Holo, the first online platform to provide free digital mortgage services in the Middle East, has today announced seven-figure funding in their latest seed round.
Investment in Holo’s latest funding round was led by Saudi-based Watheeq Proptech Venture and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund. New regional participation came from DFDF, Annex Investments, and Tawaref Angel Network.
The funding comes after a three-year period of sustained growth in the UAE market, and ahead of the business’ launch into the KSA market in 2023.
Michael Hunter, Co-Founder and CEO of Holo, said: “Since we launched in 2019, our mission has been to give aspiring homeowners fast and convenient access to free, unbiased mortgage advice and products; empowering customers to make the best decision for them. Our business is expanding but that mission hasn’t changed. We know that buying property is stressful for first-time buyers. We’ve set out to remove the headache by digitising the home-buying process and holding the customers’ hand until they get the keys, with transparent and accurate information, for free.
With over 25 years of experience in real estate finance in multinational mortgage companies in the region, Holo is uniquely positioned to provide not only a digital-first experience for customers but also a level of choice, service and expertise that is unrivalled.
As the business gears up to further growth across the UAE and in KSA, Holo has appointed Suha Alyami as General Manager for KSA. Alyami joins SABB as the former Head of Mortgage Business Development, and advisor to the CEO of ICD (Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector).
Michael went on to add “customers and their home loan needs differ across the region as do processes. We know an out-of-the-box, one-size-fits-all approach won’t work so we are growing a team of specialists on the ground in KSA. Such expertise will help us to continue to lead with access to the best products, services and expertise we’ve become known for in the UAE, but in a way that is locally relevant to Saudi customers, trends in the local economy, and with products that are Sharia compliant”.
Speaking to Holo’s growth through 2022 Arran Summerhill, Co-Founder and COO of Holo, said “it might have been tempting for us to focus on aggressive customer acquisition at any cost but instead we’ve focused on doing the right thing for customers and partners. We’ve taken the time to develop services and products that meet the market’s needs and focused on long-term and sustainable growth. The number of home loan applications we received in 2022 has continued to grow year on year and we’ve seen an increase of 280% in the loan value of applications in 2021. Our white-label solution Holo X is fast becoming the preferred digital solution of brokers, real estate agents and property developers because they know and trust that their clients are safe in our hands. We’re proud of that point of difference and are looking forward to bringing Holo to KSA as the first digital mortgage service in the country”.
Khaled Zaidan, Managing Partner at Watheeq Proptech Venture, MENA’s 1st proptech venture said “one of the things that really excites us about Holo is having an online multi-solution buying and mortgage platform for the largest asset class that fits the MENA market. The digitisation of the home-buying process in the region is still at an early stage. Convincing real estate stakeholders to use technology is difficult. The experience of Holo’s team in the real estate market and their capacity to develop solutions that speak the real estate industry’s language, in such a short space of time is what will make the company a market leader. We look forward to assisting the company’s vision throughout our experience and relationships in the sector to achieve their potential growth”.
Sharif Elbadawi, CEO of DFDF (Dubai Future District Fund) said “We believe Holo is a game changer for the regional finance and real estate markets. Not only are they building a fantastic product, and guiding home buyers through a digitized purchasing experience, but they are also innovating an age-old industry where much of the buying process remains manual. We partnered with Holo to support efficiency and transparency for all stakeholders in the real estate ecosystem”.
Ali Qaiser, Partner at Hambro Perks Oryx Fund said “We are very excited to continue our full support for Holo, a leading MENA-focused PropTech company that digitises the time-consuming process of buying real estate and securing an appropriate mortgage. The strong adoption of technology in acquiring real estate is inevitable and Holo continues to be a pioneer in helping enable this digital adoption throughout the MENA region” said Ali Qaiser, Partner at Hambro Perks Oryx Fund.