News(ish) #4: Better SPAC with Sipho Simela, Head of Mortgage Strategy @ Ocrolus

The Better SPAC or the Best SPAC?

Hello Fintech Fam,

We’re back with more news and another special guest! Sipho Simela, Head of Mortgage Strategy @ Ocrolus joined Lindsay (Head of Markets @ Atomic) and I to breakdown the Better SPAC.

Here’s this week’s episode: Spotify + Apple and Lindsay’s write up for Atomic Insights.

Better SPAC Facts: is merging with the Aurora Acquisition Corp. SPAC sponsored by Novator Capital (ticker: $AURC). An affiliate of SoftBank will invest $1.3 billion in the PIPE and Aurora’s Sponsor, Novator Capital, will invest $200m via PIPE investment.

  • The transaction reflects a post-money equity value of approximately $7.7 billion.

  • $15 trillion mortgage market opportunity

  • $30.9 billion loans funded since Better’s founding in 2016

  • $400 million in funding and live in 47 states to expand products and services

Why now?

Macro-economic drivers broadly include near 0% interest rates, a record year for originations, and lower regulatory barriers for upstarts to capture digital demand. This is discussed in part II below.Additionally, 2020 was a milestone year for Better:    

  • $281.1 million adjusted 2020 EBITDA

  • 70,288 total funded loans

  • $24.2 billion in funded loan volume, up 490% year-over-year (YOY) from 2019

  • .5% implied market share (Fannie)

  • $7.7 billion in title insurance placed, 855% growth from 2019

  • $1.4 billion in homeowners insurance placed 300% growth from 2019

What’s next? Better paths to homeownership

Better has been expanding from mortgage into insurance with real estate, title, and homeowner’s insurance. Better Cover and Better Settlement Services, its insurance divisions, have provided approximately $7 billion in cumulative coverage.

On the product roadmap through H1 2022, Better plans to expand to home services and improvement loans and to create a network lender for personal, auto, student, credit cards, life & disability insurance. Want more from today’s podcast guests?

For a deeper dive on the macro-economic drivers fuel mortgages and the potential for payroll APIs in the mortgage market, head over to and follow Lindsay Davis (@lcdavis1225), Zach Anderson Pettet (@zachpettet), or Sipho Simela on email (

Until next time Fintech Fam,


Zach Anderson Pettet

@zachpettet + @forfintechssake