Sydney-based startup Downsizer has raised $3.75 million seed capital to accelerate the growth of its SaaS platform operating at the intersections of fintech, proptech and insurtech.
The round was led by Correlation Australia Holdings (CAH) – which made a significant strategic investment – and was followed by existing shareholders, including family offices and high-net-worth individuals.
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. In Australia, the LIG family of companies includes Assetinsure, a leading specialist insurer, and Downsizer’s strategic partner, Deposit Power.
Deposit Power underwrites the innovative Downsizer Bond that enables homeowners to use their home equity to back a deposit bond and secure a new dwelling without putting down a cash deposit.
For older owner-occupiers – who may not pass a traditional credit assessment – a Deposit Power Downsizer Bond simplifies the home moving process so that downsizers don’t have to raid their savings or superannuation, or sell their home, to exchange contracts. The bond is also available to investors, including Self-Managed Superannuation Funds.
Downsizer co-founder and managing director Mark Macduffie said the company aimed to help downsizers move so that they could “stop worrying and start living”.
“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,” he said. “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 is helping property developers, real estate agents, financial advisors, mortgage brokers and lenders, and insurance brokers and underwriters engage with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers over 50.
The platform provides digital content and market insights for 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 general manager sales and distribution, Brent Davidson, said the team was excited to continue its synergistic partnership with Downsizer.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The CAH investment will see Assetinsure onboard onto Downsizer’s SaaS platform.
CAH director and Assetinsure executive general manager strategy and 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 market-facing brand of Block Builder Pty Ltd, Downsizer 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 Commonwealth Bank experience, while 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 investment round brings Downsizer’s total funding raised to $6.1 million.