Australian lendtech Athena strengthened by $25m funding
The fintech gods have granted Sydney-based Athena Home Loans $25 million in a Series B funding round as it prepares to take on the big banks.
The start-up shared the news with its best mate the Australian Financial Review (AFR). It says the round was led by Square Peg Capital, and included venture capital backer Hostplus and Airtree Ventures.
As FinTech Futures reported in May, (and AFR if we’re honest), Athena was readying for a full launch in 2019. At that time, it also enjoyed a $15 million funding round.
The firm is the creation of ex-National Australia Bank (NAB) bankers Nathan Walsh (CEO) and Michael Starkey (COO). Walsh was the founder of nabtrade, NAB’s online investing platform. Starkey was a co-founder of iSelect, and has held directorships at Homeloans, a mortgage manager, and New Payments Platform Australia.
With their combined experience and wisdom, they plan to grab a share of the nation’s lending market.
Athena has built a cloud-based digital home loan platform, which they claim will save some borrowers currently with the big four banks – ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac – up to $100,000 over the life of a loan.
In the latest chapter, Walsh told AFR the start-up still had most of the $15 million it raised in May in the bank, but the funds would be used for continued product development, as well as sales and marketing once it goes live next year.
“There’s lot of exciting fintechs out there, but what we’re doing with home loans has the potential to dwarf all the others in terms of savings,” he says.
“Australians are over paying by $10 billion each year in terms of excess interest costs and only 5% are refinancing, excluding those purchasing, and 80% could get a better deal.
In its first year post-launch, the company has a goal of lending $1 billion in its first year – a small sum compared to the overall $1.7 trillion mortgage market.