The country's first climate impact investing app has launched. It has been backed by tech unicorn Envato founders Collis and Cyan Taed, as well as Australian energy technology accelerator EnergyLab. Founders Camille Socquet-Clerc and Bertrand Caron developed Bloom because they wanted to debunk the myth that making money and saving the planet weren't mutually exclusive. Users are able to invest in privately-held projects previously only available to sophisticated investors, for as little as $500, with no brokerage fees.
An Aussie startup is on a quest to transform the way Australians invest, with the launch of the country’s first climate impact investing app.
Bloom, which has been backed by the founders of tech unicorn Envato and EnergyLab, is disrupting and democratising the impact investing market, by making premium green investments widely accessible.
The app was founded by millennials Camille Socquet-Clerc and Bertrand Caron, who wanted to prove money-making and saving the planet weren’t mutually exclusive. The fund features a mix of green bonds, publicly-listed stocks and privately-held projects (such as solar farms), the latter of which were only previously available to wholesale and sophisticated investors. Customers can invest for as little as $500, with no brokerage fees, while trusts and companies can do the same for a minimum of $5000.
Ms Socquet-Clerc said her idea for the app stemmed from her personal frustration with the finance sector. “I wanted to invest in sustainable and climate positive investments, but the only way to do that was through angel investing or by buying into individual stocks,” she said. “I saw an opportunity to create an avenue for people like me who wanted to invest, but who didn’t have $50,000 to spare and endless amounts of free time to research which companies would deliver the best returns and genuine climate impact.” It’s clearly a vision that resonates, with more than $5 million pledged by Bloom’s 700-strong waiting list ahead of the launch.
Bloom’s fund includes 75 investments, including big players like Tesla and SolarEdge Technologies. It has also developed an exclusive partnership with Palisade Investment Partners, giving customers access to solar energy projects such as ESCO Energy Solutions that was previously only available to institutional investors. Ms Socquet-Clerc said this was the first time Australians had the opportunity to invest in these types of companies and private infrastructure projects, within a diversified and liquid portfolio. “We’ve created a diversified and liquid portfolio to ensure our clean energy projects are mixed with larger, listed companies and green bonds,” she said. “In simple terms, our platform doesn’t put all our customers’ eggs in one basket, nor do we lock their money away for long periods of time.”
With Australian Stock Exchange figures showing there are 3.9 million millennial Australians aged between 27 and 37 who are in a position to invest, Bloom’s target market is clear. Ms Socquet-Clerc said young people were crying out for an avenue that enabled them to invest in companies that had a meaningful impact on the planet. “We only invest in companies and projects that are scientifically proven to reduce carbon emissions,” she said. “We know money talks, so we are trying to build a powerful movement of people who can use it to fight climate change.”
Future Super’s former investment officer Dan East has come on board as head of investments. Mr East, who has more than 35’ years experience is responsible for the company’s investment strategy and manages its growing portfolio of assets.
Ms Socquet-Clerc said Bloom made ethical investing as easy as investing in ASX-listed companies, which could be bought at the click of a button. “People don’t have the time to pour through company data to find out if it’s a good investment,” she said. “We have done that work for our customers, to empower them to make a positive and sustainable impact with their money.” Bloom was founded in 2019. The company went on to secure $675,000 in a pre-seed raise in late 2021. The round was led by EnergyLab, Australia’s largest climate and cleantech startup accelerator and innovation network dedicated to reaching net zero emissions. It was also supported by Collis and Cyan Taed, the successful founders of Envato.
Cover Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash