An Australian home loan startup has raised $15 million

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Athena, an Australian home loan platform, has raised $15 million in Series A funding.

The fintech’s investment has been backed by Macquarie Bank, Square Peg Capital, Apex Capital and Rice Warner.

The funding follows a $3 million seed round in June 2017.

Founded by ex-NAB bankers Nathan Walsh and Michael Starkey the platform aims to make home ownership “faster, cheaper, and less stressful”.

“To create the best mortgage experience and savings benefits to borrowers and investors, we’ll bypass the banks to connect borrowers to superfund-backed loans at much lower rates,” said Walsh.

“Australians don’t need more debt. We need help to pay off our home loans faster. In as little as 15 minutes online, a borrower can apply to refinance their mortgage and get conditionally approved at a great rate.”

Nathan Walsh (R) and Michael Starkey (L)

He says the potential savings for a typical Australian family switching from the big four banks to Athena could be as much as $100,000 over the life of the average loan – based on assumed owner-occupied borrowing $500,000, with interest rate reduced from 4.3% (over 30 years) to 3.59% (over 26 years).

Athena works by partnering with super funds to fund residential home loans at a lower spread than banks.

As part of Square Peg Capital’s investment, Paul Bassat will be joining the Athena Board.

“We are thrilled to be joining Athena’s journey. This is a great example of the type of team we love to back; smart, driven and focused on solving an important problem. The win-win model that Athena offers to investors and borrowers has huge potential to disrupt the way home loans are originated, serviced and funded in Australia,” said Bassat.

Athena is launching its home loan solution next month in a beta pilot.

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