One of Australia’s big four banks has invested $16.5 million in a young digital mortgage service after recognising “its potential to become a serious player in the home loan market”.
Westpac’s chief strategy officer, Gary Thursby, said the investment decision – said to involve one of the largest Series 'A' raises in Australian history – was taken after the bank noted uno.’s “impressive” success in helping customers during the home loan search process.
Founder and CEO of uno., Vincent Turner, said that since the platform’s launch earlier this year, “thousands” of registered customers have used uno. to compare “more than $400 million worth of mortgages”.
The website offers customers direct access to technology and information similar to that traditional mortgage brokers use, and includes support and advice for customers via chat, phone and video.
“Westpac has been involved since the concept phase [of uno.] and … we’re pleased to announce we will increase our involvement in uno. as a strategic investor," the bank's Mr Thursby said.
The bank is “proud of its reputation as a supporter of early stage fintech companies like uno. that drive digital innovation and benefit Australians”, he added.
The platform is one of several fintech businesses that have come to the market in recent months – and which could potentially disrupt the mortgage broking industry.
According to Mr Turner, the website “challenge[s] the status quo by giving customers the ability to search, compare and settle a home loan in the one place, which has proven extremely useful for busy professionals”.
“We knew from the start that by creating a platform with direct visibility to lenders’ products and pricing, we could give Australians greater control over the home loan process and the confidence to achieve the best home loan deal," he added.
“With the healthy investment we need to drive the company forward, we are excited to keep expanding and help more people get a better home loan.”
[Related: Fintech adoption tipped to double in 2016]