The loan book at Brisbane-headquartered fintech WLTH has ballooned to more than $1.5 billion following the acquisition of Gold Coast-based Mortgage Mart of Australia, cementing its position as a leading non-bank lender after also completing its largest funding round to date.
The acquisition was partly facilitated by WLTH's $14 million raise with cornerstone support from purpose-driven investment firm Rajomon and Kina Bank (ASX:KSL), Papua New Guinea's leading digital bank and second-largest commercial bank.
Both Rajomon and Kina intend to utilise WLTH's core capability engine and payments platform, while the PNG company's extensive customer base primes the group for commercial opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.
WLTH will also receive a boost to its working capital provisions from the round, giving additional firepower to a rapidly-scaling business model that is not just about making digital loans and business payments easier for consumers, but also seeks to remove a portion of the plastic waste that is polluting our oceans.
For every mortgage settled, WLTH has committed to clean up 50 square metres of Australian coastline. Alongside its partnerships with Parley for the Oceans and the Australia SailGP team, the lender has committed to cleaning in excess of 450,000 square metres to date.
WLTH, founded by Top 100 Young Entrepreneur listers Brodie and Drew Haupt in 2019, notes both businesses share a common vision to empower brokers with a range of lending solutions and create growth opportunities outside of the 'vanilla' home loan lending market.
Brodie Haupt, WLTH's CEO, says Mortgage Mart’s industry experience and deep relationships within the broker community will complement WLTH’s digital approach and leverage further impact. The mortgage manager has a loan portfolio exceeding $1 billion.
"Mortgage Mart's experienced team and broker relationships present a significant opportunity to build upon their foundations. Our immediate focus will be to leverage technology to enhance the broker and customer experience in line with the strategies that have proved successful at WLTH," he says.
"By introducing innovative new products and streamlining application processes, including auto decisioning and electronic documentation, Aussies will be able to apply for Mortgage Mart loans in less than 15 minutes.
"Together, we aim to create a powerful force in the Australian mortgage market, providing brokers and their customers with a compelling alternative to the traditional banks. The acquisition of Mortgage Mart brings us significantly closer to achieving our goal of making homeownership more accessible and affordable for all Australians."
Drew Haupt says the momentum of digital mortgages in the US is a robust indicator for Australia’s market trajectory.
"The banking industry globally is undergoing transformation on a scale and at a rate not seen in a generation, and the Australian market is no exception," he explains.
"As a new entrant, we are committed to solving problems the incumbents have ignored. We see an imminent shift to digital mortgages and continued broker dominance."
Kina Bank CEO Greg Pawson describes WLTH as a leading impact lender with a strong track record of fintech innovation.
"We believe that the combination of WLTH's digital capabilities and Mortgage Mart's industry experience and broker relationships is a powerful force in the Australian mortgage market," he says.
"By supporting the acquisition of Mortgage Mart, our investment in WLTH will drive numerous benefits for Kina Bank customers and stakeholders.
"We are also excited to explore opportunities to leverage WLTH's core capability engine and payments platform to support our own growth initiatives in Papua New Guinea and the broader region."
Rajomon founder Abidal Guerinat believes WLTH is well-positioned to disrupt the Australian mortgage market and make homeownership more accessible and affordable for all Australians.
"At Rajomon, we believe investing should be used as a vehicle to drive positive life outcomes, and WLTH’s mission as an impact lender meets that thesis in numerous ways." says Guerinat.
"Our investment also presents significant opportunities to collaborate with WLTH and Mortgage Mart on industry-first finance solutions that will support meaningful health and wealth outcomes for everyday Australians."
Get our daily business news
Sign up to our free email news updates.