November 23, 2022
Unknown Group’s portfolio venture, Oneplanetcrowd merges with Invesdor Group to form the leading Pan-European crowdfunding platform
Oneplanetcrowd goes beyond traditional crowdfunding; they created a platform to directly match investors to founders working on sustainable solutions and renewable energy projects. This way, investors can make a “double impact” with their money, both financially and in society. Today, we are pleased to share that our portfolio venture, Oneplanetcrowd, has merged with Invesdor Group, a leading European funding platform.
Why this matters
The merger of Oneplanetcrowd and Invesdor Group creates one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in Europe. With over 170,000 investors, the new combined company has financed more than 438 million euros in over 800 projects. The merger gives Oneplanetcrowd access to the funders network of the Invesdor Group – already active in Finland, Germany and Austria – while Invesdor can leverage the expertise and network Oneplanetcrowd has built as the most sustainable funding platform in the Benelux. Both Oneplanetcrowd and Invesdor share the ambition to bring together impact entrepreneurs and investors from across the European Union.
Moreover, joining forces paves the way for expansion, with the goal of becoming the European market leader in crowdfunding. Christopher Grätz, co-founder and CEO of Invesdor, said: “This merger paves the way to accelerate European innovation and the energy transition in the EU. Focussing on growth companies and sustainable energy projects, we are the first platform in the EU to offer this broad range of sustainable financing propositions, connecting investors, project developers and companies in different EU member states”. He adds: “We will enhance the tradability of our investment products by using state-of-the-art technology. The merger puts us in the forefront of crowdfunding – and we do not rule out acquisitions of parties in other countries in due course”.
Industry spotlight: What’s happening in crowdfunding?
The demand for direct financing of innovative growth companies and renewable energy projects has grown strongly in recent years due to the realisation that these projects often require citizen participation. Closing the further expanding funding gap for innovation and the sustainable energy transition in Europe is becoming more relevant than ever. Globally, the financing gap is 4 to 6 trillion US dollar per year to transform into a low-carbon economy. With the introduction of a pan-European licence (ECSP) and the permission to digitise securities using blockchain technology, the EU has put crowdfunding at the top of its political agenda to establish a Capital Markets Union (CMU), creating a truly single market for capital across the EU. Invesdor and Oneplantcrowd are pioneers in this fast-growing market and are now joining forces to form a strong European funding platform.
Maarten de Jong, Co-Founder of Oneplanetcrowd highlighted the growing aspiration – increasingly, requirement – of many EU member states to involve citizens in financing the energy transition, making the role of crowdfunding even larger. Under his leadership, Oneplanetcrowd was the third European funding platform to acquire the Crowdfunding Service Provider license (ECSP), which will be brought to the Invesdor Group. He adds: “This ECSP license gives us a big head start in this promising growth market, representing a market value of over 2.47 billion euro in our core markets alone. It allows us to position ourselves as one major established player, meeting strict European quality criteria. With these European laws and regulations, the market has become more mature and transparent”
How this positively impacts founders
As a combined group, Invesdor and Oneplanetcrowd enable growth companies, sustainable energy projects and impact founders to directly raise funding from private and professional investors from all over Europe at low transaction costs. Over the coming months, investors from all EU member states will be able to buy, sell or trade their bonds and shares with other investors, making crowdfunding more liquid. Moreover, promising companies with international expansion plans can raise financing not only in their home countries but also in other European countries.
Edward de Jager, Unknown Group Chairman, said: “We are so proud of how Maarten, Coenraad and Laura have grown Oneplanetcrowd in the 1,5 years since Unknown invested in them. They’ve done a great job preparing the company for this big step and we are convinced that Oneplanetcrowd’s impact will grow larger with this merger”.
We interviewed Oneplanetcrowd co-founder Maarten de Jong about Oneplanetcrowd’s impact potential. Here’s what he had to say (May 2022)
Maarten de Jong’s co-founder Coenraad de Vries was a guest on the Unknown Stories podcast. Listen to the full episode below.
Investment Announcement: Oneplanetcrowd Raises Funding from Unknown Group (May 2021)