The trick to building good products is to very clearly identify and define what problem your product solves. Useful products tend to solve a pressing need.
At Clim8, we’re starting with what we believe is now the biggest problem the human race has ever faced. The climate crisis is very real and very urgently needs to be solved.
Add on top the complexity, accessibility and murky nature of the investment world. And the difficulty of working out exactly what activities our investments are funding. We’ve got ourselves a pretty meaty (or should we say a plant based alternative) problem to solve.
Shifting towards sustainability
The global economy needs to rapidly shift to be sustainable. In other words, to stop consuming resources quicker than our planet can produce them.
According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world must invest $2.4 trillion in clean energy, every year until 2035, to avoid catastrophic damage from climate change. I think you understand why we’re building Clim8 invest now!
Research by Nordea Bank tells us that sustainable investment can be 27x more impactful on a person’s carbon footprint than eating less meat, using public transport, reducing water use and flying less.
Shaping Clim8’s product
The magnitude and complexity of this problem is huge. But so is the opportunity. And this is why we have always been determined to build Clim8 around a community of passionate customers and supporters.
We can’t solve this thing alone but together our impact can be huge.
That’s why we’re proud to have completed two crowdfunding campaigns and love the fact many of our customers are our shareholders.
This community has also been invaluable during the build of our beta app, helping us shape the early product we have today. Thousands of you have already downloaded our app and given us incredibly useful insight and feedback. But we know we are only one percent of the way there.
Our mission is to have a positive impact on climate change by empowering anyone to invest sustainably into truly green, sustainable companies.
We know we need to make it simple to invest in those companies that are actually leading the charge and having the most impact.
That is why we have decided to share our roadmap with our community and publicly. This is to help you understand what we’re working on right now and what problems we think need to be solved next. You’ll find a combination of features that are well defined and almost ready to use as well as some things we want to explore.
They often say it takes a village to raise a child. But in the case of climate change it takes the whole world. There is no time like the present to become a Clim8er.
With investing, your capital is at risk. This information is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment advice.
We are very excited to announce the launch of our new platform with our community: Clim8 Careers, the new home for careers and businesses with purpose.
Our CCO Alice Leguay explains the why and the magic behind our new venture.
Alice, let’s start from the end. You joined Clim8 Invest as Chief Commercial Officer in January 2020 and launched Clim8 Careers, the new platform for sustainable recruitment, only 9 months later. What motivated you and the team to launch this new venture?
From the very beginning of Clim8 Invest, Duncan constantly had lots of fantastic ideas for the Clim8 roadmap. Top of the list was building a sister platform for people who want green jobs with a mission. He asked me if I would like to lead this project and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands!
The timing was ideal. As we went into lockdown last March, I was in the midst of a fantastic course on Business Sustainability, as I felt I lacked cornerstone knowledge to understand key issues around climate change and sustainability, which prevented me from exercising any critical thinking.
The lockdown created a strong bond and cohesion in my cohort. We started asking each other why we had chosen to learn about sustainability. Was it with a view to upskill in an existing job, or opening an entirely new door professionally?
These 150 professionals of all ages and backgrounds all cared about embedding sustainability in their jobs. And yet, we couldn’t find an online destination to source or discuss sustainable jobs. A perfect case study for Duncan’s idea.
On LinkedIn, and all other platforms in fact, ‘sustainability’ is sometimes used as a skill, when it features at all. Not exactly an effective filter for your dream job search.
At Clim8 Invest, we had just launched our first crowdfunding round and people were signing up to our waiting list in droves. A number of our new investors were from my course cohort. We put two and two together: our new community members cared about investing their savings sustainably; and they also cared about leveraging their work and professional skills to make an impact in the fight against climate change.
You have 19 years of experience growing businesses across Finance, Tech & Fintech. Your own career started at Morgan Stanley on the High Yield desk, where you spent 6 years. What skills and knowledge do you still leverage from this experience in your day to day job, and what are some of the transferable skills you’ve used later in your career?
