Triodos Bank, a global leader in sustainable banking, has raised over £7 million for five organisations delivering positive social and environmental impact on its crowdfunding platform in the three months since it launched.
The platform (www.triodoscrowdfunding.co.uk), which opened to investors in January, enables people to invest directly in equity or bonds issued by established charities or businesses which have been extensively screened by Triodos for the viability of their business model and the credibility of the management team.
The latest offer to be successfully completed was a £1.8m bond for Mendip Renewables. The funds will take a 5MW operational solar farm in Somerset into community ownership. Investors will earn 5% interest per year, increasing in line with the annual retail price index, repayable over 17 years. An estimated £1.4 million of profit will be contributed to a community benefit scheme over the life of the project.
Dan Hird, Head of Corporate Finance at Triodos Bank, said: "Since launching the crowdfunding platform, we have seen significant interest among investors looking to support pioneering, sustainable organisations and businesses. The range of projects that have already been or are near to being funded is evidence of the potential of crowdfunding to prompt positive social, environmental and cultural change. We are proud to be at the forefront of this movement and aim to support the funding of many more progressive projects on the Triodos Crowdfunding site."
Four bond offers are currently live on the platform, with interest rates ranging from 5% - 7% with a minimum investment of as low as £100. The bonds are eligible to be held in the Innovative Finance ISA, allowing investors to receive the interest they earn on these investments tax-free. As with all investments, capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.
- Dart Renewables: a £1.8 million bond refinancing the operational Totnes Weir hydro power scheme, which helps to conserve salmon and sea trout in the River Dart. The company is giving locals the chance to invest in clean, renewable energy generation through a ten-year bond paying investors 5% per year interest.
- Coigach Community: a community interest company which owns and operates a 500-kW wind turbine in Coigach, a remote peninsula in the north west highlands of Scotland, looking to raise £1.75 million. The funds will be used to refinance the wind turbine asset and enable the company to donate its retained profits to the community of Coigach to fund a variety of projects. The bond pays 5% interest over 12 years.
- Thera Trust: a charitable group of companies providing care and housing for people with complex learning disabilities aiming to raise £5 million to invest in freehold properties and provide 14 new homes. The bond pays 5.5% interest per year over a 6-year term.
- Rendesco: raising £5.5 million to develop green energy from ground source heat pumps through the government's 20 year renewable heat incentive scheme and will pay 7% interest per year over a 7-year term. They are aiming to develop 100 sites for leading retirement home groups and providing low-carbon heating to keep the elderly warm.
Triodos Bank already has an excellent track record in raising finance for social and environmental organisations and in the last 15 years has raised more than £140 million to fund over 50 impact projects. In 2003, Triodos successfully raised the first charity bond in the UK for Golden Lane Housing, one of the UK's leading supported housing landlords for people with a learning disability. In 2013, a further £10 million was successfully raised including a refinancing of the 2003 bond where over 40 per cent of bondholders re-invested.
Meg Blumsom, a retired probation officer who invested in the Mendip Renewables bond, said:"I don't want to invest my money in things that do harm, which is why I chose to invest in Mendip Renewables through Triodos crowdfunding . I liked the fact that this bond helps to support the local community. We get regular updates and already feel like we're part of the project."
The UK has seen significant growth in impact investing over recent years, with 19.5 million people stating an interest in positive investment. Recent research from Triodos found that 42% of savers like the idea of a safe form of crowdfunding on issues that they care about.
Simon Conway, Director of Strategy at Thera Trust, said: "Thera has worked with Triodos to raise capital previously and we know them to be a trusted and reliable partner with a successful track record. Investing in Thera's bond offer will help us to support more people with a learning disability to take control of their lives, whilst providing investors who support us with a financial return. We're delighted with progress of our current offer."
For more information and to register interest and receive alerts each time a new offer goes live, visit the Triodos Bank crowdfunding platform. As with all investments, capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.
Positive Investor 2017 report (Ethex)
Research conducted by Opinium Research on behalf of Triodos Bank, 9th to 12th February 2018, among 2,002 nationally representative UK adults (aged 18+).
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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 €13.5 billion (2016) 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 43 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.
This financial promotion has been issued and approved by the UK division of Triodos Bank NV (incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands with limited liability, registered in England and Wales BR3012). Authorised by the Dutch Central Bank and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request.
Investments offered on this platform are not readily realisable, which means that they may be difficult to sell and you may not get back the full amount invested. Investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and your capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed. Repayment of capital and interest or payment of dividends will be dependent on the success of the organisation's business model and past performance isn't a reliable indicator of future performance. You should always read the offer document in full before deciding whether or not to invest as it will cover risks specific to an individual investment. You can read more about the general risks associated with making these types of investments here. If you are unsure if any of these investments are right for you, you should contact an Independent Financial Adviser.