Recent News

Upside Energy named Shell Springboard National Winner 2017

We’re pleased to see the great work of our friends Upside Energy recognised with this latest award.

Upside Energy, a Virtual Energy Store™, has been named a 2017 Shell Springboard National Winner, receiving £150,000 of equity free funding to support the scale-up and commercialisation of its technology.

The Shell Springboard and Shell LiveWIRE programmes seeks to recognise and support outstanding UK entrepreneurs whose businesses have the potential to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

Upside Energy creates a Virtual Energy Store by aggregating unused energy from devices owned by households and small business sites that inherently store energy, to sell balancing services to grid operators which helps reduce the need to turn on the older, most polluting and expensive power stations during peak demand times.

In April 2016, with help from ClearlySo, Upside Energy secured £545,000 in seed funding to expand operations, build out the senior management team and run a large scale pilot with National Grid. Congratulations Upside Energy!

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ClearlySo Signs HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter

We are pleased to announce our commitment to promoting gender balance in the Financial Services.

ClearlySo, Europe’s leading impact investment bank, announced today that it has become one of the latest businesses to sign HM Treasury’s Women in Finance charter. Charter signatories pledge to promote gender balance in Financial Services by following the four action points stated in the Charter.

Financial Services is the UK’s highest paid sector, with the widest gender gap. The New Financial report ‘Women in UK Financial Services 2016’ showed that 23% of board directors of UK financial services companies are women, but only 14% of executive committee members are female. HM Treasury’s 2015 Productivity Plan identified removing the barriers that prevent women from participating as fully in the labour market as men as a crucial area to improve the UK’s long-term economic position.

The Women in Finance Charter was launched in March 2016 by HM Treasury to improve gender diversity in senior positions in Financial Services. Charter signatories set internal targets and commit to publicly reporting on their targets annually. Just over a year since the Charter was launched, there are now 122 firms signed up, employing over half a million people between them and covering almost 50% of the financial services sector.

Lindsay Smart, Head of Impact, Research and Innovation at ClearlySo, commented: “The impact focus of our business means gender equality and diversity sit close to our heart, and with our own workforce comprising over 40% women it is a natural step for ClearlySo to sign the Charter.  It’s entirely appropriate that the finance sector seek to reflect society more effectively, diversify it’s talent pool, and empower the much-needed evolution of the industry.”

Further commenting, John Lloyd, Chief Marketing Officer of ClearlySo: “Research shows that businesses that embrace and reflect the diversity of society at large outperform those that do not. ClearlySo is proud to become a signatory to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and to promote gender balance in Financial Services.”

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ClearlySo Helps Oikocredit UK Raise €2 Million Investment to Target Poverty and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Oikocredit, a world-wide cooperative and leading impact investor, announced today that its United Kingdom and Ireland office raised €2m in 2016 with the help of ClearlySo, Europe’s leading impact investment bank.

London, United KingdomOikocredit, a world-wide cooperative and leading impact investor, announced today that its United Kingdom and Ireland office raised €2m in 2016 with the help of ClearlySo, Europe’s leading impact investment bank. Oikocredit also recently published its international financial results for 2016, revealing a development financing portfolio of €1,047.2 million, up 16% on 2015.

There are estimated to be around 700 million people living in extreme poverty worldwide. One in four lives in rural areas, and 2.7 billion still lack access to the basic financial services they need to grow their own ventures and build their own paths out of poverty. In September 2015, the United Nations launched the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a vision to end poverty, ensure prosperity and protect the planet by 2030. There are 17 SDGs and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network estimates that it will cost around $1.4 trillion (£920 billion) each year to meet these development goals.

Oikocredit provides financial services and capacity building support to social enterprise partners that reach financially-excluded communities in around 70 low-income and developing countries, following a triple-bottom line investing approach (people, profit and planet).  Aligned with 16 of the 17 Goals, Oikocredit provides debt and equity investments to over 800 microfinance institutions and SMEs in agriculture, renewable energy and blended infrastructure sectors. With a positive track record spanning 42 years, €1.2 billion under management, and partnerships with organisations such as Divine Chocolate and Cafédirect, Oikocredit helps provide 46 million people with vital finance and technical support. In addition, 86% of those reached are female, and 51% are from rural communities.

Investment for individuals and organisations is by way of depository receipts in the Oikocredit International Share Foundation, which have historically paid an annual dividend.  Over 80% of investors’ capital reaches the field within three months, with a further 15% held statutorily on reserve to provide liquidity. More philanthropic investors can choose to donate their dividend to Oikocredit’s capacity-building fund which helps further de-risk the underlying investment by enhancing the technical skills of partners and their end beneficiaries.  Oikocredit calls this model “FinancePLUS”, and consistently demonstrates how investors’ capital can target the SDGs while generating a financial return.

Monica Middleton, National Director of Oikocredit’s UK & Ireland office, said: “Governments alone cannot deliver the SDGs, so collaboration in the impact investing space is critical if we want to meet these goals 13 short years from now.  We see ClearlySo as being one of the leading lights in impact investing, matchmaking institutional and individual investors with investment opportunities that target some of the biggest challenges we face.“

Further commenting, ClearlySo Investment Manager Jon Wright said: “Oikocredit’s innovative investment solution overcomes many of the barriers associated with impact investment including track record, liquidity, impact reporting and access to large ticket investments in a diversified portfolio.”

