A property technology startup which helps find homebuyers the best deal on their mortgage online via a chatbot has raised a new multi-million pound round of funding to support its growth, City A.M can exclusively reveal.
Habito, already backed by seed capital from the entrepreneurs behind Transferwise and Funding Circle, has landed a further £5.5m of cash led by Silicon Valley's Ribbit Capital.
Existing investor Mosaic Ventures also participated in the series A round bringing the total cash behind the startup, which automates and therefore simplifies the mortgage application process, to £8.2m.
Transferwise founder Taavet Hinrikus, Funding Circle's Samir Desai and Russian Billionaire Yuri Milner who also boasts investments in the UK's Citymapper, China's Xiaomi and the startup space of ex-government tech advisor Rohan Silva, Second Home, are among early stage backers of the tech company.
In nine months, Habito has already helped 20,000 customers with £50m worth of mortgages and founder and chief executive Daniel Hegarty told City A.M. the new backing was "validation that what we're doing makes sense" and revealed it is growing at a rate of 30 per cent a month.
The investment will go towards growing the 25 strong team "fairly significantly" and largely in engineering, to help role out new product features. That includes a switching service similar to those which already exist for utilities or mobile contracts, alerting homeowners when it 's time to switch to a better mortgage deal automatically, Hegarty said, as well as approving mortgages in real-time. Much of this will come from development of its machine learning capabilities.
While there have already been several successful startups in the proptech space, FCA-authorised Habito is one of several fintech startups to crop up hoping to solve the hassle of financing around buying a home.