I was very fortunate to spend those years at Morgan Stanley. After my team recovered from the shock of having to teach a history grad finance from scratch, they provided an incredibly rich experience.
Of course I learned about finance. The big picture of funding a company via the capital markets, and the micro view via the complexity of structured trades. Thanks to my colleagues’ patience and the ongoing education I was able to access there, I can read the Financial Times without looking up too many words!
I find the macro picture fascinating: how finance makes the world go round; understanding how a company, ecosystem or country is financed has so many ripple effects itself is incredibly important. But I had started working there by chance to a large extent, and I didnt feel this was a conscious and driven career choice.
Another skill still with me to this day, is picking up the phone at lightning speed. Not sure I can call it ‘transferable’ though.
In 2012 you co-founded a crowdsourced salary data platform, Emolument.com. How did you transition from your career in finance to roles in business development and marketing? And what would you recommend to other professionals looking for a similar pivot?
Prior to that experience, I had been thrown in at the deep-end – again – by picking up a project for a large digital incubator. Exponential growth at speed.
I learned on the job, leveraging my team’s knowledge, reading up on growth models and strategies. The work ethic, engrained from my years in finance was extremely useful at that point: I could show up and deliver without expert knowledge. Using my intuition, energy, leaning on relentless teamwork and learning.
As I then moved on to build my own business with my fantastic partners, I knew I could venture into an entirely new professional realm, counting on good strong common sense and passion beyond all else.
Pivots are a joy, in my experience. I would encourage embracing them, not only as a journey of self-discovery, but also as a chance to uncover a new industry afresh, leveraging earlier learnings.
With Clim8 Invest, you’re on a mission to have a positive impact on the climate crisis by moving billions of pounds of capital into clean energy and truly green, sustainable companies. How do you think human capital can be best leveraged to have a dent on the climate crisis, and what role can Clim8 Careers play in it?
Most of us feel some degree of climate anxiety. It’s such a set of ‘wicked’ issues upon which we feel powerless to have an impact. Building Clim8 Invest is a clear signal to the retail investor, you and me, that they can make a difference with their wallets.
Along the exact same thinking, we can drive businesses to make fundamental changes, not only to the way they operate, but also push them to transition their strategies towards a zero carbon economy.
Businesses need human capital to operate. They want to recruit the best and brightest. If we, as employees, turn away from those who don’t take climate change seriously, it is an incredibly powerful way to trigger them into action. Make sustainability a demand on your employer.
Clim8 Careers filters companies based on the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals their business is trying to further. Why does this matter to companies as well as candidates in the platform? The UN SDGs are an actionable map for a sustainable future. To me personally, the keyword is ‘actionable’, which is groundbreaking.
The SDGs have become a global language for business and individuals alike, encouraging society to think about the values that matter most, endorse them and apply them.
Specific targets and toolkits underlie each of the SDGs as a common framework, which are sorely lacking in many sustainability endeavours, such as ESG investment standards for example.
On Clim8 Careers, we challenge businesses by asking ‘what are you fighting for?’. Because it should be a default setting for any business to fight for a cause, a level of betterment, beyond placing product on a shelf. That is what employees and consumers demand more and more, which is great to see. Rallying to specific SDGs is a clear, recognisable rallying call to a cause.
Which of the UN SDGs are most close to your heart?
While it’s incredibly difficult to choose a single UN SDG, I selected ‘Goal 13: Climate Action’. So much social and economic capital is tied to the climate crisis that focusing on that goal alone would have a myriad benefits.
Why should young people look to start a career in sustainability, or seasoned professionals consider pivoting into this space?
Today, we perceive sustainability as a skill, a silo within a business. But the world is changing fast and sustainability won’t be a stand alone vertical for much longer.
