Westpac has invested $26.5 million for a majority stake in a fintech startup for home loans

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Westpac has just invested another $5 million into Sydney-based digital broker Uno home loans, taking the majority shareholder’s total investment in the Sydney-based fintech to $26.5 million in just 20 months.

With the mortgage market under pressure, the bank appears to be hedging its bets with Uno, which doesn’t specifically funnel borrowers to Westpac, instead letting them search and choose between 21 brands, including the big four.

The self-service online platform offers a seven-day service from home loan advisers via phone, text, chat, video and email and finds deals based an algorithm matching their details against more than 50,000 rules by lenders. Around 60% of people get talk to the advisers before they start an online application.

The driving force behind Uno is CEO Vincent Turner, who claims the credit for creating the mortgage software used by more than 90% of Australian banks and brokers, and launched the business last May 2016.

Turner said the business grew exponentially, with frontline staff numbers doubling in the last 12 months and a sixth-fold increase in applications.

The business says it’s helped with more than $1.3 billion in loans since launching — the highest value loan being $14.5 million.

“We have found that giving customers the technology to calculate the best home loans deals on our digital platform, coupled with advice and support from home loan advisers has proven an optimal mix of convenience, service, and advocacy,” Turner said.

The $5 million will be invested in additional technology and add more loan advisers.

“The funding from our investors enables us to continue improving and expanding our offering so that Uno can continue redefining the way Australians secure property finance,” Turner said.

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