London-based StepLadder ramps up its effort to help ‘generation rent’ own their first home with €1.7 million investment

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London-based StepLadder, a collaborative deposit raising platform, is set to ramp its support to help tens of thousands of people struggling to buy their first homes.

StepLadder’s commitment to first-time buyers comes as the innovative fintech firm announces it has secured expansion funding from one of Europe’s biggest banks and one of the most active fintech investors globally.

The BBVA and Anthemis Venture Creation Partnership has invested capital and other resources, alongside further investment from Seedcamp and other angel investors.

The €1.7 million total investment, as well as significant non-financial investment including access to expertise, will go towards the development of StepLadder’s next-generation collaborative finance platform, as well as driving its UK and international expansion.

StepLadder will work with BBVA and Anthemis inside their joint venture studio on an innovative approach to bringing a trusted model of collaborative finance into a digital platform. As well as capital, the Spanish bank will also offer wider support to help accelerate Stepladder’s growth, such as insight from the bank’s other projects and its range of experts. StepLadder’s collaborative approach to finance to help individuals and families get on the home ownership ladder will complement the Anthemis portfolio and support BBVA’s global aspirations to drive innovation and disruption in the banking sector, focused on supporting customers to achieve their goals.

StepLadder is on a mission to help struggling renters make the leap to homeownership. By drawing on the power of collaborative deposit raising, StepLadder helps 87% of its members save for their deposit faster than if they were doing it alone.

Using a financial model known as a ‘Rotating Credit and Savings Association’ (ROSCA) – popular in many nations worldwide – StepLadder works by placing its members into small groups called ‘circles’. Here, each individual member will contribute an identical amount of money – ranging from €29 to €1,150 – each month. The contributions will then be collected into a central pot, before being awarded to one of the circle’s members by random draw, with this being handled by a computer algorithm to ensure absolute impartiality. The process is repeated on a monthly basis until all the circle’s members have received their deposit money.

Beyond its peer-to-peer deposit raising alternative, StepLadder also guides its users through the home-buying process by providing access to specialist knowledge and exclusive discounts. Further – with the new StepLadder app – users can engage with a like-minded community, supporting each other on the journey to their respective financial goals.

With €58k being awarded to members each month, and over €578k in subscriptions from StepLadder members in total – StepLadder is working to make ‘Generation Rent’ a thing of the past.

“The property market is imbalanced,” said Matthew Addison, StepLadder’s founder and CEO. “There are millions of hardworking people out there, who through no fault of their own find themselves trapped in a cycle of renting. We want to change that, and this funding will help us turn the dream of homeownership into a reality.”

“The teams at BBVA and Anthemis are really excited to work with the founders of StepLadder,” said Farhan Lalji, principal of the BBVA & Anthemis Venture Creation Partnership. “We’ve seen their commitment to solving this problem up close and we know that our combined efforts will dramatically change the landscape for savings and homeownership in a major way in a short amount of time.”

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