Rather, it will permeate all areas of a business. I often think about ‘sustainability’ as we used to think about ‘digital’: ‘digital marketing’ is now entirely embedded into ‘marketing’.
Pivoting to a career is sustainability right now, is simply building essential business knowledge ahead of the massive transition we are going to witness to a green economy.
Pivoting now is choosing to be a leader in this space. And for those who like a challenge, turning many preconceptions on their heads and choosing to think about business entirely differently, ie: through a sustainability lens.
What can Clim8 Careers Insiders expect from your platform in the future?
Obviously, expect the all-singing job/candidate matching functionality to be rolled out in the coming months.
More importantly, expect to find a selection of businesses leading with sustainability, showing the way. We will also share exciting stories of invention and re-invention, both from an employee and employer perspective.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Perception is everything’ is what I was told early on at Morgan Stanley. It took me a while to really understand it, as initially, it struck me as cynical.
What it is really about though, is not being afraid of making a noise about the good work you do. Take credit where it is due and own your professional space. It’s particularly relevant for women’s stature at work, which is a topic very close to my heart.
A second brilliant piece of advice was to network every day. That has been the key to innumerable professional adventures. Crucially, it has enriched my personal life with new friendships and relationships beyond my perceived comfort bubble.
What is your personal definition of a “Career with a purpose”?
I came to it fairly late in my professional life. What it means to me today is two things: working towards an idea or a vision bigger than my day-to-day tasks. And feeling connected to my team in such a way that I constantly learn from them, and ensure they can also learn from me.
It sounds a little pompous but really, it’s all about jumping out of bed in the morning and looking forward to another day.
We hope you’ll love our new platform and find tools and inspiration for your own sustainability journey. As many more sustainable businesses (our “Sustainability Champions”) join us, look out for exciting ideas and stories to build your own version of a career with a purpose. Don’t forget to sign up to stay up to date with all our latest news!
Clim8’s second crowdfunding campaign has raised over £2,500,000 from more than 1,900 investors across 55 countries. We have now raised almost £5M in funding to build and launch the 1st digital platform focused on sustainable investing.
We are proud to have brought together such a community of investors committed to fight climate change. Here is what some of them have been saying about Clim8 during this second crowdfunding campaign.
Thanks to everyone who has invested in Clim8, as we take yet another step forward in investing in a more sustainable future.
Duncan Grierson, Founder and CEO
Capital at risk
Vivian Bertseka – Part of Clim8’s investment committee and former director at Generation Investment Management, a $25 billion sustainability fund co-founded by Al Gore.
“I’ve been working in the field of climate change for almost a decade now and I appreciate how Clim8 has found a focus for those who are as passionate about the planet. I think there’s very few companies that can have as much impact as this one”
“Making it easier for people to invest in companies that support sustainable planet will make life better for everybody in the future. I’m challenged all the time by my kids, who are teenagers, saying: ‘This is important to us. What are you doing?'”. And the fact that I see that belief and passion in the team, and the reasons why they’re all here, I find that very inspiring”
“Clim8 makes an impact by linking two things. Thousands of individuals that care passionately about a better future and hundreds of good business ideas that are looking for investments so they can go to scale and make the low carbon difference that we need”
Clim8’s first crowdfunding campaign has officially ended. It’s been a busy month for our team, but this was an important step of the journey of our company towards building a more sustainable future.
We are thrilled by the response we received!
We raised £1,500,000. Some 1,420 investors from 55 different countries decided to back our mission, together with the venture capital fund 7percent Ventures.
This exciting result also suggests that many people believe that we need to build a better and more resilient world.
We continue to build the Clim8 app which will be released this summer. If you haven’t already, you can still register for exclusive access at launch. We want our community to feel part of this journey and we welcome your knowledge and enthusiasm. We have enjoyed speaking with many of you, hearing your suggestions on what needs to be improved in the investment space.
