It looks like it is going to be a good year for digital disruption within the property industry.
Buying a house is one of the biggest, and certainly the most expensive decisions you will ever make – so do you trust a digital platform to deliver you the home – and the mortgage of your dreams?
Habito hope you do – the startup founded by a team of developers led by Daniel Hegarty say that they are “going to get you the right mortgage, and we’re going to do it without jargon, misinformation or the hard sell.”
I’ll take two please. According to a blog post written by Hegarty, one in four homeowners in the UK has chosen, or rather been given, the wrong mortgage by their well remunerated broker, and could save, on average £4,000 per year by switching to a better one.
And that’s where habito comes in; first you use their bespoke mortgage calculator to get an idea of how much you can borrow (no charges, no credit checks), and then you apply for it “in record time”, via a personalised, dedicated service. No charge, simply “sit back and relax”, say habito.
And the good news is some fairly stellar investors “what know” the market have decided to back habito to the tune of nearly 9 million dollars.
The Series A round completed this week by the prop-tech startup raised £5.5 million pounds, led by Ribbit Capital, with Mosaic Ventures also on board, as well as super-angels Taavet Hinrickius, co-founder of Fintech “Unicorn” Transferwise (who have raised roughly £125m themselves), Paul Forster, co-founder of job search platform Indeed, and Yuri Milner, a Russian entrepreneur and the founder of Moscow based investment company DST Global, which has billions in its VC war chest.
Back to mortgages and prop-tech – last year, Settled, a web based property sales service raised a £1m seed round led by 500 startups, whilst Property Partner, which was only founded 2 years ago, has already closed four funding rounds, raising $22.5m.
No sector, it seems, is safe from a dose of digital disruption, and for that, entrepreneurs everywhere can be thankful. Keep studying that Lean Methodology, folks, and don’t forget that PiLabs, Europe’s first Property tech accelerator, is based right here in London. Previous alumni include Bamboo Auctions, founded by lawyer turned entrepreneur Robin Rathore.