Today DLT startup Coadjute announced a deal with Natwest Bank to enable the bank’s clients to monitor the house buying process through an app that leverages blockchain data. Joining the two firms in a consortium are several software companies that support the UK mortgage and real estate sector.
The house buying process is unquestionably trying. Typically lawyers or conveyancers have to carry out numerous checks. They need to verify property details with the registry and co-ordinate with the new and previous mortgage companies. On top of that, they liaise with the real estate agents and the sellers. What coadjute aims to do is enable all this background data to be shared seamlessly between the parties in a decentralized way, using distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Initially, the project with Natwest is focused on acquiring and sharing the information needed for the bank to approve a mortgage so the buyer can finalize their purchase offer.
Rather than having to get hold of your sometimes elusive lawyer for an update, for Natwest customers, they simply need to monitor a custom mobile app. Ultimately the buyer will feel more in control.
“We are committed to finding innovations that make our customer’ lives easier, and know that the complexity of conveyancing is a key pain point for many,” said Dan Salmons, Director of Mortgage Innovation at NatWest. “We believe the approach has the potential to be a real game-changer, not just for our customers but for the entire property market.”
In future, the end-to-end purchase process should be much faster, because it reduces the level of emails and telephone calls to check whether a step has been completed.
And Coadjute is making inroads in terms of signing up UK participants. “Even at this stage, we have connected up 12% of the mortgages market, 1,000 estate agency brands, 4,000 conveyancers, and 80% of all property valuation instructions,” said John Reynolds, CEO and Founder of Coadjute. “With a pipeline of leading platform providers signed up and ready to onboard, we will have a significant percentage of the property industry on the platform when it goes live.”
While Coadjute would not be drawn on future members, this is a Coadjute-driven consortium so in future one could imagine other bank and financial partners.
The firm is planning the release of a Minimum Viable Product in 2020. The solution is based on R3’s Corda distributed ledger technology.
The other members of the consortium are Dezrez (Estate Agency Software), Redbrick Solutions (Conveyancing Software), eTech (Surveyor Software), Search Acumen (Property) Data, Conveyancing Data Services (Property Data), LMS (conveyancing).
Coadjute previously ran a test with more than 40 organizations including Clifford Chance, Natwest and Barclays Bank.
Last year HM Land Registry commissioned software company Methods for DLT research and development for its Digital Street project. Methods worked with Blockchain Digital and Persistent Systems the two developers involved in the Instant Property Network (now Coadjute).
Two months ago the firm raised a seed round of £750,000.
In the U.S. Figure Technologies has a blockchain platform that logs more than $80 million a month in new mortgages.