The process of buying a house involves a lot of dilemmas, right from the beginning itself. Making owning a home faster, easier, more transparent, and ultimately cheaper for consumers is what most of the proptech companies target at. On similar lines, London-based Acre’s broker platform uses innovative blockchain technology in an interesting way to put detailed consumer and property data at the heart of getting a mortgage.
Recently, Acre announced an association with Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG), one of the UK’s largest distributors of financial advice, coupled with a £5 million (around €4.8 million) investment from Aviva and SBG. The company believes that the deal will help transform the way mortgage and protection advisers process business and service their clients.
Uses blockchain to manage mortgage application process
Acre, which was born out of Founders Factory’s incubator (in cooperation with Aviva), is reimagining the mortgage application process for brokers and clients. Despite the rise of direct-to-consumer mortgages by lenders and new challengers, nearly three-quarters of UK mortgages are facilitated by a broker. In order to retain their position, brokers need to match the speed and end-user experience of new market disruptors, but are slowed by fragmented workflows and compliance headaches.
Acre uses blockchain to bring together all the components of the mortgage application process into one unchangeable ‘record of the transaction’, putting brokers back in control of their business and offering a seamless, faster, journey for consumers. With the volume of purchases provided by SBG, Acre aims to become one of the largest users of blockchain in the UK.
Justus Brown, CEO/founder of Acre Software and former Founders Factory Chief Product Officer, said: “Buying a house is one of the biggest financial transactions a person can make, yet the process is slow, opaque and fragmented, which is increasingly out of step with consumer expectations. We’re changing this – levelling the playing field for brokers using innovative tech, while putting an informed consumer at the centre of the mortgage process. We are thrilled to have SBG’s distribution muscle and industry expertise, along with Aviva and SBG’s financial support at our disposal on this journey.”
Martin Schultheiss, Group Managing Director, SBG added: “SBG serves over 10,000 financial advisers across the UK and facilitated £42 billion in mortgages last year. These advisers are looking to us to help build the next generation of adviser services to ensure they stay competitive. Acre enables this future vision for us and will allow far greater value to be created through the advice process in less time.”
Commenting on Aviva’s investment in Acre Software, Ben Luckett, Managing Director, Aviva Ventures, added: “Acre is a fantastic example of the kind of fintech business we want to help nurture. They have identified a market which could be improved through technology and they’ve gone for it by securing a very large distribution partner, which is often the missing ingredient for success. I’ve really enjoyed watching the company develop, and the investment we’re announcing today will allow them to build their team further and realise their full potential.”
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