In April last year Sapien invested $1m in Hasching. They are raising another round from wholesale investor. Interesting!
Wealthy Chinese migrants will help disrupt the Australian mortgage broking industry via an investment in Hashching, an online marketplace for home loans that is putting pressure on banks and their brokers.
The investment will be the first for Sapien Ventures, which was established last year by Victor Jiang and has raised a $50 million fund to invest in fintech and online marketplaces. Much of the capital has been raised from high-net-worth Chinese migrants after changes to the Significant Investor Visa program last year that require migrants bringing $5 million into Australia to invest at least $500,000 in eligible venture capital.
Sapien has invested $1 million in Hashching, and is preparing to announce another equity investment in a prominent local start-up. Mr Jiang said Sapien was raising two additional VC funds, a corporate and institutional fund, and a joint venture with a local wealth player, which could lift Sapien's funds under management to well over $100 million.
Sapien, which has partners in Sydney, Melbourne and Silicon Valley and recently acquired a team of five in Shanghai, is also preparing to raise a $15 million fund domiciled in China. This will be deployed to back Australian start-ups using Austrade's new Shanghai "Landing pad" as a start for expanding into China. Mr Jiang was a member of the trade delegation to China with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this month. David Gee, a former chief information officer at CUA, was also working with Sapien as an adviser.
Hashching, which launched in August last year, is a marketplace for prospective home buyers to choose mortgage brokers. The company, which works out of the Tyro fintech hub in Sydney, has received 991 applications for loans worth $517 million. Of these, 37 have been settled, worth $19.5 million, while 189, worth $93.1 million, are in the progress of being settled.
Eighty-one brokers are paying to use the Hashching platform, which offers them document and customer relationship management features to streamline application processes and lift customer service. About 1800 have registered their interest to join. Brokers pay $50 month to use the CRM features of the platform and Hashching takes a proportion of the broker fee once a loan is settled.