With its recent alliance with GMAC-Residential Funding Corporation (GMAC-RFC), Basis 100 Inc., an e-commerce technology solution provider, is ramping up its U.S. operations.
"In the U.S. we are looking to put together partnerships on the mortgage commodity trading, asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities and whole-loan fronts," said Brett Johnson, vice president of marketing at Basis.
In the recent alliance, GMAC-RFC made a privately placed investment of C$6.1 million to become a strategic equity investor in Basis 100. Through this alliance, GMAC-RFC will be represented in Basis 100's Board of Directors.
"GMAC-RFC is such a huge company that is involved in different areas that our technology touches," said Johnson. "Though there is nothing specific just yet, all indications are there that they are taking a very active role in assisting us in developing our business model."
This partnership includes Basis providing GMAC-RFC with automated valuation services. This system would replace, where appropriate, the on-site appraisal of property values.
In a related development, Basis signed a licensing agreement with GE Capital Mortgage Insurance for the use of its Automated Mortgage Underwriting System (AUS) in March.
Johnson said that since Canada's financial infrastructure is very similar to that of Britain and other Commonwealth countries, the alliance would also assist GMAC-RFC in its mortgage effort in the United Kingdom.
"We offer an entry point to a U.S. lender like GMAC-RFC from a technology perspective, to offer a technology that works with the infrastructure that's in place in these countries," Johnson said.
Aside from forming partnerships with big-name companies, the acquisition of companies that offer technology solutions is also part of Basis' business strategy. In January, Basis acquired Solimar.Net, a property valuations provider.
"We are looking to acquire more and more companies that provide that kind of service," said Johnson. "Lehman is a big partner in helping us in our acquisition plan."