Jesse Abrams realized that the mortgage industry needed to drastically change when he purchased his home. Describing an all too familiar process for anyone who has purchased real estate, Abrams first had to get in touch with a friend-of-a-friend mortgage broker and miss work to conduct physical meetings, all to be told his lender and rates without any choice or explanation of their features and benefits.
“It was such a confusing process. I had no idea if I made the right decision. And it was the biggest purchase of my life!” says Abrams. “I thought, there must be a different way.”
That different way came in the shape of individualized mortgages, and making different mortgage benefits and drawbacks more transparent. “Everyone is different from each other, so why would we give them the same mortgages?” Abrams says. In 2018, Abrams and his business partner Carlos Mederios founded Homewise and the individual, personal, and transparent mortgage was officially created.
Homewise is now a national Canadian mortgage technology company, focused on providing home buyers and owners the easiest way to get their best mortgage. Using technology, Homewise creates better experiences for their users, while enabling the company to cut their costs and save their customers money. Through the magic of prediction technologies and tech-powered human advisors, clients can apply online in minutes, then get a tailored mortgage from 30 top-tier banks and lending partners. On top of that, Homewise is free for clients to use.
Not only does Homewise have big aspirations, but their company has been able to deliver big results. Homewise clients save on average $5,000 dollars in the first 5 years of their mortgage, but Abrams and his team suspect that it is closer to $15,000 or $20,000 throughout the lifespan of their mortgage. One of the largest barriers Homewise is tackling is removing the massive penalties that homebuyers can incur if they break their mortgage, which can happen for a number of reasons including wanting to upgrade their house, move in or out of a city (during a pandemic, for instance), or when couples separate. By creating that transparency and making sure mortgages meet their client’s unique needs, Homewise is tackling a crucial obstacle.
Homewise has proved that a transparent mortgage system can work. They have tripled their growth, and in 2020, raised a seed round of $3.1M from investors .
With this strong funding has come strong results. Homewise has expanded across Canada and brought on even more partners. Abrams and his team are dreaming big, and hinted at much more to come. Homewise is also part of the ventureLAB Capital Investment Program, which assists in securing strong strategic investment by connecting chosen startups and scaleups directly with angel or seed-stage investors. “I’ve been really lucky to work with Ana [Misra] and Chris [Cory] for some time now.” Abrams says of his Advisors through the program. “Knowing that there is a team to support you, not wanting anything else but the feeling that they want to help out is really special. They’ve also been very helpful providing us with insights and introductions for our Series A round of funding that we are going to kick off in January 2022. I feel really lucky to be a part of it all.”
Homewise continues to bring their big plans into action by participating in ventureLAB’s Capital Investment Program Demo Day, held earlier this week. The FinTech-themed Demo Day showcased 8 strong companies from the Capital Investment Program alongside Homewise who are tackling some of the biggest FinTech opportunities and issues in our financial status quo. Dozens of investors heard from companies including:
“Demo Days have been great, as we’ve been able to get in front of so many different people and investors, and we have made connections every time,” said Abrams. “It was great to get back out there for another round of pitching.”
This FinTech Demo Day showed the expansive and future-forward range of innovation that is coming out of the Canadian FinTech ecosystem.
Homewise is tackling the broken mortgage system, one mortgage at a time. “We’re here to make the home buying process really easy, make client’s realize what they can afford, and make sure that they enjoy it!” says Abrams. “Buying a house is incredibly exciting, something people really dream about - it should be easy and fun.” By demystifying the mortgage process, and leveraging technology to find new solutions, Homewise is ensuring that the dream of home ownership is becoming, for many people, a reality.
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