Aviva Backs Acre

Acre , the UK startup using blockchain to transform the mortgage and insurance application process, has raised £5m from Aviva Ventures and Sesame Bankhall Group.

Founded in Sep. 2018, Acre is led by Justus Brown, previously chief product officer of startup incubator Founders Factory. Despite the rise of D2C players, nearly three quarters of UK mortgages are still facilitated by advisers, however, in order to retain their position, advisers need to match the speed and end-user experience of “market disruptors.” This is where Acre comes in – the startup uses blockchain to bring together all the components of the mortgage advice process, “putting brokers back in control of their business” and offering a seamless, faster journey for consumers. And with the volume of transactions provided by Sesame Bankhall Group – one of UK’s biggest group of mortgage brokers – Acre aims to become one of the largest users of blockchain in the UK.

“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” – Founder and CEO of Acre, Justus Brown.

“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.” – Executive Chairman, SBG, John Cowan.

“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.” – Managing Director, Aviva Ventures, Ben Luckett.

Bottom Line: Emerging.