Carbon Equity has raised 1.8 million euros in a new investment round. The money will come from venture capital firms such as 4impact VC and Germany’s EANU, but a string of angels have also joined, including the founders of Bloomon and SkyNRG.
According to co-founder and CEO Jacqueline van den Ende, the money is needed to expand her team and grow internationally, starting in Germany.
Power investments for individuals
Let’s take a look at the set-up of Carbon Equity that the impact investor launched last year: It is a digital platform that gives private investors access to investments in startups and scaleups that develop climate technology. Carbon Equity selects venture capital and private equity funds that focus on such climate technology. It raises private capital and transfers it to these funds.
The bottom line: Until now, such power investments were not reserved for private individuals, especially not the ‘small’ investors, due to the minimal size of the tickets. Carbon Equity is the first provider that makes it possible to invest from 100,000 euros in what is called ‘top funds’.
Vertical farming, carbon capture
“In return, they invest in, for example, cement, in which CO2 is collected, new wood construction techniques, vertical farming or electric tractors,” says Van den Ende. ‘In other words, genuine groundbreaking technologies, not the established technology around sun or wind. It is partly venture capital and partly private equity: growth money for companies with a turnover of at least DKK 10 million. This allows our customers to choose between different risk profiles. ‘
In nine months, Van den Ende has already set aside around 35 million euros in private capital with the effects in this way and expects to reach 100 million by the end of this year. How does she think it goes? ‘As an entrepreneur, of course, I’m impatient, I can always do things faster, but I think it’s going really well.’
Next generation investors
For example, the assumptions that Carbon Equity made about its customers in the beginning prove to be completely correct. Among the 200 private investors, many are fairly young startup and scale-up entrepreneurs. ‘That next gen I call them entrepreneurs who are also encountered by venture capital funds like Henq and Peak, but who really want to have influence outside of it and believe that technology is the key to this. Sometimes you also see children persuading their parents: Our oldest customer is in the eighties. And there are also people who invest in several funds together. ‘
The new round of financing brings the total capital that Van den Ende raised to his own startup to 3 million euros. Which is especially handy: There are also enthusiastic customers coming into Carbon Equity. “For example, an early Airbnb employee who was able to earn on her company’s IPO.”
It is no coincidence that in addition to German funds, German angels will also be added, including the founder of the local Groupon clone Daily Deal: Van den Ende will enter the German market as soon as possible.
Persons with high net worth
‘The biggest obstacle get a permit there, we need to get started on it in the last quarter of this year so we can start quietly in Germany a few months later. We start in the highest segment of the private market, the so-called persons with high net worth†
For the simple saver: These are people who have more than 1 million cash. In Germany, they will probably be allowed to participate from 2 tons.
Pilot: boarding from 10K
And in fact, like 100,000 euros, it’s quite a lot of money for most individuals, especially if they have to spread their risks on various investments. Therefore, it is also important to lower that threshold – a requirement of the AFM regulator.
Van den Ende expects a license from AFM early next year to allow Dutch customers to participate already 10K. ‘We can then also apply in all other EU countries qualified investors market, so from more than a ton. ‘
But already in September, she starts a pilot that makes the same possible. ‘We will give a select set of investors on a closed waiting list the opportunity to come in for a lower amount’.
Carbon Equity knows how to tie top talent
Carbon Equity has no interest rate complaints. Not from clients, not from investors for their own financing and certainly not from potential team members. ‘I have no problem finding the best people at all. I recently received 500 responses to a vacancy as an analyst. As far as I am concerned, it proves that the younger generation is really looking for meaning. With us, they earn a fraction of what they can get from the established order. ‘
This includes a couple of experienced forces that Van den Ende managed to get away from Alpinvest, but still godfather of Dutch private equity. ‘I prefer to call it the Champions League, but it’s really a mega win that we can tie top talent to us. Our head of risk & compliance, for example, comes from AFM. ‘
To raise capital and change the mindset
‘It’s also a lot of fun: that people who have never been involved in power are now investing through us. This is the second big gain we are pursuing: we do not just want to raise as much capital as possible for power investments, we want to change the mindset. Proves that climate technology is an extremely fast growing sector where good returns can be achieved. It is therefore no longer a trade-off, but a win-win. The entrepreneur, who is now able to develop an affordable alternative to meat, has a golden future. ‘