KBC Group backs Setle

KBC Bank has invested €1.5 million in renovation tool provider for real estate agents Setle .

Founded in 2020 and based in Belgium, Setle’s online platform gives a ‘realistic picture’ of the cost of (sustainable) renovations on top of the purchase price. Setle currently works with 425 real estate agents. To date, the Setle platform has run renovation simulations for a total value of 175 593 005 euros.

“As the saying goes, ‘every Belgian is born with a brick in their stomach’. The family home is still the biggest household expense each month. The sharp rise in energy prices and the growing importance of a sustainable energy transition don’t always make it easy for those looking to build or buy their own home to see the wood for the trees. At Setle, our aim is to help people who are buying or renovating their home to make the right decisions in the renovation process. We are delighted that KBC, which boasts the best mobile banking app in the world and has a clear focus on sustainability, will be supporting us in the further development of our business.” – Thibaut Nivelles, CEO of Setle.

“The transition to sustainable energy will have a fundamental impact on the whole of society. For private individuals, the main focus of the transition is their home. They sometimes don’t know where to start and above all have lots of questions when it comes to buying a home, carrying out renovations, improving the insulation or keeping energy bills affordable. As a bank-insurer, financing and insuring people’s homes is a core task for KBC. In recent years, however, we have also enabled our customers to enjoy the benefits that come from our partnerships with third parties that go beyond purely financial services. Examples include group buying schemes (through our Deals service) or the ability to compare energy prices (via ‘Mijnenergie.be’ in KBC Mobile). The investment in Setle is the next step in ensuring maximum convenience for our customers when they renovate their homes and make them more energy-efficient. We see that customers are looking for solutions that make their lives easier, and we recognise Setle’s potential in this regard. We believe in Setle’s strong team and excellent solutions that seamlessly meet our customers’ challenges and contribute to a total solution and experience for them.” – Karin Van Hoecke, Innovation Manager at KBC Group’s Belgium Business Unit.

The Setle renovation tool offers ‘comprehensive’ support in the pre-purchase phase. It provides a breakdown of costs and a user-friendly interface to make searching for the ideal home more efficient and transparent for both real estate agents and potential buyers. Using Setle’s real-time digital solution, real estate agents who pay an annual license fee can give individuals (buyers and renovators) a real-time insight into the total cost of the property they have in mind, including estimates of renovation costs, costs of making the property more sustainable, improving the energy label rating and energy consumption, obtaining potential subsidies and grants, and benchmarking quotes from contractors. The renovation report is accepted by several banks, including KBC Bank, as part of the loan application process. As a result, customers no longer need to search for quotes and estimates to support their application for a loan.

According to the press release, Setle and KBC will also be starting a number of pilot projects in the Fall.