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Oneplanetcrowd raises €1 million growth finance from European Investment Fund

  •  
    Date: 09 April 2020
  • Crowdlending platform Oneplanetcrowd has attracted €1 million in growth finance from the European Investment Fund to support social entrepreneurship.
  • The financing is made possible by the Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI) of the European Union.

In order to further develop its platform and achieve further growth, Oneplanetcrowd has attracted funding from the European Investment Fund (EIF) via the EU’s Employment and Social Innovation Programme Capacity Building Investments window. The financing comes in the form of a favourable loan with a term of eight years. The required equity has been strengthened as all shareholders have converted their outstanding (convertible) loans into shares and existing crowd investors have bought additional certificates of shares from Oneplanetcrowd. Following the issue of these shares, Oneplanetcrowd is well positioned to finance its further growth. As a result of the conversion of loans, solvency increased significantly.

European Commission Executive Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “As well as traditional bank lending, Europe needs innovative forms of financing to meet the considerable liquidity needs of its startups and SMEs. Oneplanetcrowd brings together social enterprises in need of financial backing and investors interested in sustainable investment. I am pleased that the EU can support this platform.”

We are proud to have EIF on board, with their financial support we can further strengthen our growth and invest in our business model to finance small sustainable SME companies. It also shows the strong and pragmatic effort of EIF (EU) in supporting the alternative finance sector, which is even more necessary in these difficult economic times due the coronavirus,” said Coenraad de Vries, managing director of Oneplanetcrowd.

In the current challenging times access to finance has taken on an even greater importance for the smallest companies in our economies. Apart from the healthcare emergency, one primary objective for the EIF is to help SMEs with the economic fallout of this crisis, in any way that we can,” added Alain Godard, Chief Executive of the EIF.

Investing in growth

Partly as a result of this financing, further investments will be made in the coming years in the quality of the services provided by, among others:

  • The improvement of front-end and back-end IT systems
  • Expanding sales and marketing capacity
  • Offering new products such as bonds, equities and limited tradability
  • Meeting strict regulatory requirements as Oneplanetcrowd is one of the few platforms operating under MiFID II

Oneplanetcrowd has received the investment for capacity building financed by the EU under the Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI). The EaSI programme supports the social and employment policies of the European Union. The Programme falls under the responsibility of the European Commission and contributes to the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy. 

Background Information:

Oneplanetcrowd stands for investing with attractive financial returns and positive impact on people and the environment. Oneplanetcrowd connects innovative entrepreneurs to future-oriented investors to jointly accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy. Oneplanetcrowd was one of the first pioneers in the Netherlands with a crowdfunding platform. In 2012, a start was made with small pre-sales campaigns of around €25k. In 2019 the largest campaign raised €7.5 million. The crowdfunding market has also become bigger and more professional during this period. Meanwhile, the crowdfunding market is maturing and crowdfunding is increasingly seen by investors as an interesting asset class. By spreading well, an attractive return can be achieved and an investor can make a sustainable impact. Oneplanetcrowd is one of the five largest platforms in the Netherlands that focus on qualitative growth by applying strict criteria for which projects are approved.

Under the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), then European Commission supports microfinance and social entrepreneurship finance with an overall envelope of EUR 193 million for the 2014-2020 period. The aim is to increase access to ;microfinance, i.e. loans of up to EUR 25 000, in particular for vulnerable persons and micro- enterprises. In addition, for the first time, the European Commission is also supporting social enterprises through investments of up to EUR 500 000. 
The EaSI Capacity Building Investments Window reinforces the capacity of selected financial intermediaries in the areas of microfinance and social enterprise finance. Through equity or quasi equity (such as seed financing, risk capital), the EIF will support the development of these finance providers. Ultimately, these investments will benefit and help increase the opportunities for microborrowers and social enterprises. The European Commission has selected the EIF to implement the EaSI Capacity Building.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

Press contacts:

European Investment Bank:
Tim Smit, t.smit@eib.org, Mobile:  +352 691 28 64 23
Website: www.eib.org/press - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org

Oneplanetcrowd:
Coenraad de Vries, +31 (0) 20 568 2070, coenraad@startgreen.nl

European Commission:
Siobhán Millbright, +32 460 75 73 61, Siobhan.millbright@ec.europea.eu

 

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