The history of Squirrel

The history of Squirrel - Squirrel

2023 - Fifteen years on

The year starts off with a bang as we introduce our very own high interest on-call account. This was a natural next step with our investment platform having already laid the foundations. It's just another way we're putting more money into Kiwi pockets.

What's next? There's plenty in store, so watch this space.


It's the end of an era as JB, Squirrel's founder passes the CEO torch on to our new leader, David Cunningham. JB hasn't left the building though and can still be found running workshops about the next big idea, in between brokering deals.

Speaking of buildings, Squirrel's College Hill crew moves out to join HQ in the newly renovated mega office on Sale Street. Let the good times (and office parties) roll!

The Home Loan Shop

Squirrel and Wellington's own iconic advisory business, The Home Loan Shop, decide to merge businesses. Because just like tomato sauce and a saussie sizzle, we're better together. Watch out Welly!

The Home Loan Shop - Powered by Squirrel

David Cunningham headshot, Squirrel office building
Launchpad logo


Squirrel launches Launchpad, a unique home loan created by us to give first home buyers a leg up onto the property ladder faster. Investors get a piece of the pie too, because they get to earn returns by funding part of the deposit portion of the loan. Win win.


The year of the pandemic. Squirrel continued to grow, despite a year of uncertainty and turmoil we stayed true to our purpose. Growing our staff by around 50% and doubling our P2P lending, we launched some exciting new products that benefited both investors and borrowers alike including term investments into residential mortgages and bridging finance. 

hand on sign saying not today covid19
Squirrel p2p mortgage


Squirrel launches our own peer-to-peer mortgage products in March to help clients that don't quite fit inside the bank box, allowing the p2p lending platform to rapidly grow. 


Squirrel's 10 year anniversary. Squirrel Mortgages and Squirrel Money sister companies join forces and become one, complete with a new brand look and feel. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!

Squirrel's 10 year anniversary
Great results for Squirrel 2017


Squirrel Mortgages hits over $4 billion written in home loans. Squirrel Money hits it's first million dollar month in lending.


Squirrel was the first to offer a secondary market to their P2P investors, offering them a way to sell their investments in the marketplace allowing them to get out early if they need to. Continuing to strive to offer a customer-centric service.

Squirrel Mortgages acquires Aspire Advisers, almost doubling the size of the company overnight.

2016 - first to offer secondary market to P2P investors
2015 - Squirrel Money P2P lending


Squirrel Money peer-to-peer (P2P) lending launches. The first NZ P2P lender to be solely funded by Kiwi retail investors, lending to Kiwi borrowers. No institutions involved. Also the first to use a reserve fund to cover any losses meaning the investors get their monthly payments even if one of our borrowers misses a payment.

Squirrel takes all 27 employees on a trip to the Gold Coast, our first company conference. What goes on tour, stays on tour.


Squirrel gets a facelift in the form of a new logo and office space on College Hill.

2014 - Squirrel gets a new logo
2013 - Chinese Team


We expand to include another specialist team to service the Chinese communities of Auckland.


Squirrel Mortgages launches a specialist team to service the Indian communities in Auckland and updates its logo.

2012 - launches an Indian team
2011 - grew market share in Auckland


Squirrel quietly acquires more mortgage advisers and slowly grows their market share in Auckland.


Our longest serving team member (other than JB) Eleanor began working for Squirrel. Still going strong today!

Longest serving team member Eleanor
2009 - Squirrel won their first award


Squirrel won the first award for mortgage broking from the NZ Financial Services Group and have continually won this award and others every year since.


On 29th January, John Bolton (aka JB) founded Squirrel during the midst of the GFC. Never one to shy away from a challenge, JB was sick of seeing the same old issues coming up again and again for home buyers. Nobody was in their corner, everyone was working on behalf of the seller.

JB felt it was time to even up the playing field so that's what he did with Squirrel. Squirrel is all about the buyer.

Squirrel founder John Bolton
Founder John Bolton