Augmentum Fintech heralds Habito and Monese investments

Zopa backer Augmentum Fintech has welcomed investments into two of its portfolio holdings, Monese and Habito.

HSBC Ventures has invested $35m (£30.9m) into banking services platform Monese, as part of a broader strategic partnership that will focus on Monese’s platform-as-a-service business.

Meanwhile, digital mortgage broker Habito has raised around £5m from existing investors, including Augmentum. This latest funding will enable Habito to focus on its core services: its mortgage brokerage and Habito Plus, a home-buying service that combines surveying, conveyancing and home-financing under one roof, Augmentum said.

Read more: Ex-Innovate Finance board member joins Augmentum Fintech

“We are delighted that Monese has completed this significant investment from HSBC and signed a landmark commercial partnership with them,” said Tim Levene, chief executive of Augmentum Fintech.

“This investment in Monese once again demonstrates very clearly the potential for fintechs to develop mutually beneficial relationships with established incumbents in financial services.

“Monese is a leader in the provision of platform-as-a-service banking services, and we look forward to continuing our support of the company as they grow their business across Europe.

“Elsewhere in our portfolio, Habito remains well positioned as the digital leader in its sector and continues to grow its market share in a space that is still dominated by traditional providers.

“The investment pipeline remains strong, but we continue to remain disciplined on valuation which we are starting to see return to historic multiples, neither the inflated valuations seen externally in the fintech sector last year nor the artificially low ones this summer.”

The publicly-listed fintech investment trust has been a long-term investor in Zopa, which transitioned from a peer-to-peer lending platform to a digital bank at the beginning of this year.

In July, Augmentum said it was anticipating a “healthy correction” in entry prices to boost its portfolio after suggesting other institutional investors have overpaid to enter the market.

Levene noted the challenges of finding new opportunities in the current climate.

“There has been a slew of new investors in the fintech space, many of whom were prepared to pay any price to build exposure,” he said at the time.

“We must remain disciplined on price while continuing to deliver advantageous deal access for our shareholders. Our dictum holds that not every good business is a good investment.”

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