Downsizer closes A$3.75m seed round securing investment from Lombard and Correlation global insurance network to continue Australian growth and drive
Sydney-based startup venture Downsizer has raised A$3.75 million seed capital to accelerate the growth of its unique SaaS platform operating at the intersections of fintech, proptech and insurtech.
The round was led by Correlation Australia Holdings (CAH), who made a significant strategic investment. Existing shareholders, including family offices and high net worth individuals, also followed on.
CAH is affiliated with Lombard insurance group (LIG) and focuses on building profitable insurance partnerships with growing entrepreneurial businesses that can distribute insurance products.
LIG is a leading specialist provider of surety bonds and guarantees with operations in South Africa, the UK and Europe, and Australia. In Australia, the LIG family of companies includes Assetinsure, a leading specialist insurer, and Downsizer’s strategic partner, Deposit Power.
Deposit Power is the underwriter of the innovative Deposit Power Downsizer Bond that enables anyone to use the equity in their owned home to back a deposit bond and secure a brand-new dwelling without having to put down a cash deposit.
For older owner-occupiers, who may not pass a traditional credit assessment, a Deposit Power Downsizer Bond simplifies the process of transitioning to a new home as downsizers don’t have to raid their savings or superannuation – or sell their home – to exchange contracts.
The Deposit Power Downsizer Bond is also available to investors, including Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs).
The application process is simple, online, user-friendly and automated. It makes use of proprietary risk assessment technology developed by Downsizer that harnesses an automated valuation model and leverages insights from demographic data.
Downsizer’s Co-Founder & Managing Director Mark Macduffie said, “At Downsizer, our mission is to help downsizers achieve their desired home transition, so they can stop worrying and start living! For example, we know that a big attraction for downsizers is reducing home maintenance and chores, upsizing luxury and convenience, and releasing equity to top up retirement income. At the same time, we know that a big barrier is funding a cash deposit. We’re thrilled to welcome Correlation and Lombard as investors and business partners. Culturally and commercially it’s a great fit.”
Downsizer’s technology and intellectual property is helping property developers, real estate agents, financial advisors, mortgage brokers and lenders, and insurance brokers and underwriters, to engage with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers aged 50+ years. The platform provides digital content and market insights for use in lead generation. It also has a national property marketplace where developers can list off-the-plan properties and access a real-time sales dashboard.
Deposit Power’s General Manager Sales & Distribution Brent Davidson said, “We’re excited to continue our synergistic partnership working with the Downsizer team. With Australia on the cusp of a home downsizing boom, we’re proud of our unique Deposit Power Downsizer Bond that enables empty nesters to downsize by securing their new dream home before selling their current one. Together, we intend to ramp up the go-to-market strategy for the product by engaging with mortgage brokers, financial advisors, accountants and superannuation funds.”
In addition to cementing the established relationship with Deposit Power, the strategic investment by CAH involves the Downsizer team partnering closely with other LIG family companies, such as Assetinsure in Australia, who will onboard as clients onto Downsizer’s SaaS platform.
Correlation Australia Holdings’ Director, and Assetinsure’s Executive General Manager Strategy & Business Development, Lance Warner said, “Our sweet spot for investment is early-stage technology and data businesses in the insurance space, with great entrepreneurs, who are building something new in the market. Downsizer ticks those boxes and we’re excited to support their Australian and global growth strategy.”
The Downsizer team comprises experienced and entrepreneurial finance and property market veterans. Co-Founder Mark Macduffie and executive leaders Sameera Ratnaweera, Chris Daley and Phil Verdon, have many years of banking experience gained at Commonwealth Bank, and Downsizer’s Economist in Residence, Michael Blythe, is the bank’s former Chief Economist. Co-Founders Damian Morgan and Michael Kelly are highly experienced and hands-on property developers.
This current round brings the total funding raised to date by Downsizer to $6.1 million.