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The 'super fund for millennials' backed by Mike Cannon-Brookes will hold $100 million at launch

NASA’s launch of Expedition 48. Photo: Bill Ingalls / NASA via Getty Images (File)

The new Australian superannuation fund aimed at younger savers that tilts its investments towards big-name tech stocks is expected to have $100 million under management by its official launch, expected at the end of the month.

Business Insider understands Spaceship, a startup that made headlines last year when Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes invested in it, will launch to the public on 31 March at the Myriad tech festival in Brisbane.

The fund opened to early adopters on Australia Day and saw $50 million in retirement savings put into it in the first 30 days, according to chief executive Paul Bennetts, and expects that total to have doubled by the end of the month.

“We’ve had an incredible response from our customers. We are giving every customer a call to be onboarded personally by a member of our team,” he said.

Spaceship will invest heavily in famous technology shares like Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft — rather than the blue-chip banking and mining companies that its more traditional rivals focus on.

“Our core difference is that we invest in where the world is going, not where it has been,” co-founder Andrew Sellen said in September.

Mike Cannon-Brookes and his fashion designer wife, Annie. Photo: Getty Images.

The $100 million in funds under management is a significant figure, although it will still be dwarfed by the vast industry funds that dominate Australia’s $2 trillion retirement savings pool. According to recent data from the the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, a typical portfolio allocation in the last quarter of 2016 was 23% in Australian shares, 22% in international shares, 13% in Australian fixed interest and 12% in cash, with the balance in other investments such as international bonds and unlisted property.

When the startup won $1.6 million in seed funding last year, Cannon-Brookes’ venture capital firm Grok Ventures was revealed as one of the investors in the company, saying the super fund would be “a game changer”.

“I’m looking forward to transferring my own super in when it launches,” said Cannon-Brookes at the time.

Spaceship has been on the road this year meeting with prospective customers at events in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Bennetts said this tour and its online publication The Dish had been crucial in driving the pre-launch demand.

The company is now predicting the $100 million mark will be reached before the public launch at the end of the month.

“We consistently hear again and again from our customers that they are not disengaged from their super, but their super is disengaged from them. Customers complain that they hear from their electricity company more than their super fund. That nuance is lost by the superannuation industry,” he said.

As well as the tech stock focus, the startup is hoping that the digital-only administrative process will be appealing to millennials.

Two of the four co-founders of Spaceship have previous superannuation experience. Chief operating officer Kaushik Sen worked in tech positions at ING and AMP and was specifically involved in the launch of SmartChoice Super at ANZ. Sellen led Australian Ethical Investment’s marketing effort, which saw it double its funds over the last three years to hit $1.4 billion.

Bennetts, who replaced Sellen in October, was recruited from AirTree Ventures and had prior experience at Goldman Sachs.

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