About Us

The Agora Difference

Inefficiency is complacency – plain and simple. This means being okay with things working poorly, as long as they’re working. Or sort of working. By allowing inefficiency to go unchallenged, and settling for less. By always doing more than should be needed to accomplish less than what’s possible.

Mortgage finance is a yesteryear industry, mired in the complexity of its own design. It applies machines when we need humans, and humans when we need machines. It is profoundly behind the times. So behind that it’s unable to meet the needs of a new class of qualified borrowers. And that is standing in the way of opportunity.

We don’t settle for less. We’re driven to simplify the complex and to bring backroom processes into the light. With our unique combination of domain and technology expertise, we have the right set of skills and talent to revolutionize the industry at its core. We have a demonstrable 2.0x cost advantage and 1.5x processing time advantage over the industry, allowing us to provide unparalleled pricing and service to our customers.

And, we are just getting started. The entire system is ripe for a reboot, and we have accepted the challenge.

– The Ethos Team

Our Story

Agora is a technology-driven mortgage company founded in 2013.

To date, the company has financed more than $8 billion in loans and continues providing consumers access to the housing market at leading rates. Our goal is to rebuild the mortgage process to significantly decrease the fees, closing costs and interest rates for borrowers, making their home ownership dreams a reality.

Our team members have been trained to empower the consumer, helping them make the most educated and appropriate decision for their unique situation. 

Executive Team

Adam Carmel

Adam Carmel is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Agora Lending. Previously, he served as the EVP at Provident Funding, and the founder of ASC Real Estate. He is very passionate about disrupting the mortgage industry through cutting-edge innovation and streamlined processes while reducing the cost and the hassle of getting a home loan for the consumer. Adam is a proud alumni of the University of Southern California. 

Sean Souther

Sean has over 20 years of experience in building technology solutions in Education, eCommerce and Fintech. He has spent most of his career in mortgage-related businesses, and has a proven track record of delivering systems that reduce industry labor cost and cycle times. Prior to helping found Agora, Sean spent 10 years at LSI Title, building Order and Vendor Management, Instant Title, eClosing, and Valuation Scoring systems.

Erik Stern

Erik Stern is Chief Operating Officer at Agora. He oversees the origination of loans as well as the Origination Process. Prior to joining Agora, he worked as the Sub-Servicing Operations Manager at Provident Funding and the General Manager of Provident’s Sofia Bulgaria office.  Erik graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA. He lives in San Francisco with his wife who recently has given birth to their first child.

Brian Permutt
EVP National Sales

Brian Permutt is the Executive Vice President of National Sales at Agora Lending, responsible for the company’s loan production volume in the wholesale, retail, and consumer direct channels. Brian’s experience on the Sales Excellence Committee at IndyMac Bank, opening a new wholesale channel for a division of LoanDepot, and, managing a Regional Sales Team at NewPenn Financial, has given him the perspective needed to take Agora Lending to the next level.

Mike Borozdin
VP Engineering

Mike has spent 20 years building software systems and teams for large software companies and startups. Previously, he served as the Sr. Director of Engineering at DocuSign, where he started as the 25th employee, leaving 10 years later when DocuSign became a household name. Prior to DocuSign, Mike was working on the Windows Operating System at Microsoft. Mike graduated with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Washington.

Ryan Hoffman
VP Finance & Strategy

Ryan joined Agora following a 10 year career on Wall Street. Most recently, Ryan was an investor at Tensile Capital Management, where he led equity and credit investments across a range of industries, including financial services and technology. Previously, Ryan was an investor at ValueAct Capital and an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. He earned a B.S. in Finance with highest honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.