In the middle of November I blogged about an investment in the cleantech British crowdfunding platform Abundance Investment. An introduction to Abundance Investment & Join Trine can be found here.
Join Trine launched a new solar project yesterday through a new partner, SolarHome which operates in Myanmar. Most of Join Trine’s investment offerings thus far have been on the African continent.
The project aims at raising €350,000 which is estimated to enable 16,000 people to get access to solar energy and replace the hazardous alternative, kerozene. The reduction of CO2 emissions will be in the 3,000 tons range.
I’ve added SolarHome to my small portfolio of Join Trine projects.
Read more about the project here.
Crowdfunding turns excited investors into powerful advocates, potential customers, and happy beta testers. Combined, VCs and the crowd offer entrepreneurs a potent platform to begin their business. Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit.
1 – Join Trine, crowdfunded solar energy projects
The first crowdfuding platform within the cleantech / clean energy space I came across is Join Trine. A Swedish platform founded in 2014. Join Trine specializes in solar energy (off-grid) in a range of African countries. The total amount raised & invested by November 2018 is $11,390,840.
I’ve placed three minor investment in three solar construction projects in Kenya & Rwanda to spread out the risc.
2 – Abundance Investments, crowdfunded clean energy
Founded in 2009 and open for the public since 2012 with a strong focus in ethically and beneficial investments in green energy of different types (solar energy, floating tidal stream turbines, wind mills and housing projects.
Crowdfunding & millenials
I stumbled upon an interview with Join Trines CEO Sam Manaberi in CEO Today here, describing his experiences from German and American companies (Bosch International) and his view of the future for Trine & crowdfunding in general:
“Fortunately for us, we have also seen a significant rise in Millennials wanting to invest manageable portions of their disposable income in ways that also have a positive impact on society. This attitude to investing is not exclusive to Swedish Millennials, but something that is happening globally. With Millennials surpassing Baby Boomers as the largest generation in several countries, including the US, this group of consumers has naturally contributed to the rising trend of ethical investing.”
According to an analysis by Deloitte Millenials, which are losely defined as being born after the early 1980’s, are expected to have an accumulatted net weorh of around $19 go 24 trillion by 2020 – which equals huge business opportunities.
Crowdfunding – example of return rates
According to Seedrs’ annual report (published August 2018):
“The non-tax-adjusted internal rate of return (IRR) of the whole
platform, which means the annualised performance (net of fees),
as of 18 May 2018, of a hypothetical portfolio that included all 577
deals, was 12.02% on a Fixed Percentage basis and 10.05% on a
Fixed Amount basis.”
Syndicated to Linkedin: Cleantech investments
Solar farm (off-grid) in Rwanda through Join Trine
In October, I made two crowdsourcing investments in the cleantech / sustainable investment space. The first one is Join Trine which closed a new round this month with a new solar energy project in Rwanda.
2008 investors have raised €1,000,000 with an expected annual nominal investment rate of 6.75% for investments under €1,000 and 8.75% for investment higher than €1,000.
The project has – in one way or the other – an impact on 10 out of the 17 SDG’s (sustainable development goals). The proect is fully funded, and thus clused for new investments. The loan’s payback horizon is 42 months.
‘Meta-investment’ in British crowdfuding platform Abundance Investment through Seedr.
My first investment on Seedr was an equity investment in British Abundance Investment. Abudance Investment (founded 2009) has raised £79 million since its inception in 2012 covering 32 projects with £12 million paid out in returns. Abunadnce Investment operates within the following sectors: Ocean energy, Geothermal energy, wind energy, solar farms, renewables bonds & future energy projects.
Examples of investments closed in 2016, 2017 & 2018:
Abundance is helping build a more democratic and open financial system that gives people control over their money and how it’s invested. We want everyone to be able to take part in the transition to a better world and share in the financial benefits from doing so, be that through their investments, their ISA, or as a shareholder. (source)
Equity & ROI & Abudance
Equity share & expected return on investment: 4-15% per annum (gross); equity offered: 6.76%. All projects so far are tech-heavy / industrial, which I see as a great plus in comparison to the mixed projects (including a lot of ICO & pseudo AI stuff at e.g. Wefunder, in addition to being authorized and regulated by British Finalcialn Conduct Autority
Share type, dilution & preferential rights
A number of invenstors and potential investors have had access to asking questions to the Abudance team during the crowdfunding round. A question that often crops is the type of share (voting right), potential of dilution in regards to future rounds and, lastly, preferential rights.
Quoted here is Louise Wilson from Abudance Investment (quoted from forum post on Seedrs.com on November 21st. Comments can only be read by people who have signed up on the platform (no investment necessary though):
Abundance has only one class of shares all of which have voting rights (one vote per share) and all the shares have what are called pre-emption rights which protect you from owning a smaller percentage of the company than you started with (being diluted). If we look to raise capital for the business in the future, you will be offered the chance to subscribe for shares in order to maintain your current percentage ahead of any new investors (ie you have the right pre-empt them).
If the price of the individual shares is going up, then the value of your holding has gone up whether or not you can or want to buy more shares. The ‘problem’ would only come if the shares were being issued at a price below where you bought yours. If you don’t buy shares in that circumstance, both the value of your holding goes down and the proportion of the company you own goes down by a larger proportion.
Words of warning
Crowdfunding is considered high risk – and above text is not a recommendation by any means, just a description of two possibilites of investment within the cleantech / sustainability / impact investment range.