New digital super fund targets tech investments

Peter Terlato 15 September 2016

super invest

Startup raises capital in order to shake up superannuation for millennials.

Startup superannuation fund Spaceship has raised $1.6 million in capital to bolster investments in technology stocks, with hopes of diversifying retirement savings for millennials.

The financial backing was led by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and his new venture capital business Grok Ventures, along with 19 other notable tech entrepreneurs.

Spaceship is an online super fund that will invest in some of the world's biggest tech companies and startups, launching beta operations by the end of the year.

The company's founders – Andrew Sellen, Dave Kuhn, Kaushik Sen and Paul Bennetts – also plan to release an AI-powered app so members can monitor their money's movements.

"We're going to invest where the world is going, not where it's been," Sellen told the AFR.

"The way most current super funds invest is a huge chunk of the money in the big four banks, BHP and other mining stocks... we want tech to be the core of our portfolio."

Australian super assets increased to $2.1 trillion in 2015/16 but Spaceship won't be targeting these funds.

Co-founder Paul Bennetts wants Spaceship to be the default fund for the Aussie startup community.

"There's over 80,000 people in Australia who list the word startup on their LinkedIn profile and we only need 5000 to break even," he said.

Satisfaction among superannuation funds remains fickle and the entire financial industry is still entrenched in tradition, ripe for digital transformation.

Seeing as we tread such heavy digital footprints, it's difficult to understand why such a fundamental industry, banking and finance, hasn't been as disrupted or influenced by digitisation as other sectors.

However, there have been some improvements as of late, with Australia gaining recognition for its embracing attitude towards fintech startups.

Last month the Commonwealth Bank of Australia partnered with a consortium of global banks to test the efficiency of blockchain technology in trade financing.

In June, Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) began consultations to develop a regulatory sandbox – a limited licensing exemption allowing start-ups to test new financial services.

Superannuation plays a significant role in equipping retirees with the funds needed to live out their lives but only accounts for around half the average gross wealth.

Therefore, the earlier you put some thought into retirement savings, the better. There are some simple strategies you can implement to ensure peace of mind during your golden years.

Picture: Shutterstock

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