Brisbane-based startup, Bloom Impact, is looking to put green investing in more people’s hands as interest in the area grows, with the launch of a new sustainable fund and user friendly app.
The company which started in 2019, is one of six being fast tracked by EnergyLab’s new accelerator program and planning to go live before the end of the year.
One of the company’s four-person team, co-founder and chief executive Camille Socquet-Clerc said the business aimed to be unique in both its green standards and the scale at which people can take part.
“There’s a lot of ethical investing options out there. But ethical investing just means that you screen the bad investments like tobacco and fossil fuels. It doesn’t mean you are actually making a positive impact,” Ms Socquet-Clerc said.
“Bloom goes a step further and we actively seek to deliver a positive and measurable climate impact.”
Users require only a $500 initial investment to buy into the fund, which is targeting a minimum 4 per cent return. However, Ms Socquet-Clerc, said the performance of the fund over the past 12 months had shown a 21 per cent return.
Areas of investment include renewable energy generation, land solutions, industry efficiency, electrification and smart cities, green buildings and green transport and hydrogen.
While the fund will purchase traditional Australian and global equities that are rated as helping the planet, it will also buy green bonds and provide funding for green projects such as solar installation through small loan providers.
“The money we invest is lent to people who want to put solar on their roof and in exchange we sometimes receive up to 4 per cent returns for the electricity that is generated.”
While initially the company will invest predominantly in listed businesses, Ms Socquet-Clerc said over time they will be looking more to support smaller, unlisted companies as well.
“We want to offer good returns and liquidity to our investors which is why our mix is clean energy assets based in Australia and listed companies across the globe who offer climate solutions at scale.”
Choosing where to invest
The company’s decision over where to put its money is informed by the frameworks laid down by ClimateWorks and Project Drawdown, that provide tangible scientific evidence over how to achieve the best outcomes for the climate.
“They provide a framework and then Bloom transposes that into a selection of companies.
“All the industries have to transition, and Bloom invests in the climate solutions that have been scientifically proven to positively impact the climate.”
Ms Socquet-Clerc added it had been a long journey in terms of providing verification for their own operation, and entering Australia’s difficult to penetrate financial market.
Impact investing for the little guy
“Most of the impact investing products today are restricted to sophisticated investors,” she explained.
With high minimum investments and net worth requirements, she herself felt locked out of investing in clean tech companies that she felt passionate about.
“I wasn’t a sophisticated investor, I wasn’t rich enough if you wish. So, I started doing some research and I found there was a huge gap and an opportunity to create a product that would deliver good returns and good climate impact for everyone.”
The app is currently in beta phase, with a list of interested investors set to receive access in the coming months.