And finally, I would like to share some thoughts from our senior team. We hope this gives you a better understanding of how Clim8 is aiming to fill the gap in sustainable investing. And how each of us is working to bring our mission to life, to have an impact on climate change.
Transparency is a key value for the team at Clim8. If you have any questions, or if there are topics you would like us to explore in the blog, please email us your suggestions at: hello[at]clim8invest.com!
Founder & CEO
Adriana, Chief Product Officer: “For several years now, I’ve been on a mission to increase accessibility to investment through technology. Together with the experienced team of technologists at Clim8, we are committed to delivering a simple and beautiful investment platform with the highest standards of usability and security”
Alice, Chief Commercial Officer: “Trust is core to Clim8. A lot of people want to fight climate change but investing can be opaque. I love that Clim8 is all about transparency, especially for friends and relatives who are not professional investors!”
Vincent, Chief Investment Officer: “Powering our economy with clean energy was just a dream 20 years ago, but technological changes have been spectacular, cutting costs by over 70% for wind and solar. A growing realisation in the population that environment and wealth are not mutually exclusive gives us a tremendous opportunity to use the post-Covid 19 world to change the way things are done.”
Tatiana, Director of Engineering: “Our core pillars in the engineering team are (1) to be Customer-Centric, allowing our users to make the best choice for their investments in an easy and user-friendly manner and (2) to be a business enabler, leveraging innovation and technology.”
Pablo, Head of Growth: “The crowdfunding campaign was an important part of the Clim8 roadmap. It was not just to raise funds, it is about engaging with a great community of tech and finance savvy investors. We are listening to our investors and want them to be an active part of the Clim8 journey.”
Arlinda, Marketing Manager: “Having been involved with dozens of startups across Europe from my days at Google and elsewhere, I was confident that the Clim8 proposition was strong. Still, I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback received from our growing community of thousands of people and from the user research we conducted.”
Gina, UX Designer: “Recent events have shown us that life is unpredictable and often there is not much we can do, but we do have the power of choosing where we spend our time and selecting smoother user experiences! At Clim8 we’re building the product around the customer experience and not the other way around.”
We have built Clim8 with a big mission at heart: we want to enable people to invest proactively into companies that are making a positive impact on climate change.
As of today:
We have built a community of more than 5,000 people willing to make a difference on climate change with their savings.
Built a team of 10 people led by a cleantech award winner and ex Credit Suisse, Google, Morgan Stanley, BBC and Amazon execs.
Raised a seed round and started designing a world class app for sustainable investments, which is in build for a launch in Q2.
Today, April 22nd 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. To celebrate this important day and the successful launch of our first crowdfunding campaign, we have decided to plant a tree for every person who decides to invest in Clim8 today and tomorrow!*
We have partnered with WeForest for a planting project in Tanzania, where the destruction of natural forests is threatening rural communities and native wildlife.
WeForest has worked in Tanzania since 2011, distributing seedlings grown in a nursery (often fruit trees) to the people that need it most, starting with women-led households or families hosting orphans.When ecological integrity and our ecosystem are respected, human well-being is also enhanced.
We launched our Crowdcube campaign publicly only a week ago and have already reached over £600,000 with the support of more than 530 investors and climate change fighters!
Check our pitch, become a shareholder in Clim8 and let’s make our world greener together.
Remember, investments of this nature carry risks to your capital, so please invest aware.
*Those investing today will also get a certificate tracking their contribution to this project. Planting certificate will be issued to the investors within a month of completion of the Clim8 Crowdcube campaign. Clim8 and WeForest reserve the right to plant the trees in a similar project if necessary.
Clim8 Invest is the registered trademark of Clim8 Invest Ltd. Registered in England and Wales, company no. 12179517. Registered office: 1 Lyric Square, London, W6 0NB. Clim8 Invest Ltd (FCA reg no. 927293) is an appointed representative of WealthKernel Limited (FCA reg no. 723719), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The information on this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore only targeted at consumers based in the UK.
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