Renewable energy industry around the world has been witnessing a boom, but new green energy startups continue to face high hurdles in raising investment. However, an emerging method of raising sustainable financing for startup is crowdfunding, which is showing new promise. Crowdfunding allows for the elimination of middlemen, and enables a direct financial relationship between environmentally conscious individual investors and cleantech entrepreneurs.
In New Zealand, a cleantech startup called CarbonScape has broken new ground with success in raising financing through crowdfunding. CarbonScape is a carbon-refining company that employs forestry waste to produce green coke and other sustainable substitutes for fossil fuel products. The company’s mission is to apply smart, profitable technologies to help heal the planet’s ecosystem. The company’s crowdfunding program is aptly called the “Snowball Effect.”
A visit to the company’s online crowdfunding platform reveals that CarbonScape has already raised NZ$362,000 or 91 percent out of a targeted amount of NZ$400,000, with a funding cap of $1.5 million. The funding opportunity already has 87 investors onboard, and the program is still open for another 25 days. The capital raised through this program will be used to build an 80-ton pilot plant, lodging a new patent, appointment of two new directors, and further research and development.
Following a successful Snowball raise, all existing shareholders of CarbonScape and all new investors in CarbonScape through Snowball will have the same rights in their capacity as shareholders. The company also has wider financing plans to raise $3.5 million over the next 12 months.
While considering the route of crowdfunding, CarbonScape recognized the fact that Kiwis are an ecologically conscious people, and this online public funding program would allow them an opportunity to participate as stakeholders in an innovative, sustainable technology. This is the first time the people of New Zealand have been able to invest in a local cleantech company at such an early stage, before the company goes commercial on a full-scale.
The cleantech industry is already the fastest growing industry group in several countries right now. However, two-thirds of the world’s power is still produced from coal. This indicates a massive potential ahead for cutting-edge green technologies that will help replace fossil fuel as a primary source of energy. Crowdfunding is one of the promising financial tools that will help fund this global change.
Source: Snowball Effect
Image Credit: Flickr via Rocio Lara
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