“2020 was something else, right… heaven knows what’s next?”
This is the time of year I usually get asked for 2020 reflections and to lay out our plans for what’s next. It would be easy and natural to write off last year as one to forget for many reasons. But against many odds, StepLadder and our Members have gone from strength to strength - collectively taking the next step towards our dreams.
We are coming out the other side stronger, together:
- StepLadder has grown more than 200% since last summer! Our community has grown at a blistering rate – 14% each month on average since July.
- We have had over 70 unique Circles of Members – and more Members drawing in February 2021 than ever before.
- We awarded almost £400,000 to our Members - taking our total awarded in all time to £690,000! I’m counting the days until I can announce the £1million mark.
- We continue to be award-winning! For the second year running we won numerous awards in the fintech and property sectors. My Co-founder Lucy won the Fintech Champion of the Year at the Women in Finance Awards and Innovator of the Year at the Women in IT Awards. The company was also shortlisted for the Best Supplier to the First Time Buyer Market at the First Time Buyer Readers’ Awards.
If you were to ask me what I’m most proud of in 2020 it would be difficult to choose just one thing - but right at the top of the list would be the team around me - my Dream Squad! We said goodbye to some friends and welcomed some new experts to the team. Across product, marketing and membership we’re literally levelling-up! And I have so much confidence in what they can all achieve together.
So what’s next for us? Well 2021 is going to be our year - I can feel it.
In December, our investors including Anthemis BBVA committed another £450,000 to our capital, and we’re considering inviting our community to become shareholders too, via a crowdraise. Interested? Reach out here!
All of the funding goes towards our growth.
And that’s what we’re going to do - GROW! And we want you to be a part of it.
As we often say, we’re a small company with a big mission - but we don’t want to be small anymore!
Lucy and I have long believed that StepLadder’s success lies in the values of ‘community’ - all of us being stronger together as a society; reaching our own goals whilst helping others to do the same.
Our focus will be to build a better home for our community as well as expanding it to reach more first time buyers and give them a financial solution to help overcome their challenges.
And we’ve hit the ground running - how is it February already!? We’ve already launched our next-gen, 100% home-grown platform – providing a smoother joining process and expanded member support. One particular highlight is the new Partners section, where we make it even easier to find 15 companies we believe could help our Members.
We know how important trust and expert support is for reaching goals – especially financial goals. That’s why we’ve been busy expanding our collaboration with unique Ambassadors: Eman at EmanEffect, Timi at MrMoneyJar & Ryan at MakingMoneySimple. More every month, so watch this space.
And our grassroots, community-first activities get a special mention from me as our Members help us fly the flag:
- Leslie first raised £7,500 himself, and then formed a Circle with his own friends.
- Kennedy’s Skint2Mint community of 18-20 year-olds is getting an early start with 5-member groups setting aside £25 each month.
- In January, Natalie launched a women-only group focused on £1,000 emergency funds.
StepLadder can’t make the coronavirus go away (we wish we could!) nor do we have a crystal ball to say what’s lurking around the next corner. But, we can be here for each other.
That’s why this business exists. It’s why I believe collaborative finance has a major part to play in the future.
Understanding how life goals may affect your financial goals is a critical step of your personal, post-Covid inventory. This is a great opportunity to check/re-check the direction you’re aiming. And if your goals are the same, stay on track and tune out the noise. We are here to help.
Matt is the Founder and CEO of StepLadder. He started StepLadder to make a lasting positive impact on UK first-time home buyers and fix a broken system