Fintech platform secures $16.5m investment from Westpac

by Phil McCarroll14 Sep 2016
Major bank Westpac has made a significant investment in uno, a fintech platform which helps consumers to broker their own home loan online.

Launched in May this year, uno today announced that it has secured a $16.5m investment from Westpac as part of its Series A capital raising.

While Westpac has been involved with uno since the concept phase, uno founder and chief executive officer Vincent Turner told Australian Broker the injection of funds from the major bank is a vote of confidence for the platform.

“We’re stoked to have had them involved from the get go, but this is a pretty significant investment in terms of the size of it and that’s a pretty good reflection of the progress we’re making,” Turner told Australian Broker.

Uno claims to allow consumers access to the same tools and information brokers use analyse and find suitable loans, while also offering support staff to assist them in that process. Expanding that support team will be one of two main areas funds from the round of capital raising will be funnelled to.

“Most of the growth we expect to see is in ramping up our marketing. A lot of that will be digital, things like Google and doing targeted stuff, we’re not going to be going out and doing a TV campaign or anything like that soon,” Turner told Australian Broker.

“Obviously will give people technology, but there’s people behind it to provide advice and support so we have to scale that team. Of the 35 that people that are on the uno team at the moment, 12 are in service based roles and that’s going to continue to grow as our volume grows.”

Since its launch, more than $400m worth of mortgages have been compared through uno and Turner believes the platform is positioned to become a key part of people’s search for a home loan.

“Traditionally there were two options, you could go and see a bank or you could go and see a broker.

“We see uno as the third wave. There are people who prefer to operate digitally and why should their mortgage be any different? We’re servicing that base and we think that will really continue to grow.”

Gary Thursby, chief strategy officer at Westpac, said the bank’s investment showed it too believes uno will become a key player in the industry.

“uno’s success has been impressive and we’re seeing its potential to become a serious player in the home loan market. Westpac has been involved since the concept phase, and today we’re pleased to announce we will increase our involvement in uno as a strategic investor,” Thursby said.