Property investment startup BrickX has launched Smart Invest, a new automated platform aiming to help users save for a house deposit.
The platform is an evolution of the core BrickX offering, now called ‘Build My Own’, which allows users to buy a ‘brick’ in a particular property of their choosing. The startup purchases a property and puts it into a trust, after which it is then split it into 10,000 units, or bricks.
Through Smart Invest, meanwhile, users can invest a set amount monthly – from $250 – with the BrickX team making the decision around which property to invest it in. Investors can later list their bricks for sale.
Anthony Millet, CEO of BrickX, said the Smart Invest offering has been in development for eight months, having evolved out of user demand.
“We now have 12,000 investors on BrickX, and Smart Invest has really come through seeing their behaviour, and people coming back to deposit every single month and asking us to set up an automatic saving feature,” he said.
Millet added that the startup had also received feedback from investors who said they were finding it harder to make decisions around which property to invest in with each new property that was being added onto the platform.
“We’re removing the decision paralysis from that experience, so we’re making it easier for people to achieve success and be confident in the decisions they’re making around investment.”
It comes as a survey conducted by BrickX found 15 percent of respondents said they would give up having children and 15 percent would give up their dream job to own a house sooner, 33 percent would move overseas and 44 percent would work in a job they don’t love to be able to afford a home.
Twenty-three percent of respondents also believe that finding life on Mars is more likely than them owning a house in 10 years’ time.
“These results prove that purchasing a home is still very much viewed as an important part of the Australian way of life and something we should all get to experience, especially when many of us are working hard to pay the bills and save for a deposit,” Millet said.
Of course, the issues around housing affordability run quite deep and truly addressing the underlying problems behind the statistics uncovered in the BrickX survey go far beyond the scope of a platform such as Smart Invest, something Millet acknowledges, however he believes it is a step in the right direction.
BrickX in February raised $9 million in a Series A round with funding from NAB Ventures, the venture capital arm of National Australia Bank (NAB). The startup has also raised funding from Westpac-backed VC firm Reinventure.
The startup now has 17 properties across Australia, collectively worth over $18 million.
Image: Anthony Millet. Source: Supplied.