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Robo-broker eyes expansion after £18.5m funding boost

Robo-broker eyes expansion after £18.5m funding boost

Digital mortgage broker Habito has secured an £18.5m funding boost as it ramps up efforts to expand its business.

The extra cash injection brings the total amount of investment into the firm to £27.5m since its launch in April 2016.

Habito plans to integrate its systems and technology with several major retail banks and high street lenders as part of efforts to facilitate real-time mortgage approvals.

The company is also looking to expand into offering home and life insurance, developing “simple and transparent products” that meet the needs of mortgage applicants.

The latest investment round was led by international venture capital firm Atomico, with participation from existing investors Ribbit Capital, Mosaic Ventures, and Revolutionary (Ad)Ventures.

Habito combines artificial intelligence with human expertise to analyse more than 20,000 mortgage products across 70 lenders in real time, allowing customers to complete their entire applications online.

Daniel Hegarty, founder and chief executive of Habito, said: “We’ve had an amazing response from customers and a period of explosive growth. 

“Our best-in-class technology, coupled with our team of first rate mortgage experts, prevents homeowners from ever getting or staying on the wrong mortgage. We remain committed to rebuilding the mortgage industry with the customer at its centre.”

Andrew Montlake, director at London-based Coreco Group, said: “The way of the world is changing, and more and more people will want to do some aspects of the transactions online - but I still believe there will be a place for the mortgage adviser within that. 

“I think the way Habito have set themselves up is impressive - they are one of the few such firms that have gone about things the right way, and they are receiving the funding for that.

“The new breed of brokers is definitely a threat, but they also bring an opportunity as more people become aware of mortgage brokers and what they do. Brokers need to move with the times and make sure they have the facility to deal with people in the way they want to be dealt with.”

simon.allin@ft.com