Joust heads east after fintech merger deal
FINTECH start-up Joust has relocated its head office from Adelaide to Sydney after joining forces with one of its competitors.
Joust co-founder Mark Bevan remains in Adelaide following the company’s merger with Sydney-based LoanDolphin, as head of sales and distribution, while former general manager Greg Abel has stepped into the role of customer success manager.
Joust and LoanDolphin were both established in 2015, developing online platforms to link borrowers with lenders through a reverse auction process. The merger brings together more than 10 staff across offices in Adelaide, Melbourne and the company’s new headquarters at Sydney’s Stone & Chalk fintech hub.
Mr Bevan said the merger would consolidate Joust’s position as a major player in Australia’s growing online lending marketplace.
“It feels less like my, Richard (Richard Hockney, cofounder) and Greg’s baby, but that’s through necessity – if we kept it as our baby we would not be able to grow and capitalise on these opportunities,” he said. “You have Lendi and Uno, which both have significant investment from the big financial institutions, and we see ourselves as the third big player in the market but the only one that’s independent.
The Joust platform launched in 2016 with the backing of a small group of investors including Crows chairman and former BankSA managing director Rob Chapman. Last year Melbournebased Houseandland.com.au acquired a 70 per cent stake in the company, with digital media executive Carl Hammerschmidt later joining as chief executive.
“The combination of our technology, data, and people best positions Joust to deliver exciting new opportunities and innovations to the home loan market,” Mr Hammerschmidt said.
Since they were established, Joust and LoanDolphin have processed a combined $3.3 billion worth of loan opportunities. A new service, known as Joust Instant Match, has recently been launched, where borrowers are instantly matched with the most competitive loan options rather than waiting two-to-three days for a reverse auction process.
LoanDolphin co-founder Ranin Mendis said online lending marketplaces like Joust were playing an increasing role in sourcing new customers for lenders.
“With our newly merged platforms, data sets and unique customer experience, we can instantly increase reach for lenders with high intent borrowers,” he said.
Mr Bevan said while the coronavirus had caused lenders to be increasingly cautious, inquiries from borrowers on the Joust platform reached record highs in March and April, as fears over the economy heightened.
JOINING FORCES: LoanDolphin co-founder Ranin Mendis with Joust chief executive Carl Hammerschmidt.