SafeChain, an Ohio-grown company, developed fraud prevention software for title service professionals. Called SafeWire, the software helps real estate companies close faster while decreasing fraudulent liabilities faced by title service professionals. CEO and Founder Tony Franco shares his insights on SafeChain, fintech trends, Fintech71 and Ohio.
Tony Franco, Founder and CEO
Title insurance optimization via blockchain
What does SafeChain do?
Franco: SafeWire by SafeChain empowers title companies to complete wire transactions with maximum security. It digitally verifies the identity of every buyer and seller in a transaction, as well as ensures that the buyers and sellers own and control their bank accounts via an ACH transaction. Long term, we hope to enable consumers to be able to buy or sell real estate within 30 seconds with our blockchain solution.
What is SafeChain’s story? How did SafeChain come to be? What sparked the idea?
Franco: Chris Sauerzopf and I met in November of 2016. We were originally working on an idea to improve the current workflow software used by title companies. In a short period of time, we realized a blockchain solution to automate the title process would eliminate the issue we hoped to solve. In December, we were introduced to Rob Zwink, a blockchain expert who was employed by JPMorgan Chase at the time. Rob quit his job in April 2017, and SafeChain has been building its MVP ever since.
Why is SafeChain important?
Franco: Our first product eliminates the instances of fraud in real estate transactions, currently a $400 million problem in the United States. In an age where fraud is becoming increasingly common, it is crucial that everything is done to ensure individuals and organizations are protected.
What are SafeChain's goals as a company?
Franco: Our goals are to shake up the real-estate industry to ensure that every real-estate transaction is secure and free of fraud and to bring the industry to modern times by making the processes more digital and mobile friendly. As a company, we add value to the title space by improving the software that serves it. Long term, we will enhance automation and re-empower consumers to be able to transact without the process inefficiencies that currently exist.
What are the biggest fintech trends?
Franco: The biggest trends are in decentralization (blockchain/Bitcoin), insuretech, fraud prevention, digital authentication, innovative payments and innovative credit scoring.
Which of these fintech trends is most likely to impact SafeChain?
Franco: At its core, SafeChain eliminates fraud and inefficiencies in real-estate transactions. Improved multifactor authentication practices allow us to authenticate identities more accurately. The blockchain will enable us to decentralize property data and allow consumers to complete property transactions over our network.
How did SafeChain hear about Fintech71?
Franco: We heard about it from our local startup community members.
What appealed to SafeChain about Fintech71?
Franco: The mentor network that backs Fintech71 is unmatched, especially in the Ohio region. We hope to build rapport with this network and learn from its industry expertise.
Why did SafeChain apply to Fintech71?
Franco: We wanted to be a part of the first financial accelerator in the Columbus region to learn from the network and the expertise it provides.
What is SafeChain hoping to get out of Fintech71?
Franco: Mentorship, an increased network and a heightened understanding of financial technology trends.
What was your perception of Ohio before Fintech71?
Franco: Ohio is our home. We believe, due to the industry and the network central Ohio provides, that we are in one of the best places in the world to start a company.
How does Ohio have a fintech advantage?
Franco: Multiple world-renowned institutions are headquartered in Ohio. This provides a strategic customer and investment network for Ohio fintech companies and serves as a home base for growth.
Interested in learning more about fintech, Fintech71 and financial services in Ohio? We invite you to visit our financial services page.