Helping Canadians save on their mortgages by leveraging technology and understanding their needs on a deeper level
Aug 22, 2019
Overview of nesto – a virtual mortgage company
In our last Company Profile Series blog post, we had the opportunity to dive deeper into Breathe Life – a B2B InsurTech company. This month, we are excited to share with you the story of nesto, a company that has restructured the way Canadians purchase their mortgages.
By combining technology and a deeper understanding of customers needs, Nesto has already improved the lives of many Canadians by giving them access to guaranteed affordable mortgage rates.
As a virtual mortgage company, nesto was born in 2018. It was co-founded by two longtime business partners, Malik Yacoubi and Karim Benabdallah, as well as Damien Charbonneau and Chase Belair. nesto began with the founders’ interests to further understand and solve a real problem that affected most Canadians. By evaluating several different vertical financial services, nesto discovered that there was a fundamental problem with the current state of mortgage acquisition in Canada. They found a lack of transparency in the mortgage market and limited accessibility to low mortgage rates for all.
With these concerns in mind, nesto’s mission was crafted. nesto was established “to offer a positive, empowering and transparent property financing experience, simplified from start to finish.”
This mission is accomplished through nesto’s advanced technology that has the ability to screen the whole market in a matter of seconds and find the most affordable mortgage. Along with their carefully developed algorithm, nesto is supported by their team of commission-free experts that provide unbiased advice along the process.
This virtual mortgage provider was not built overnight. Diagram served as a launching pad for this venture. One of the earliest researchers for a concept similar to Nesto was Damien Charbonneau. Damien is Nesto’s current COO and co-founder. When this mortgage company concept was in the works, he was at the forefront and a key player in Diagram’s Innovation Team. The Innovation Team at Diagram is composed of individuals who are dedicated to generating new business ideas and vetting them with our ecosystem of industry experts. Through deep preliminary research, the team addresses key risks and invests pre-seed capital. After the preliminary phases of the virtual mortgage concept, Diagram was able to onboard Malik Yacoubi and Karim Benabdallah. With their shared experience in the marketing and communications industries and Chase Belair’s deep understanding of the mortgage experience, they co-founded nesto.
nesto knows that mortgage rates are sold at a premium. There are three types of rates in the current industry: floor rate, middle rate, and high rate. The floor rate is “the absolute minimum rate the bank is willing to offer a given client.” On the other side of the spectrum, the high rate is the rate that can be seen on bank websites. nesto provides its customers with an exclusive floor rate.
nesto is powered by their unique algorithm and this enables them to filter and screen through all mortgage rates and ensure the best possible mortgage rates for all its customers.
nesto’s returns are lower than those of an average broker or mortgage specialist, yet their work is rewarding. They will always value their clients’ savings and personalized experiences over earnings.
Diagram plans to support nesto with its long term goal in becoming the digital market leader for Canadian mortgages. By serving as a sounding board, Diagram and its ecosystem help nesto pave a successful way forward.
Malik Yacoubi shared that their relationship with Diagram is integral as it gives nesto “the flexibility and ability to share challenges and always receive honest feedback.”
This perk is one of several that Diagram provides and that nesto fully takes advantage of. In addition to the mentoring aspect of their partnership with Diagram, nesto has been able to build upon their already expansive network of companies. Malik also adds that nesto is not limited by Diagram’s network; to the founders it is essential “to find companies that are complementary to Diagram ecosystem.” Diversifying the companies that support them allows for an array of perspectives on their product.
The continued growth of nesto in the rest of Canada will also take a strong marketing strategy, a tool that has been crucial in helping nesto expand their audience as they continue to spread their lowest mortgage rates across Canada. Their initial customers were based in Montréal, Toronto, and Ottawa and expanded to other territories in Canada. As it grows faster, nesto aims to continue targeting future and existing homeowners using an exceptionally fast and transparent digital experience to provide them with the best possible mortgage rates and products.
nesto’s continuous dedication to its mission to provide the most affordable mortgage rates for all Canadians is one we are proud to support. If you would like to apply for a mortgage please check out: nesto.ca.