StepLadder, the collaborative deposit saving platform for first-time buyers, raises £1.5M

StepLadder, another London-based startup aiming to help so-called “generation rent” get onto the housing ladder, has raised £1.5 million in seed funding.

Backing the round is Spanish banking giant BBVA and fintech VC Anthemis via the London-based venture studio the pair have partnered on. Early investor Seedcamp also followed on, in addition to unnamed angel investors.

StepLadder says it will use the new capital and support provided by BBVA/Anthemis to further develop its “collaborative finance platform”. The startup is also eyeing up international expansion.

Founded in 2015 by Matthew Addison and joined by Lucy Mullins and Mihir Bhushan, StepLadder’s collaborative deposit saving platform is designed to incentive renters to save for a deposit so that they can purchase their first home.

Using a financial model known as a “Rotating Credit and Savings Association” (ROSCA), StepLadder puts its members into “Circles,” whereby each individual member contributes an identical amount on a monthly basis — ranging from £25 to £1,000. A random draw then takes place each month and the winner is provided with that month’s full pot to use towards their deposit.

“For most first-time buyers, it’s really difficult to get on the property ladder,” says Addison. “Home ownership rates amongst

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