Proportunity has raised a £2m in seed investment to drive its analytics and lending platform that offers home equity loans to first-time buyers.
The start-up provides equity loans similar to the government’s Help to Buy scheme.
Since becoming FCA authorised in 2018, Proportunity has grown to over 5000 users and lent on properties worth over £10m.
Besides scaling its consumer base, this latest funding will help the startup grow its network of partnerships with real estate agencies and mortgage brokers.
The funding comes from Anthemis, the fintech investment fund behind eToro and Betterment, alongside Axel Springer Digital Ventures, an early stage investment unit of Europe’s leading digital publisher Axel Springer.
Vadim Toader, founder and CEO of Proportunity, said: “Home ownership has become a major social divide between those who have benefited from capital growth and those who have not.
“Our aim is to help open the door of home ownership that has been slammed in the face of a whole generation.
“Many young families are forced into long commutes or poor quality rentals when they could have the certainty and security of ownership.
“By broadening equity loans to all housing stock and by using AI to offer insights to select the perfect investment, we want to have a positive social impact that also supports both estate agents and traditional mortgage lenders.
“With the government’s Help to Buy scheme destined to end in a few years, and further second steppers restrictions starting 2021, the UK housing market is in dire need of a private sector alternative that’s tried, tested and ready to help the next generation of homeowners.”
Ruth Foxe Blader, managing director at Anthemis, said: “Getting on the housing ladder is a critical consideration for the majority of people and that’s why we’re thrilled to support Proportunity.
“We believe equity loans can be part of the solution to accelerate homeownership among those who earn enough to afford a mortgage but may not have enough savings for a deposit.
“Equally, there’s an excellent opportunity to use AI and analytics to assist buyers and better inform the market.
“Proportunity’s analytics platform plays a crucial role in supporting investments and in bringing a greater level of transparency to a market that can often be confusing and daunting to first-time buyers.”
Jan Graefe, principal at Axel Springer Digital Ventures, said: “There’s a whole generation of potential buyers unable to get a foothold on the housing ladder despite earning enough to cover a mortgage.
“As we’ve seen in other areas of search and estate agency, there’s a real opportunity for digital innovations to fix market failures and complement existing players, just as Proportunity works alongside with estate agents and mortgage lenders.”