Fintech start up, Athena, has closed a Series A raise of $15 million with investment backing from Macquarie Bank, Square Peg Capital and Apex Capital. This follows on from an earlier $3 million seed round closed in June 2017.
Set on disrupting Australia’s $1.7 trillion home loan market, Athena is Australia’s first cloud-native digital mortgage platform, supported by genuinely helpful customer service. The company was founded by a group of ex-bankers who are passionate about challenging the dominance of the big four banks.
Co-founders Nathan Walsh and Michael Starkey said it was about time the whole industry saw a shake-up.
“Athena’s mission is to make the journey to home ownership faster, cheaper, and less stressful,” says Nathan, Athena Co-founder & CEO. “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.
“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,” continued Nathan.
What is Athena doing differently?
Athena’s unique model will involve partnering with super funds to fund residential home loans.
“Today, superannuation funds have large investments in Australian mortgage assets, via bank intermediation. By investing in home loans directly with Athena, super funds can cut the spread between what mortgage borrowers pay and investors receive. In countries such as the Netherlands, where pension systems are similarly advanced, the impact of this model is already evident,” says Michael, Athena Co-founder & COO.
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. Borrowers can join the waitlist at www.athena.com.au.