An internet mortgage broker that aims to shake up the complex process of securing a home loan has raised £5.5m from a Silicon Valley investor.
Habito, a London start-up, permits homebuyers to find a mortgage using an artificial intelligence chatbot instead of a series of meetings or phone call with a broker. It privileges to find the right loan within minutes and send an application without the requirement of any paperwork or a broker’s fee.
The company, established by former Wonga executive Daniel Hegarty, has upstretched the funds from Ribbit Capital, whose former investments include the peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle, as well as former backers Mosaic Capital and Yuri Milner, a Russian entrepreneur who has backed Facebook, Twitter and Spotify.
Habito, which launched in April previous year, states it has been used by 20,000 people and handled £50m worth of applications. It has trained the algorithm that finds mortgages on 2,000 real-life interviews and states it will use the funds to build technology that can instantly generate agreements in principle for mortgage applicants.
Mr Hegarty, who established the company after his broker botched a mortgage application by putting his wife’s name on it twice, stated: “The fundamental reality is there has been no innovation in mortgage making for 30 or 40 years. This is something that used to take numerous hours of conversation with your broker.”