Property Investment
Rebecca Wayman

'Help to Buy' fintech startup raises £2m to drive lending platform for first-time buyers

London-based fintech company Proportunity has raised a £2m seed investment to drive its analytics and lending platform that offers home equity loans to first-time buyers.

Since becoming FCA authorised in 2018, Proportunity has grown to over 5,000 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 digital publisher Axel Springer.

Proportunity creates smart forecasts on the housing market by crunching millions of data points covering everything from crime and school ratings to broadband speeds and pollution. The aim is to help buyers find houses with the highest level of capital growth.

Proportunity will be using the funds from Anthemis and Axel Springer Digital Ventures to rapidly scale its business in the UK and pilot its expansion into Europe.

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.”

Proportunity’s expansion comes as the dream of home-buying seems increasingly out of reach for many people and with the government’s Help to Buy scheme due to end in 2023.

In a 2019 first-time buyer study from Santander, it said that 70 per cent of would-be first-time buyers believe the dream of homeownership is already over for many young people.

The same study found that the average price of a house bought by a first time buyer has increased 47 per cent in the last 10 years, while wages have only increased 18 per cent, making it harder for young people to get onto the housing ladder.

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