious undertaking for both applicants and employees. Bankers become clerks, manually entering swarms of data, while customers wait in limbo. Justin quickly learned that technology was the industry’s biggest obstacle.
Limited to a handful of legacy mega-vendors, bankers faced contract negotiations that left them feeling powerless. Mega-vendors notoriously provided dated, incompatible technology and horrendous customer service. For an industry held to such high standards, banking itself had fallen victim to predatory vendors.
Justin’s mounting frustrations helped him uncover an opportunity to improve the lending experience.
He studied how new technologies were transforming banking in other countries and across industries. He was determined to provide better banking technology, while keeping customer relationships intact. In 2017, Justin left his banking job and wiped out his savings to form Micah Group.
Justin recruited a team of data scientists and researchers from MIT, Harvard, and George Washington University to build Micah™, the intelligent lending platform. It would digitize paper documents — often the most mundane of underwriting tasks — in seconds.
As our team grew, we perfected Micah to eliminate virtual all manual data entry in the underwriting process. We improved its ability to spread consistent, audit-friendly data. Instead of formatting spreadsheets, underwriters could reach their analysis faster and with fewer errors. Next, we added the capability of generating credit memos on the fly. Micah instantly formats easy-to-read credit presentations, tailored to each bank’s requirements.
Today, we employ a team of experienced bankers, financial services leaders, software engineers and analysts.
We are supported by a board of executives and investors with track records across banking, lending, cybersecurity, software and law. Together, we share the singlehanded focus of walking in our customers’ shoes.
At Micah Group, we believe technology should augment the human relationship — not replace it. We continually evolve our platform with the aim of putting lending staff to their highest and best use. With Micah, bankers spend less time behind computers and more time in front of customers.