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During the pandemic there seemed to be a halt in house prices. Once ties to the dreaded commute were cut, there was a max exodus to the countryside and buying houses seemed more in reach. However, this hasn’t lasted, according to the Zoopla House Index, UK properties are at an all time high. They are a whopping 30% higher than the previous peak in 2007, putting homebuyers’ dreams even further out of reach.
To make life harder, average wages have not seen the same rally. According to the ONS, since 1970, house prices have increased by 65 times, whereas the average wage is only 36 times higher. This puts a huge gap between wannabe buyers, and the ever-expanding housing market. Step forward Crowdtolive.
Crowdtolive is an innovative fin-tech connecting investors to homebuyers. Investors can gain access to the buy-to-let market without taking on tenancy management, and homebuyers can start on the property ladder without accumulating debt. This works by taking advantage of the shared ownership model and facilitating a circular flow of finance between the two parties.
For the investors, they don’t take on the headaches associated with tenancy management – the homebuyers are motivated to pay on time and maintain the property at a good standard. And equally for the buyers, they can get on the property ladder earlier than if they went down the traditional mortgage route. Crowdtolive offers equity financing so the buyers don’t accumulate debt. The homebuyers enter a shared ownership scheme where they part buy, part rent their new home, with the ability to staircase ownership on a quarterly basis.
Crowdtolive is regulated by the the FCA and has been recognised to be a part of a number of accelerator programmes – Virgin Startup Accelerator Programme, Barclays Eagle Lab Accelerator Programme (also giving them access to the Barclays ecosystem), London & Partners International Growth Programme, Qatar Fintech Accelerator Hub and the Natwest Accelerator Programme. With very limited marketing budget, Crowdtolive has managed to acquire a community of 7,000 users, who have submitted over 2,600 properties at a value of circa £600 million.
With the funding from its Seedrs campaign, Crowdtolive is going to focus on scaling up. It will invest in business development, a legal and tax review to aid international expansion, key hires, IT infrastructure and marketing. This round should allow them to prepare the company for a series A funding later on in 2021 or early 2022.
To find out more about Crowdtolive and for the opportunity to invest, visit the pitch now.