People’s Champion finalist 2017: Habito

Shaking up the property market, will the free online mortgage broker land your Startups Awards People's Champion vote?

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Start-up name: Habito
Founder: Daniel Hegarty
Started in: April 2016
Based in: London
Business description: Artificial intelligence-based digital mortgage advisor

Shortlisted categories:

Innovative Business of the Year, Venture Funded Business of the Year

The Habito Story:

The mortgage market, worth £1.3 trillion, has been untouched by technology for 30 years.

Launching back in April 2016, Habito offers an online alternative, providing more choice, greater transparency and more control to consumers.

Following founder and CEO Daniel Hegarty’s struggle with the mortgage process – to the point where he almost lost his new house – he decided to try to improve mortgages, by making them faster and simpler: in a word; digital.

Firstly, Habito – which has raised over £5.5m in funding – has custom-built its own sourcing platform which accesses a database of over 20,000 products from over 70 lenders across the market in real time, allowing it to recommend the best possible deal for every applicant.

Unlike human mortgage brokers, Habito’s algorithm has no biases in favour of particular lenders or particular types of borrowers and offers no judgment about borrowers’ circumstances. It provides high-quality mortgage decisions that people can trust.

If Habito is unusual for marrying the mortgage process with technology, it is totally unique for its creation of the world’s first digital mortgage adviser (DMA). This chatbot is built with artificial intelligence, enabling it to guide users through a fact-find to get the best product for them, which can result in savings of thousands of pounds per year.

Over 50,000 people have been helped to better understand their mortgage needs by Habito, while the mortgage advisor has continued to ramp up growth. In the last year, Hegarty’s business has grown sustainably by 30% month on month, quadrupling the size of its team to over 40 employees in that time.

With various advertisements across London’s tube network and television through 2017, these numbers look set to grow as the start-up scales its efforts to inform the public on whether they are getting a bad mortgage deal.

The future looks bright for Habito – the start-up is set to continue to develop its AI technology and create a fully automated end-to-end platform over the next six months that will offer new services such as real-time mortgage approvals.

Why Habito made our shortlist:

Mortgages are difficult to deal with even at the best of times, but Habito looks set to disrupt the market and finally bring it up to date.

With a five-star rating on Trustpilot (and over 420 reviews and counting), Habito’s success is a testament to the significant shift in the way consumers expect to engage with financial services – especially mortgages. Featured among the top 50 new businesses in the Startups 100 2017, Habito is removing the anxiety and confusion that is so often associated with securing a mortgage.

Where you can find out more about Habito:

Twitter: @habito

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