New supergreen crowdfunds for your (IF)ISA

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 23rd May 2018

Like your smoothies full of kale and wheatgrass?

Your investments can be just as virtuous.

This new wave of crowdfunds – some of which are eligible for the Innovative Finance ISA (you can download the Good With Money IFISA guide here)  – are pushing the world in the right (clean) direction.

In fact, most crowdfunding platforms carry at least a couple of eco-business investment opportunities these days – a promising sign that the start-up world of today is greener than ever.

Crowdfunding in its various forms, whether donation, debt or equity-based, is exciting, but it can also come with some unique risks. So if you fancy any of the below, read the Offer Documents that come with them. Savings accounts, they certainly are not.

This one is kind of a big deal. Downing Crowd, a Good Egg mark company, this week announced that from September, investors will be able to back plans for a 2 GW network of rapid EV charging stations and grid-connected batteries (so if it takes your fancy, start planning whether and how much to invest now).

Developed by Pivot Power with initial stage funding funding from Downing LLP, the network will be a world-first.

The battery technology will provide the infrastructure for rapid EV charging technology while also being capable of storing enough power to supply 235,000 average homes for a day. This storage capability creates a key resource for National Grid, allowing it to better manage increasing supply and demand issues.

Development for up to 45 sites is being planned near towns and major roads, resulting in a nationwide network of rapid EV charging stations that will also be the largest in the world.

The unprecedented programme is expected to cost £1.6 billion and Pivot Power aims to have operational batteries at ten sites from 18 months’ time, subject to planning approval.

Downing aims to provide funding for the first battery, which will be built on the south coast of England and operational by the middle of 2019. Downing also plans to raise funding from members of the public and institutions to progress the network rollout.

The investment offer will be available on the Downing Crowd platform and is expected to be open to members of the public in the autumn of 2018. Downing and Pivot Power will supply further details of the project in due course, including progress with the first battery project.

Investors can register their interest via www.downingcrowd.co.uk/home/pivot-power or www.pivot-power.co.uk

You’ll get an inflation-beating 4.5 per cent a year for three years if you invest in this £4.25mn affordable housing development of 30 two and three-bedroom homes across three developments in Liverpool. The homes will be eco too, fitted with energy and water saving technology. Nine flats will cater for those in need of supported living.

If you invest, you will be financing the construction. Help the housing shortage in this “first” for Abundance, the Good Egg investment platform.

Zypho is a shower water heat recovery device that sounds very clever indeed. When it is installed beneath the shower tray or bath plughole, it can reuse up to 30 per cent of the wasted energy in every shower.

By using a heat exchanger and without mixing clean and dirty water, Zypho extracts wasted energy to preheat the cold water that travels to the shower’s mixing valve.

So a smaller amount of hot water is required to achieve a comfortable shower temperature.

This is an equity raise – so you’d be buying shares in the company in the hope of a return at a future date.

Another equity fund raise, this time for Made In Africa, a bean-to-bar chocolate company.

With 65 per cent of the world’s cocoa coming from Africa but less than 1 per cent of chocolate actually made there, MIA is out to change this sad status quo and is looking for investors to join the journey.

By making the products in Africa rather than exporting raw materials, MIA brings three to four times more benefit to local communities.

The company is looking to raise £100K to support further expansion, increase production, fund new vital equipment at the factory in Madagascar, implement a strategic marketing program and to launch new and exciting products.

This is an equity raise to finance accommodation for vulnerable adults in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, but one that will pay interest from October 2019, with a first annual payment of 3.5 per cent, then 4.5 per cent thereafter. Daniel Brewer, director of Mustard Seed Property, says: “There is an above average number of isolated retirees, people with learning disabilities and people with dementia, all in the context of fewer jobs, more disparate communities and higher house prices.”

The company will use the £600,000 it intends to raise to buy a small development of self-contained flats and studios.

There’s a week and a half to go before this donations-based (ie. no return, just a dining voucher and a little pressie) raise ends and only £2,000 left to raise. Silo is a zero waste restaurant. It has successfully raised on Crowd2fund before and has a few specific purchases it would like to make with this modest fundraise. If you live in or near Brighton and like the restaurant, this one could be a nice feel-good donation to make.

Two to five-year bonds are available with interest rates of between 5 and 7 per cent on this debt-based investment, which will finance the restoration and repair of neglected heritage buildings and sites around the UK.

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