Borrowers today are after fast quotes and quick settlements, and with Australia’s fintech sector looking to expand into and dominate the Asian marketplace, the opportunity for borrowers to access all types of loans is looking better than ever. For prospective borrowers looking for expert, flexible, and secure advice, a trip to the bank is no longer the first part of the routine, with fintech companies quickly filling the investment, advice and banking space.
Queensland fintech startup funding.com.au is taking a step into this colossal market, assisting borrowers seeking short to medium term loans through an online application process. It provides real estate secured loans for personal and business purposes and mortgages from investors.
The process happens entirely through an automated platform. It has customers input the desired loan amount, repayment term, and repayment strategy; a customer looking for a home loan in order to purchase will have to specify whether they will be repaying the loan through the sale of the property, refinancing, the sale of a business, or other methods. Launched late last year, the startup has settled its first loan. As the direct lender, the platform can assist borrowers with cost effective settlement measures in two to three days.
It’s the focus on real estate security that distinguishes Funding.com.au from more established players in the fintech space, such as peer-to-peer platforms SocietyOne and RateSetter or business lenders Prospa and Moula.
Mortgage lawyer and founder of funding.com.au Jack O’Rielly said the impetus for founding the platform came from his view that the mortgage market and the process around borrowing and lending needs to be rebuilt.
“Traditional banking models have fallen behind; they’re slow, rigid, packed with fees and slapped with red tape. When it comes to credit, they leave non-conforming borrowers out in the cold, and other times, they can’t keep up with would-be-approved borrowers who need quick access to cash. They just don’t always work for everyone,” he said.
As such, Funding.com.au looks to take advantage of online services and efficiencies. For borrowers this means online application processes can be accessed via desktop or smartphones. For investors, funding.com.au opens up access to a wide range of competitive and attractive returns, with fixed interest rates and frequent cash flow.
Working as a purely online business means the decision making and settlement process is faster than that of a bank. For example, a recent loan for a property improvement where a borrower needed funding for six months was settled by funding.com.au late last year. The borrower needed funding for six months and the loan to value ratio was under 50 percent. O’Reilly said the loan was a no brainer, however the time frame required by the borrower sat outside of the bank’s ability.
“We take a common sense approach when assessing a borrower’s application, and we only originate loans that have quality underlying security, typically lending to a maximum of 65 to 70 percent of property value,” he said.
Australia has one of the highest rates of property ownership in the world, with personal capital tied into family homes or businesses. On a global scale the mortgage market is a trillion dollar industry, and the non-conforming sector is becoming an increasingly large component. In Australia, the non-conforming mortgage market is an industry worth billions.
While the startup is initially servicing the Australian mortgage market, expansion into other international lending spaces is on the cards, with O’Rielly expecting to showcase the startup at TechCrunch Disrupt in May this year.
O’Reilly is also planning further product development, with the aim to roll out additional features including instant risk based quoting.
“It is truly an exciting time for the finance industry and it’s great to be apart of the fintech space. We have had some of the brightest software engineers, lawyers and financial services minds working on funding.com.au.”
Image: Jack O’Reilly. Source: Supplied