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Digital mortgage broker Habito agrees £18.5m venture capital deal

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  • 04/09/2017
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Digital mortgage broker Habito agrees £18.5m venture capital deal
In its latest funding round, Habito has raised £18.5m in series B funding, which it plans to use to raise profile, build its brand and invest in technology.

The digital adviser has raised £27.5m so far in its progression from series A to B funding over the last nine months, after a £5.5m deal agreed in January.

The investment round was led by international venture capital firm Atomico, with participation from existing investors: Ribbit Capital, Mosaic Ventures, and Revolutionary (Ad)Ventures.

Habito also said it will be working with ‘several major retail banks and high street lenders to integrate its technology and systems directly, in order to achieve its ambition of facilitating real-time mortgage approvals, as well as applications.’

Several technology providers are racing to agree the first lender partnerships allowing an Application Processing Interface (API) from broker mortgage submission software to dovetail directly into lender’s systems offering advisers a one-touch process. No completions have been confirmed yet.

The Habito proposition offers consumers access to 70 lenders with no fee and entirely online if they choose with a digital mortgage chatbot woven seamlessly on-screen into the qualified mortgage broker guidance if the customer asks questions.

Since launch in April 2016, Habito has completed over £250m in mortgage applications and advised 50,000 customers, growing more than 50% quarter on quarter since its first funding round and tripling its headcount.

Its latest recruits include Martijn van der Heijden, ex-global head of mortgages at HSBC, and Jenny Watts, former director of lending operations at Metro Bank.

Habito said it continues to work on its insurance proposition to sit alongside the digital mortgage advice offering.

Daniel Hegarty, founder and CEO of Habito, said: “We remain committed to rebuilding the mortgage industry with the customer at its centre. That means relentlessly improving our product and service, and providing the most convenient, straightforward, and elegant way to apply for a mortgage. This new funding round led by Atomico has encouraged us to accelerate that ambition and we’ll continue to invest in an amazing team of engineers, mortgage experts and product designers, to deliver the best mortgage experience in the market.”

Niall Wass, partner, Atomico said: “When you see a very large inefficient market, with £30bn of annual overspend by consumers in the UK alone, and a business rethinking how to provide a simpler, faster and cheaper service to customers, more targeted access to borrowers, and with lower costs for the lender – there is a lot to like. Habito is a solution that is better for both sides of the mortgage market and with a great team executing with technology and customer service at its heart – Habito is a company we are excited to support.”

Habito’s series A investors include Transferwise CEO Taavet Hinrikus, Funding Circle’s founder Samir Desai and Yuri Milne.

Meanwhile, Online estate agency Yopa confirmed it has agreed over £27m in new funding from two investors – £20m from LSL Property Services, the owner of Your Move and Reeds Rains and distributors Pink and First Complete. The Daily Mail and General Trust an existing investor provided a further £7.6m.

For more from Habito and and a broader industry technology update, see our series of Tech Talks, sponsored by Capita.

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