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IFISA-eligible crowdfunded bond raises nearly £10 million for green energy

An innovative bond offer from Thrive Renewables and promoted by Triodos Corporate finance has drawn in nearly £10 million of new investment capital.

11-04-2017 |

  • Thrive Renewables bond raises £9.97m for new sustainable energy projects in the UK
  • Capital raise exceeds target of £7.5m by 32 per cent
  • First ever crowdfunded bond eligible for an Innovative Finance ISA

Renewable energy generation in the UK has a brighter future now that an innovative bond offer from Thrive Renewables (Thrive) has drawn in nearly £10 million of new investment capital. Promoted by Triodos Corporate Finance, the bond was the first ever crowdfunded investment eligible for the new Innovative Finance ISA.

Over 56 per cent of the retail tranche of the investment offer utilised the new IFISA wrapper, which allows individuals to use their annual ISA investment allowance for investments offered by peer-to-peer platforms. This high take-up showcases the willingness of retail investors to include innovative social enterprises like Thrive in their basic investment portfolios. Over 900 individual investors contributed between £5 and £50,000, filling the retail tranche in just 22 days, while over 600 of the investors were new to Thrive.

Dan Hird, head of Triodos Corporate Finance said: "This bond offer has been our fastest capital raise to date, and I'm not surprised. Thrive's strong mission-based track record combined with the tax-efficient IFISA to capture investor imagination. With this kind of investment support, companies like Thrive can take the lead in creating the next generation of renewable power."

In addition to individuals, several institutional investors also invested in the bond, including the Rathbone Ethical Bond Fund, wealth managers Rathbone Greenbank, and King & Shaxson.

Mission-driven organisations were also drawn to the bond offering as it provided them an opportunity to align their investment practices with their objectives. Often organisations such as charitable trusts struggle to balance the need to maximise the value of their assets with their social or environmental goals. Impact investments reconcile this tension and, as a result, several charitable trusts and foundations invested in Thrive, including the Friends Provident Foundation and Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Danielle Walker Palmour, director of Friends Provident Foundation said: "In addition to grant giving and shareholder engagement via our endowment, we also seek out impact investments to further our charitable objectives. Thrive's renewable energy bond allowed us to invest in a way that aligns with our mission while also providing a good return on investment for the foundation. Investment opportunities like this are an obvious solution for mission-driven organisations looking to manage their assets in a way that aligns with their values."

Matthew Clayton, managing director of Thrive Renewables said: "This bond was well positioned to help us connect with individual investors wanting to support renewables and institutions and foundations that are moving to align their portfolios with their mission. Engaging with a wide spectrum of investors is important to further democratise the ownership of our cleaner energy system.  We are pleased to have already invested part of the capital into a Solar PV project, where we are using our investment to facilitate local community ownership."

A portion of the £10M funds have already gone directly into three renewable energy projects including a three-turbine wind farm built on an old coal mine in Scotland. These new projects will power clean electricity to homes by autumn 2017. Thrive has also invested in Solar PV for the first time this year broadening its scope of sustainable projects for investors.

The bond offer was made available online through Abundance Investment, an FCA authorised peer-to peer-crowdfunding platform. 

-Ends-

Notes to editors:
The IFISA was introduced on 6 April 2016 and from 1 November 2016 crowdfunded debt securities, such as the Thrive Bond, were eligible for inclusion.

For the tax year 2016/17 investors can subscribe up to £15,240 in an ISA. Contributions to an IFISA count towards the overall ISA contribution limit.

For further information please contact:
Karl Blockwell
T:0117-311-0229
M: 07387-023102
karl.blockwell@triodos.co.uk

Ryan Munn
T: 0117-311-0291
M: 07856-001471
ryan.munn@triodos.co.uk

About Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €12 billion in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way.

With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 36 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.

Triodos Bank N.V. has a full banking license and is registered with The Nederlandsche Bank N.V. (the Dutch central bank) and The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets

www.triodos.co.uk
www.twitter.com/triodosuk
www.facebook.com/triodosbankuk

About Triodos Corporate Finance
Triodos Corporate Finance works exclusively with sustainable businesses and has a long track record of advising businesses on raising capital through private placements and retail offers.

Since 2011, Triodos Corporate Finance has raised over £85 million for businesses within the sustainability sector with investments from institutions, charitable foundations, high net worth individuals and retail investors.

About Thrive Renewables
Now independent, Thrive Renewables was established over 20 years ago by leading ethical bank Triodos Bank, and has more than 6,300 shareholders and bondholders and more than 90MW of assets under management. In 2015 Thrive Renewables delivered enough clean energy to meet the energy demand of 41,187 UK homes' equivalent and saved 72,876 tCO2 e emissions.

Thrive Renewables provides an opportunity to invest directly in a portfolio of renewable energy projects, delivering financial returns and contributing to tangible greenhouse gas emission reductions. Thrive Renewables also works with developers and innovators to develop and build new sources of renewable energy to create a smart energy system fit for the future.

About Friends Provident Foundation
The Friends Provident Foundation is an independent, endowed charity, created in 2001 after the demutualisation of Friends Provident Life Office. Our vision is of a fairer economy and a better society. We work towards this through grants, social investments, mainstream investments and building networks and communications.

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