"They have identified a market which could be improved through technology and they’ve gone for it by securing a very large distribution partne"
Sesame Bankhall Group and Aviva have announced a £5 million investment in new mortgage, protection and general insurance platform Acre Software.
Acre aims to improve the mortgage and insurance application process for advisers and their clients through blockchain, with the volume of transactions provided by Sesame Bankhall Group.
The platform was born out of Founders Factory, which offers an incubator for start-up companies and assists with product development, market insight and capital. Aviva Ventures is an investor in Founders Factory and worked with SBG to help facilitate its investment in Acre.
John Cowan, executive chairman at Sesame Bankhall Group, said: “After undertaking a comprehensive 12-month review of the market, we concluded that we could no longer ignore the new competitive threats circling around our profession and we had to act. Working with Aviva Ventures, we saw an opportunity to turn the threat posed by new disruptive technology on its head. Acre will bring the latest technology know-how, and that coupled with our distribution expertise will help advisers and their clients reap the benefits.”
Justus Brown, CEO and founder of Acre Software, commented: “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.”
Ben Luckett, managing director at 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.”