UK fintech startup Habito has raised a further £18.5 million (US$24 million) to help fund its expansion, and has some big name backers behind it.
The company, which has developed a digital mortgage broker with a chatbot interface, has attracted Atomico, the technology investment house set up by Skype founder Niklas Zennström, as the lead investor in the Series B round.
Atomico has previous experience of investing in the UK property finance applications market -- it backed Lendinvest in March 2016 -- and liked that Habito's technology provides an advantage for both lenders and borrowers: "When we see a solution that is better for both sides of the market, to us that feels like a winning formula," Atomico noted in an announcement about its investment.
Habito's technology, developed for UK homeowners (who borrowed £245 billion in 2016), analyzes more than 20,000 mortgage products, across 70 lenders, in real-time. It provides automated advice via a chatbot, a process that, according to Atomico, can "reduce the time spent on an application with a traditional broker by over 50%." And that's a lot of time saved, as about 68% of homeowner mortgages were sold through brokers in 2016.
In addition, the Habito platform "will also improve things for lenders. By providing access to specific customer groups and with risk assessment already completed, lenders will benefit from both lower customer acquisition costs and lower operational costs with fewer people needed to assess the risk."
Habito has now raised almost £26 million ($34 million), having already closed a Series A round earlier this year and banked seed funding in early 2016.
Habito founder and CEO Daniel Hegarty
Atomico says one of its partners, Niall Wass, will join Habito's board and that its "Growth Acceleration team" will help Habito founder and CEO Daniel Hegarty and his team build the business.