Start to Impact Invest — Part 2 — Join the Crowd
Start investing in your favourite impact projects with crowdfunding and lending platforms
In Start to Impact Invest and Make Your Money Matter, we looked into 7 impact investing platforms where you can invest small amounts in impact portfolios chosen by the platform.
This time, we dig into crowdfunding and crowdlending platforms, enabling you to invest directly into an impact project of your choice.
Check out these 8 platforms that help you choose the companies and projects you want to invest in to make an impact.
LITA.co was born out of the desire to address two major issues: the lack of transparency and meaning in traditional investment products and the strong need for financing companies with positive social and environmental impact and the lack of transparency and meaning in investments offered to retailers.
LITA.co allows you to participate in reducing social and environmental inequalities by offering everyone the opportunity to invest in sustainable businesses with a positive impact and get a financial benefit.
LITA.co in a nutshell:
- You start by discovering companies selected based on their growth prospects, their responsibility and their positive impact on society.
- You can start investing as of €100, fully online.
- You can benefit from a tax deduction coupled with any dividends and/or capital gains if you have invested in the capital of a company OR the payment of periodic interest if you lend your money to a company.
- You can follow the evolution of the company in which you have invested in a transparent way directly via your LITA.co account.
GoParity is an impact investment platform that connects companies and organizations promoting sustainable projects with citizens who want to invest in these projects and get a positive return. Investments start with as little as 5€. Citizens and companies invest their funds in projects they believe in to generate economic, social and environmental impact.
GoParity was founded in 2017 when the three founders couldn’t find an ethical bank to deposit their money. Since then they have been scaling fast, both in terms of size and impact generated. They are on a mission to democratise access to sustainable finance. Although they were born in Portugal but have financed projects and grown a large community of investors all around the world since then.
GoParity in a nutshell:
- You can register and browse the open projects to find the ones that best match you, and start creating your portfolio with as little as 5€ to earn up to 8% per year.
- GoParity’s projects’ average interest rate is 5,2% and the average project maturity is 3,6 years.
- As an alternative, GoParity also offers an auto-investment function in newly opened projects without having to log in.
- If you have a project that you want to raise funding for, you can apply to be listed on the platform whether you are a for-profit or a non-profit organisation provided your project contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
A crowdfunding pioneer, Ulule was founded in 2010 and is today the number one community-backed incubator of positive impact projects in the world. Its mission is to empower people — creators, citizens, companies — to take action for a world that is more diverse, more sustainable and open to all. Beyond mere funding, it works to help creators turn their ideas into actions, succeed and grow their projects to increase their impact.
Ulule is a certified B Corporation since 2015 and operates out of its headquarters in Paris and its international office in Montreal. Its growing community of 2.5 million members has made it possible to bring 30,000 projects to life.
Ulule in a nutshell:
- It is completely free to register and use the site. For project creation, they take a 5% commission only when a project succeeds.
- To ensure that the amounts requested by project owners are realistic and consistent with their needs, a limited time frame and specific minimum amount are defined for the fundraising campaign.
- Ulule is the first platform to offer two fundraising types: the project manager can set a financial target, or a number of objects/items to pre-sell.
- No commission is applied if a project does not reach its objective and the funds are refunded to the backers.
LendForGood enables anyone to join the crowd and easily lend capital to fuel impact enterprises as they solve social and environmental challenges in the Asia Pacific.
LendForGood is a joint venture between the teams at Red Hat Impact and StartSomeGood. The team has decades of experience working with impact enterprises around the world, and understand their challenge in accessing capital at the right time, on the right terms, to fuel their growth and meet business needs. They also firmly believe that democratising participation in impact investment is necessary to create lasting community wealth.
LendForGood in a nutshell:
- Impact enterprises create deals. They tell the crowd what capital they need, how it will help their business and achieve their impact goals.
- Lenders in the crowd choose the deals they support because of the business, the terms and the impact.
- Borrowers chase their business and impact goals and repay their lenders an agreed amount at an agreed date.
As a backend, they also plan to deploy a blockchain solution based on Ethereum’s smart contracts to simplify the management and governance of the loans.