Ends

Notes to the Editors

About Oikocredit

Established in 1975, Oikocredit invest in more than 800 social enterprise partners across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Central & Eastern Europe.  They prioritise inclusive finance, agriculture, renewable energy and infrastructure sectors to reach the most disadvantaged communities in the world.  Their activities support 16 of the 17 sustainable development goals and they issue Annual Social Performance Reports on social and environmental outcomes alongside their Annual Reports & Accounts.

For the year ending 2016:
* Total assets up 18% to € 1,209.3 million
* Development financing portfolio up 16% to € 1,047.2 million
* Financing in Africa up 19%, totalling € 188.7 million
* 45 capacity building engagements totalling € 490,000
* Net inflow of lendable funds € 94.3 million
* Net consolidated result of € 29.0 millionProposed 2% dividend

About ClearlySo

ClearlySo is Europe’s leading impact investment bank, working exclusively with businesses and funds delivering positive social, ethical, and/or environmental impact as well as financial return.

Originally founded in 2008, ClearlySo has helped more than 100 clients raise more than £115 million in impact investment from its extensive network of high-net-worth individual and institutional investors.

In addition, ClearlySo ATLAS helps investors assess the social and environmental impact of their venture capital and private equity investments and guides them towards choosing sustainable businesses that deliver long term benefit to people, planet and the bottom line.

ClearlySo is headquartered in London. 

Further Information 

Oikocredit UK Office
E:
uk@oikocredit.org
T:
+44 (0) 330 355 33 00

John Lloyd
ClearlySo Chief Marketing Officer
E: john.lloyd@clearlyso.com
T: 0207 490 9520

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ClearlySo ATLAS Wins Digital Agenda Impact Award For Investment

ClearlySo ATLAS has been named as one of 12 winners at the Digital Agenda Impact Awards.

We’re pleased to announce that ClearlySo ATLAS, an impact assessment solution for private equity and venture capital investors, won the ‘Investment’ category at the inaugural Digital Agenda Impact Awards.

Launched just three months ago, ClearlySo ATLAS helps private equity and venture capital investors assess the social and environmental impact of their investments and provides practical suggestions for action. ClearlySo ATLAS was developed by ClearlySo and combines best practice, and industry-wide and internal impact expertise.

The Digital Agenda Impact Awards, sponsored by the Nominet Trust, celebrate digital innovations that improve people’s lives and the world around us. They received over 200 submissions across 12 award categories, and the judges assessed entries using five criteria – idea, product, team, scalability and impact.

The award ceremony, held at the Barbican Centre, brought together some of the brightest and best businesses and organisations using tech for good. Winners in other categories included Bulb, a technology-led, renewable energy supplier on a mission to transform the way energy is bought, used and produced, and Wayfindr, a non-profit on a mission to empower the 285 million people living with sight loss worldwide to take new journeys. Alongside the winner announcements, the event featured interviews with inspirational individuals and businesses, including Open Bionics and Give Vision, and a keynote speech from Sir Tim Smit, the founder of the Eden Project.

Julian Blake, the founder of Digital Agenda, said: “The Impact Awards highlight the extraordinary potential for technology to be a positive force and celebrate technology that is being used for impact, not just for profit.”

Lindsay Smart, Head of Impact, Research and Innovation at ClearlySo, said: “It was inspiring to be surrounded by so many innovative and commercially successful impact ventures – and reminded me why we built ClearlySo ATLAS – to uncover and nurture investor appetite to back these types of companies.

To win this award was a privilege and there was stiff competition. It is a great start to the year as we embark to take ClearlySo ATLAS to the mainstream and bring impact to all private capital investing.”

You can find the full list of winners, and more information about the awards here.

Image credit: Digital Agenda

 

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ClearlySo wins Impact Investment Firm of the Year

We’re thrilled to announce that ClearlySo won ‘Impact Investment Firm of the Year’ at the Green Finance & Innovation Awards 2017.

Formerly known as the New Energy & Cleantech awards, the event is organised by GrowthBusiness.co.uk. The awards recognise the leaders in the renewable energy and cleantech industries, as well as the pivotal role of finance to enable these innovations and businesses that drive a low carbon and sustainable economy. The awards also highlighted that businesses within the sustainable economy are only sustainable in themselves if they are delivering healthy financial return on investments.

The full shortlist for ‘Impact Investment Firm of the Year’ was:

  • Bridges Ventures
  • ClearlySo
  • Davy Asset Management Ethical Equity
  • Hermes Global Equity ESG
  • Jupiter Global Ecology Diversified
  • Kames Global Sustainable Equity Fund
  • Newton Investment Management
  • Standard Life Ethical Corporate Bond fund

Speaking of their decision, the judges said:

“ClearlySo stood out as a clear winner in this category. The judges were very impressed with its extensive commitment to social and environmental businesses. The judges also highly commend Bridges Ventures for the added value it provides to the community it serves, and for its expansive portfolio of genuinely inspiring businesses.”

On winning the award, John Lloyd, Chief Marketing Officer of ClearlySo, who attended the award ceremony, said: “We are very grateful to receive this award and the spotlight that it shines on the entire ClearlySo team and our clients who are helping to make the world a better place.”

You can see the full list of 2017 winners, and find out more about the awards, here.

In the photo, L-R: Julia Hartley-Brewer (broadcaster), Stefano Cappanari (ClearlySo), Simon Evill (ClearlySo), John Lloyd (ClearlySo), David Thorpe (What Investment), Praseeda Nair (Growth Business)

 

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ClearlySo in the Media