Home loan fintech raises $25m

The platform is celebrating a $25million raise ahead of its launch in 2019

Home loan fintech raises $25m


By Rebecca Pike

A fintech start-up is celebrating a $25million raise as it continues on its pathway to becoming Australia’s “most innovative home loan provider”.

Athena Home Loans, which is still in its pilot phase, has closed its most recent Series B raise led by Square Peg Capital.

Industry super fund Hostplus and venture firm AirTree also joined the round, taking the group’s total capital raised to date to $45m.

The Series B raise comes six months after the company announced a Series A fund raise led by Macquarie Bank and Square Peg Capital and three months after announcing a strategic partnership with Resimac Group.

Powered by Australia’s first cloud native digital mortgage platform, Athena aims to bypass the banks to connect borrowers to superfund backed loans.

The company was founded by two ex-bankers, Nathan Walsh and Michael Starkey, who said they wanted the journey to home ownership to be faster, cheaper and stress free.

Square Peg Capital invested in Athena in Series A and has further solidified its support of the home loan provider by leading the Series B round.

Venture capitalist and co-founder of Square Peg, Paul Bassat, who also sits on the Athena Board, said investing further into Athena proves the potential they see in the business.

He said, “Having worked with Nathan, Michael and the team over the last year I have enormous admiration for the speed at which they have navigated complex financial systems to develop a robust and customer-centric mortgage service.

“Athena is solving a really important problem for home buyers and is certainly one of the most exciting Fintech companies in Australia.

“We are thrilled to back the team again and look forward to supporting them on this extraordinary journey.”

Industry superannuation fund Hostplus has more than 1.1 million members and $37billion in funds under management.

Hostplus has spearheaded investment in the local start-up ecosystem, with more than $1billion of its fully diversified portfolio committed to Australian venture capital managers.

Hostplus chief investment officer, Sam Sicilia, said that “Athena is a great example of disruptive innovation delivering big savings for home loan borrowers”.

Athena COO Michael Starkey said, “We are delighted to have Hostplus and AirTree joining Athena as investors. Athena’s journey has benefited hugely from the insights and support from some of Australia’s smartest investors. It’s clear the timing has never been better to offer a fairer home loan.”

Athena CEO Nathan Walsh said, “During our pilot, we are already seeing the power of the Athena proposition to save money and change lives.

“A single mum who will be able to pay off her home loan 19 months earlier and save $130,000 over the life of the loan.

“A family with three young kids who will save $40,000 on their home loan can now take the family on the first holiday in years. It’s powerful stuff.”

Commenting on the company’s upcoming launch in Q1 2019, Nathan said, “Our key priorities with the investment will be to continue to innovate our platform, invest in talent and scale the business.

“Australia, Athena is coming!”

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