12. Habito

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Founder: Daniel Hegarty
Founded: January 2015 (launched April 2016)
Website: www.habito.com

When someone mentions getting a mortgage, what are the first things that come to mind? We can bet you they aren’t “the mortgage process is so fast and simple!”

Well, Habito wants to change all that and make getting a mortgage as easy and painless as possible.

Launched in April 2016 by Daniel Hegarty, the idea for Habito came about when Hegarty was applying for his own mortgage and found that the experience was “frustrating and took forever”. What’s more, his mortgage application was refused twice because of human error on the part of the broker.

Having rebuilt the mortgage brokering process, Habito’s innovative technology puts the customer at the centre of the process.

Its free online broker service gets you to answer simple questions about the type of mortgage you’re looking for and its technology is then able to analyse every mortgage on the market, from over 70 lenders, to find the best one for you in seconds.

Once you’ve found the right mortgage, Habito gives you a dedicated mortgage expert to keep you updated with the progress of your application from start to finish.

This new way to get a mortgage has proved an appealing one for home buyers and the business has, so far, helped 72,000 people to better understand their mortgage.

Investors have been just as keen, pumped £32.9m investment into the business. Much of this funding has supported Habito’s marketing activities with large-scale outdoor advertising across London on national rail, tube and buses, alongside radio, TV and traditional PR.

And the business is a hiring magnet too, with 77 employees “and growing every week”.

While Habito is already tackling a huge market to great success, Hegarty has set his sights on reducing friction in other aspects of the mortgage process, bringing Habito’s customer-first approach to home and life insurance.

The start-up is currently developing a suite of simple and transparent insurance products that are free of confusing industry jargon and tailored to the needs of mortgage applicants.

Hegarty’s overall mission for Habito? “To make mortgages as easy to switch as your broadband or car insurance from the comfort of your home, and something you do in moments, not weeks.”

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