LoanDolphin was first established by former Westpac executives Rod Dutra and Raning Mendis in 2015. The platform enabled customer to upload their finance needs to the site while lenders and brokers competed against each other to give them “the best deal on the market”.
Similarly, Joust was also formed in 2015 by big bank executives Mark Bevan (Westpac, CBA) and Richard Hockney (NAB, Westpac) who saw an opportunity to create a reverse auction model to help customers get competitive rates from lenders.
The two reverse auction models aimed to save borrowers time and money and have reportedly helped to reduce the average customer’s interest rate by 0.74 per cent.
Over the past five years, the two companies have collectively processed $3.3 billion worth of loan opportunities (with the average loan size written sitting around the $500,000 mark) with the top-performing lenders on the platform said to be currently converting between one in three and one in five of their opportunities.
After meeting at fintech hub Stone and Chalk, the two companies identified that they could scale by merging the two businesses.
As such, LoanDolphin is now merging into the Joust brand, coming under the management of Joust CEO Carl Hammerschmidt.
Mr Hammerschmidt commented: “Both Joust and LoanDolphin have played an important role in creating new and innovative ways for Australians to get a great deal on their home loan.
“The combination of our technology, data and people best positions Joust to deliver exciting new opportunities and innovations to the home loan market.”
He continued: “Now is the perfect time for the merger, with record-low rates meaning customers can get a really good deal on their home loans using a competitive, transparent platform.
“People have been getting incredible rates as low as 2.09 percent depending on the circumstances.”
Joust’s managing director, Mark Bevan, has now taken up the role of head of sales and distribution.
Meanwhile, LoanDolphin’s co-founder and CEO, Ranin Mendis, has been appointed as Joust’s head of revenue and operations, while LoanDolphin co-founder and CTO Rod Dutra has been named Joust’s chief product officer.
Mr Mendis commented: “In this challenging growth environment where the duration of customer relationships are shortening for lenders, cost of acquisition is a major issue.
“In March, we saw record customer volumes, and over 70 percent of that was for refinance on an average loan size of more than $500,000.
“With our newly merged platforms, data sets and unique customer experience, we can instantly increase reach for lenders with high-intent borrowers and ensure they reach the right customer at the right time with the right solution.”
In its first release as a merged entity, Joust has rolled out its “Instant Match” initiative, which provides borrowers with “the most competitive loan options instantly”.
Mr Hammerschmidt commented: “With the release of Instant Match, we are able to service customers who are looking for an immediate solution based on suitability, while the Joust Marketplace will offer a more comprehensive and competitive process.
“Through both products, lenders will also be able to better target customers based on their needs such as demographic, geographic and loan type,” he said.
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.