FormFree appoints Solvent CEO DIVINE as head of culture

Fintech founder and former professional hip-hop/rap recording artist DIVINE joins FormFree in push to decentralize consumer financial data and democratize access to credit for unserved and underserved borrowers

FormFree® today announced the appointment of former hip-hop/rap recording artist-turned-techpreneur Victor D. Lombard, professionally known as DIVINE, as head of culture. 

DIVINE is the CEO and founder of Solvent, a fintech focused on financial empowerment for marginalized groups. Solvent broke ground in 2022 when it was accepted as part of the inaugural cohort of Amazon’s AWS Impact Accelerator for Black Founders, an eight-week program designed to help high-potential, pre-seed startups led by under-represented founders. Additionally in 2022, Solvent was accepted into Village Capital’s Innovations in Justice Tech, a fellowship program in collaboration with AmFam Institute and Dream.org that supports entrepreneurs building innovations to improve the lives of individuals and communities impacted by the justice system. 

DIVINE grew up in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and endured childhood poverty and incarceration at age 19. Realizing his potential was boundless but his options were limited, following his release DIVINE took a leap of faith and asked Ben Horowitz, general partner and co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, to mentor him. Horowitz, who grew up a hip-hop/rap fan in Berkeley, California, agreed. The mentorship proved a turning point for DIVINE, and his transformation from system-impacted youth to tech-founder has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur and Inc.

“We are extremely pleased that DIVINE has joined us and feel he is uniquely qualified to convey our message of financial parity for unserved and underserved communities,” said FormFree CEO and founder Brent Chandler. “DIVINE will be on the front lines of FormFree’s engagement of unserved and underserved communities he connects with in ways that are authentic and impactful.”

DIVINE joined Chandler and Kevin Harrington of ABC’s Shark Tank fame at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 2023 Convention & Expo in support of FormFree’s launch of Passport and the FormFree Exchange (FFX). Following a discussion of the opportunities lenders have to meet a diverse array of homebuyers with a consumer-centric experience, DIVINE closed out the session with a performance of his song H.O.P.E. (Helping Oppressed People Elevate).

As head of culture at FormFree, DIVINE will use his new platform and hip-hop/rap talent to reach out to unserved and underserved urban renters with messages of financial empowerment and hope. Further, DIVINE will work closely with Harrington in a collaborative partnership with FormFree to bring awareness and empowerment to this audience.

“Hip-hop/rap culture and music in particular is a universal and global language,” said DIVINE. “What better way than using it to help build awareness of the benefits of homeownership and provide a technology bridge so people will be able to take control of their financial futures.”

“Technologies like Passport and the FormFree Exchange can change everything for minority homebuyers, getting rid of the disregard on one side and distrust on the other. It takes all the judgment away. Borrowers can raise their profile with lenders, and lenders know they’re creditworthy and compete for their business, so it’s a win-win for buyers and lenders,” added DIVINE. “With Solvent and FormFree’s shared mission and vision, there’s a perfect alignment, and I’m really proud to be part of this unique partnership to bring about transformation.” 

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