RVU, operator of Uswitch and Confused.com, bought Manchester-based digital broker Mojo Mortgages for an undisclosed amount.
Under the terms of the deal, RVU will try to grow Mojo to the same size as its other websites, which average about 15 million monthly visits.
Tariq Syed, the executive director of RVU (pictured above), said FTAdviser he already receives 5 million mortgage-related sessions annually through his portfolio of websites, which also includes Money.co.uk.
RVU intends to convert the traffic generated by its current websites around mortgages into third-party sales using Mojo’s technology and industry expertise.
As part of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, all 60 Mojo employees will join RVU. In the long term, Syed plans to increase the number of Mojo’s advisors “by five to ten times.”
“RVU doesn’t need the scale of a larger company, it just needs the technology to guide these 5 million consumers,” Syed explained, referring to “useful” tools like the Mojo mortgage counter for new buyers.
“This deal is more about technology than growth,” continued the chief executive. “We need to help Mojo expand their technology so they can take over our scope.”
About 70,000 people monthly use Mojo to get personalized mortgage recommendation, bringing the mortgage-focused customer base to around 16% of the RVU.
Prior to the acquisition, Syed highlighted the fact that Mojo, like many of its competitors, was spending too much time “worrying about volume” and “being distracted by customer acquisition.”
“It is very difficult for these large-scale companies to digitize the process. And you also have small businesses that can’t scale. We are not big enough to get stuck in our path, and not so small that we cannot invest in the business, ”Syed said.
Mojo is co-founded by Richard Hayes, who previously developed a chatbot with which consumers can send messages to get quotes under the Life’s Great brand.
“The mortgage market is still pretty archaic,” Syed explained. “70 percent of mortgage loans go through intermediaries, of which 75 percent are offline. Only 2-3% of mortgages in the UK market are end-to-end digital. “
While the overall mortgage market is still lagging behind on its digital transformation roadmap, Syed pointed to re-mortgages that have quickly become used in online travel.
“You don’t need so much advice for re-mortgages. Where it’s easier, we see things move digitally. “
As with many other industries, the UK mortgage market has experienced acceleration in digital migration due to the global health crisis.
With borrowers no longer going to banks for mortgages, Syed described current market conditions as “the perfect storm” for a platform like Mojo to develop.