Home Truths /Home loan disruptor Athena breaks Australian investment record

Australian investment record broken by home loan disrupter, Athena

6 min read | 22 Oct 2019


Athena Home Loans closes $70 million in Series C funding led by Square Peg and Airtree, Hostplus, AustralianSuper, NAB Ventures and Salesforce Ventures.

Athena Home Loans, the digital platform shaking up the mortgage market, announced it has raised $70 million in Series C funding – the largest ever Australian-led venture capital investment round.

The Series C round was led by existing investors Square Peg, AirTree and Hostplus. Australia’s biggest super fund, AustralianSuper, has joined the round in its first ever early stage VC investment – and the round includes new investment by Salesforce Ventures and NAB Ventures.

Athena Co-founder and CEO, Nathan Walsh, said some of Australia’s leading superannuation and venture funds have come together to back Athena in its ongoing quest to offer a better deal to Australian families.

“We will use the investment to begin offering home loans for property purchase, adding to Athena’s successful mortgage refinancing operations”, Walsh said.

“Since we launched our refinancing solution in February this year, we’ve written over $500 million worth of home loans. By opening our platform up to people looking to buy a home, we’ll help even more Aussie families access big savings and pay off their home loan faster”.

“Legacy home lenders don’t pass on rate cuts but they do pass on massive fees. It’s little wonder Australians are crying out for a genuine alternative,” Walsh continued.

“By losing the costs and complications, removing nasty fees and actually passing the savings on, we are slicing a huge chunk of time and money off the life of every loan. The average customer switching to Athena from typical big bank rates is savings over $60,000 over the life of the loan, with aggregate savings now over $70 million. And we are just getting started.”

Athena Co-founder and COO, Michael Starkey said the Series C round takes Athena’s total capital raised to $115 million.

“Closing the largest ever Aussie-led VC investment round, with backing from such high calibre investors, is validation that Athena’s business model is ripe to disrupt Australia’s $1.7 trillion home loan market,” Starkey said.

“This additional funding will support ongoing innovation in Athena’s digital platform, investment in talent and scaling the business. Consumers are looking for compelling, simple and personalised experiences when applying for a home loan. Built on the Salesforce platform, our customer experience is proving to be a differentiator and a key element in attracting customers.,” he concluded.

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Additional Quotes

Paul Bassat (Co-Founder & Partner, Square Peg Capital):

“Athena continues to grow at pace because borrowers are drawn to its steadfast commitment to saving them money and helping pay off their home loan faster.

Athena has passed on each RBA rate cut immediately, rewarded loyalty with annual discounts and the guarantee that new customers won’t be wooed with better rates. They also haven’t charged a single cent in ongoing, application, account or exit fees. Athena is genuinely revolutionising the mortgage industry.

We’re excited to support Athena’s transformation from start-up to one of Australia’s largest fintechs, with funding that will support ongoing innovation in Athena’s digital platform and finding even greater customer savings with increased scale.”

James Cameron (Partner, Airtree Ventures):

“Athena has made phenomenal progress since we first invested, and we’re very proud to be doubling down on our investment. We’re particularly excited to have our largest partner, AustralianSuper, also investing alongside us as part of the round. As the largest ever venture round led by Australian VC investors, this is a great example of the strength and maturity that the local Australian VC industry can now bring to bear to support the growth of great Aussie success stories like Athena.”

David Elia (Chief Executive Officer, Hostplus):

“Athena is making a difference to the lives of many Australians by allowing them to pay off their home loan faster. Hostplus is thrilled to invest in Athena again as part of our large and growing venture capital portfolio.”

Shaun Manuell (Senior Portfolio Manager Australian Equities, AustralianSuper):

“AustralianSuper is pleased to invest in Athena. It provides great value home loans by leveraging its modern, cloud-native technology platform. The Fund is increasingly finding attractive opportunities in venture capital, along with the other investments we’re making in smaller-sized Australian companies.”

Robert Keith (Head of Australia, Salesforce Ventures):

“Athena is a trailblazer in the Australian mortgage market and we’re proud to join this investment round. Leveraging the Salesforce platform, Athena is well positioned to reinvent the customer experience for not only borrowers but also for funders.”

The Athena Fast Facts

  • Athena’s mission is to save customers money and help them pay off their home loan faster.

  • Customers switching to Athena since our launch in February 2019 are benefiting from cumulative saving of over $70 million over the life of their loans.

  • The average customer switching to Athena from typical big bank rates is saving over $60,000 over the life of the loan.

  • By passing on all 3 of the RBA rate cuts in full, immediately, to both new and existing customers, Athena has saved customers over $23 million over the life of their loans.

  • Automatic Rate Match – Athena is the only home loan provider to promise existing customers that they will never give new customers a better rate on a like-for-like loan.

  • Loyalty Bonus – Athena offers all customers 0.01% off their home loan rate every year for the 1st five years. The discount is applied for the life of the loan.

  • No fees – Athena doesn’t charge any ongoing, application, account or exit fees.

For an interview with Nathan Walsh or Michael Starkey at Athena contact: Anna MacIntosh, Polkadot Communications at / 0411 527 756

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Athena acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we gather the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and respect their continued and continuing connection to this place.