Belong, a wealth-building platform, has commenced operations following the successful acquisition of €3.4 Million in pre-seed funding. This marks the largest pre-seed round ever secured by female founders in Europe.

Belong, which was founded in 2023 by behavioral economist Samantha Rosenberg and former investment banker Avion Gray, wants to open up wealth-building opportunities that have hitherto been exclusive to a privileged few to a larger audience, with millennials in the workforce as the target market.

Nick Hungerford, a prosperous British businessman, created Avion and Samantha. Nutmeg was the first licensed robo-advisor in Europe when it was sold to JP Morgan in 2021 for about £700 million. Nick was a close mentor and advisor to the Belong founders, sharing the vision of democratizing wealth building and empowering a new generation of investors before his untimely passing in July 2023.

Octopus Ventures, Viola Fintech, Connect Ventures, Portage Ventures, January Ventures, and well-known Fintech angel investors Ricky Knox and Gautham Radhakrishnan, William Todd, co-founder of Nutmeg, prominent UK economist John Kay, and tech industry expert Edwina Johnson are among the other investors to date.

Belong Co-Founder & CEO Avion Gray, stated:

“To create long-term prosperity, we need both time and money, but they are rarely available to us at the same time. Although we frequently find it difficult to get started, millennials still have years ahead of us to witness any long-term investments we make now compound and pay off before retirement. “Belong is changing this”. Whether that’s due to not being able to secure a mortgage, lack of confidence around investing, or feeling like we don’t have enough cash available to make it worthwhile.”

Financial Innovation

Being the first platform to give users the option of taking out a loan to increase their long-term stock investment, Belong has been operating covertly. As a result, Belong has developed a brand-new “Boost loan” function with low-interest rates, empowering users to make larger initial investments and amplifying the compounding effect over time. Customers individually repay the Boost loan through modest monthly installments, thus allowing their investments to grow.

Applying leverage, or borrowed cash, to improve long-term financial outcomes has historically only been available to wealthy investors; however, with a minimum commitment of £1,000, millennials may find this option more accessible. Early indications from Belong’s beta users show that this product is very popular with the intended audience; 84% of users have chosen Boost loans thus far, with 100% retention and timely repayments over 15 months.

Despite making up the majority of the population (22%), millennials are the first generation in history to be in poorer financial standing than their parents1. They also control less than 5% of the stock market. However, according to Belong, the UK’s 18–44-year-old population alone has access to an estimated £300 billion in financial savings2. Usually kept in low-interest current or savings accounts, or a cash individual savings account at most. Belong’s millennial co-founders are resolute in their mission to change and revolutionize the investment industry.

“The stock market has historically demonstrated an increasing tendency over the long run, reaching levels of 10%+ per year, despite daily fluctuations. A broad market investment is by its by nature accessible, transparent in value, and diverse. This makes the Boost loan appealing to anyone with extra money, a reliable source of income, and the determination to stick with it through to the end,” Gray continued.

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Leadership Profiles

Avion Gray has overseen the establishment and growth of the company in the US and throughout Europe in her capacity as Head of Product & Commercialization at Clover, a prominent provider of merchant services and POS systems.

Co-founder and COO Samantha Rosenberg is an economist with a focus on behavioral. She worked with financial institutions in Africa and Europe as a member of the first team of applied behavioral specialists in Africa, guiding individuals toward long-term financial decision-making.

Samantha Rosenberg, co-founder and COO of Belong said:

“Millennials’ surplus money in cash ISA or savings accounts isn’t working hard enough for us. We are losing out on our primary wealth-building years if we don’t invest it. Most people enjoy the thought of having quick access to their money, but this is frequently the result of present bias, which is the propensity to put one’s future self last to get more current satisfaction. It’s hard to give up things now for our future selves since they seem so alien to us.”

Zihao Xu, Fintech Partner at Octopus Ventures, said:

“We are proud to be on this journey with Belong and look forward to supporting the company in its quest to be a true pioneer in long-term wealth-building. Because of their complementary skill sets and similar goals, Samantha and Avion can help a greater number of people embark on the path to better financial futures.”

Image Credit: Belong


Data professional, Writer and Thinker at TECHnicalBeep, aspiring to provide quality content with respect to "All things Startups" to our readers. It is important for the people that they are aware of how the world is changing and evolving daily, and how those ideas and innovations can potentially help grow the Ideasphere of the region.

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