La Bolsa Social
Bolsa Social allows you to lend money to companies with a positive social impact and obtain up to 8% profit, or become shareholder of social impact startups. Among the projects of Seed Line you will find companies with impact that are taking their first steps. In the projects of Growth Line you can invest in companies that have already validated their business, with capital needs from 100,000 euros.
Why Bolsa Social?
Investing through Bolsa Social means betting on companies that have a transformative mission, and that work by putting people and the planet at the centre of their decisions. Bolsa Social applies the recommendations of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) on how to measure, manage and control the impact.
Bolsa Social in a nutshell:
- Invest in a safe environment: they are the first participative financing platform authorised and supervised by the CNMV in Spain.
- Invest in impact: they support companies that create a positive impact on society and the environment.
- Invest in an easy way: they designed a simplified way of investing through an agile, transparent and safe process.
- Invest rigorously: Bolsa Social is selective with the companies they publish, and once funded, they continuously monitor them and report on their progress.
WE DO GOOD develops a royalty based crowdfunding platform to answer to the main environmental, social and economical stakes we face today. Through a transparent and balanced funding model, WE DO GOOD democratises access to impact investing: anyone can become an investor in positive projects starting from €10.
Why WE DO GOOD?
As a purpose-driven company, they are built on strong values and a long-term strategy based on impact. They are also B Corp certified and are part of a community of pioneering companies that seek to reconcile profit-making with a mission that serves the public interest.
WE DO GOOD in a nutshell?
- The projects listed on the platform have to go through an impact assessment to prove that they have positive economic impacts and social or environmental ambition.
- Raising funds in exchange for royalties involves giving up a percentage of your turnover, determined according to several parameters, generally between 1 and 10%.
- It is not an equity investment; the entrepreneur remains in control. It is not a loan; the return on investment depends on the project’s success. With the royalties, if the project is a success, everyone wins.
- As an investor, you will receive a return on investment every three months from a company you have funded. It is available from 10 € while the average investment on the platform is €700.
EthicHub is a decentralized P2P crowdlending platform for farm loans. It connects lenders with unbanked farmers.
EthicHub is an award-winning P2P marketplace based on blockchain technology putting in contact small unbanked farmers with users and buyers from all over the world, thus generating an ecosystem where everyone wins. With the help of disruptive technologies, they help to overcome regulatory barriers that have so far hindered global transactions between investors and borrowers via crowdlending.
EthicHub in a nutshell:
- EthicHub is a social enterprise that connects groups of small farmers with the necessary financing to work their land and sell their crops in relevant markets.
- EthicHub finances profitable agricultural projects based on the real and productive economy
- With EthicHub, investors can earn up to 8% annual profitability and achieve this, they recommend diversifying your investments in different EthicHub projects.
- The collaborative ecosystem created by EthicHub enables all the intervening actors to become guarantors of farmers, by collateralizing the loans uploaded to the platform with the guarantee of Ethix tokens.
Seedrs enables all types of investors to invest in businesses they believe in and share in their success as well as all types of growth-focused businesses to raise capital and a community in the process. Seedrs has recently been acquired by Republic, a New York-based investment platform, creating a global private investment marketplace with offerings across North America and Europe.
Seedrs is the world’s leading equity crowdfunding platform — now backed also by Republic. Seedrs make it simple for anyone to become investors in ambitious, growth-focused European businesses. You can invest as little or as much as you like, and Seedrs handle all of the legal documentation and due diligence to ensure that businesses are set up for success and investors get their fair share.
Seedrs in a nutshell:
- Getting started is super easy on the platform: it is free for anyone in Europe to sign up. Once your investor profile is complete you’ll be able to access all campaigns, ask entrepreneurs questions, request further information and invest.
- To start investing, choose the amount and securely pay for your investment by debit card or bank transfer.
- Once you have made your investment, you will become a legal, ordinary shareholder when the round closes. If the business does well you will receive a return on your investment.
- Seedrs also makes it possible to raise funding for your company via the platform either through crowdfunding, from private investors or on the secondaries market.