Athena, an Australian home loans startup led by former NAB bankers that is bidding to take on the nation's biggest lenders, has raised $15 million in a funding round led by Macquarie Bank and Square peg Capital.
The company, which aims to steer customers away from the big banks by promising fast online approval for loans backed directly by Superannuation funds, launched last June with $3 million in seed funding.
The new round of funding comes as the company prepares to launch a beta pilot of the cloud-based platform next month, ahead of a full commercial roll out in 2019.
Michael Starkey, co-founder and COO says that by bypassing the banks, the firm will be able to offer lower interest rates to customers.
“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,” he says. “In countries such as the Netherlands, where pension systems are similarly advanced, the impact of this model is already evident.”