Insurtech disruptor LifeBid has been swamped with investor funds after raising $1.45 million in an equity crowdfunding campaign, beating its original target of $1 million with a raft of industry players coming on board as investors.
The capital raise, managed by venture-backed equity crowdfunding platform Stride Equity, will be used to develop and deliver the LifeBid platform which is said to revolutionise the way life insurance advice is provided and managed in Australia.
The LifeBid platform, which currently has a waitlist of 2,000 advisers ready to join, has been developed to enable Australia’s 16,000 financial advice providers and insurers to engage, educate, advise and manage clients’ life insurance needs.
The service is also said to cut the service costs of advisers by up to 90 per cent.
Founded in 2016 by father-and-son team Jeremy and Brett Wright, the Sydney-based LifeBid builds on an earlier platform developed by the duo for the self-managed super fund industry.
A total of 147 new investors participated in the capital raise, mostly from the financial sector, including some of Australia’s largest advisory practices.
The successful equity crowdfunding campaign follows a strategic co-investment of $700,000 from Stride Equity and industry partners.
Unlike most crowdfunding platforms, Stride Equity makes strategic investments in companies that meet its criteria before seeking crowdfunding via its dedicated platform.
“We basically put together a strategic investment for a company and once we have strategic investors and industry investors behind it, we then raise the rest of the capital for the company on the crowdfunding platform,” says Maria Halasz, the CEO and co-founder of Stride Equity.
“We had a fantastic expressions of interest campaign for LifeBid and the raising of $1.45 million is obviously a great result.”
LifeBid is the first company Stride Equity approved for an investment and hosting on its equity crowdfunding platform since launching earlier this year.
The platform promoted LifeBid’s offering as a key opportunity for the life insurance sector, noting that Australia has ‘long been plagued by complex regulations, inadequate technology and soaring costs, leading to frustrated advisers, licensees, insurers and consumers alike’.
LifeBid’s digital solution has set its sights on enabling life-insurance advisers to seamlessly manage their clients’ needs on a single platform with the aim of providing better value and experience for customers.
Halasz notes that most of the capital raised from the campaign has come from industry participants.
The average investment in the crowdfunding campaign was $5,734 against an industry average of $1,739 in FY23, as revealed by crowdfunding platform Birchal in July.
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