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Exclusive: Raise Green closes seed on ESG trading platform

Oct 5, 2022
Illustration of the earth as a pie chart made up of various coins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Raise Green, a trading platform that allows retail investors to invest in renewable energy projects and companies, raised $1.2 million in its seed round, the company exclusively tells Axios.

Why it matters: Raise Green is an example of climate tech fusing with fintech amid heightened demand for ESG investing products, and a wave of investor money fueling startups across the space.

Details: The all-equity round included Techstars plus a handful of individual investors from clean energy, corporate funding from the largest wind developer in the U.S., and the former managing director at creative firm Ideo.

  • The funds were raised via SAFE note that closed on September 23, CEO Franz Hochstrasser tells Axios. The company is currently working on raising additional funds, he says.

How it works: Raise Green is a FINRA-registered investment vehicle but does not require its customers to be accredited investors, so anyone can create an account and invest in renewable energy projects. It's similar to Robinhood or Kickstarter.

  • The company takes a success fee from the project side once the project hits its funding goals through individual investors using the software.
  • It works with Amalgamated Bank to support the issuing parties when they need a banking partner or credit line, a hurdle that often faces smaller project developers attempting to finance new developments.

Meanwhile, Raise Green struck an agreement with Blackstone's Onyx Renewable Partners that allows Onyx to come in as a tax equity investor or a buyer for a project, Hochstrasser says.

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