Janina Benz

Crowdfunding goes green – Econeers supports an energy transition from the grassroots

Michael Brey - Corporate Communications at Econeers

Michael Brey – Corporate Communications at Econeers

The story behind Econeers
We have started Econeers in October 2013 as sister-platform of Seedmatch, the German market leader in crowdfunding for startups and partner of CODE_n. So we have transferred our experience as well as  the proved concept of crowdfunding to the prospering field of renewable energies and sustainability. That was because we discovered large similarities between both concepts: The energy transition in Germany has been basically driven by civil investors right from the start. Almost 50 percent of the renewable energy facilities are paid with private money. Since 2001 over 880 energy cooperatives have been founded by citizens intending to strengthen their independence from large energy groups. So starting a new crowdfunding platform with a focus on clean energy projects in order to create an easier and more efficient way of civil participation was just a logical consequence for us.
Why launching a separate platform for green crowdfunding?
It is important for us to make clear, that there are major differences between investments in renewable energies and crowdfunding for innovative startups in relation to the frame conditions. One important point is that startup investments contain higher yield potentials but also higher risks. In contrast, renewable energy projects often receive guaranteed federal remunerations over long time periods. So the risk of those investments seems much more manageable. In result, the operators of the projects on Econeers are able to offer a fixed interest rate for the investors instead of a profit share – the ideal addition to a portfolio which contained startup investments so far.

Next project: LC Bioenergy from Hamburg

Next project: LC Bioenergy from Hamburg

Realized and upcoming Projects
With the first project, a reactor for producing organic coal pellets from waste materials Econeers had a great start. Within eight weeks the project called “Tiefschwarz” raised 570.000 € from 424 investors. Thereby the crowdfunding for Tiefschwarz ranked among the top 5 of the biggest crowdfundings in Germany. However, the second crowdfunding on Econeers has recently started on February 21. With it investors have the chance to invest in a climate friendly combined heat and power unit realized and operated by the experienced group LC Bioenergy from Hamburg. The project operators offer a basic interest rate of 5 percent per year plus an additional 0.5 percent for early bird investments made within four weeks after the funding start. In our view, crowdfunding and green energy projects are a perfect match. Our mission with Econeers is to enable all citizens to make investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency measures, even with small money amounts from 250 €, to push the energy transition and to draw a personal benefit from their commitment. Blog: blog.econeers.de Facebook: www.facebook.com/econeers Twitter: www.twitter.com/Econeers Google+: https://plus.google.com/+EconeersDE

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