Recent News

Impact investing triumphs at UKBAA Angel Investment Awards

Three ClearlySo clients took home prizes at the 2017 UKBAA Angel Investment Awards, and impact investor Meganne Houghton-Berry wins Angel of the Year.

It’s an exciting time to be involved in impact investing, as it moves more and more into the mainstream – something that was highlighted at this year’s UKBAA Angel Investment Awards ceremony.

Held annually, these awards celebrate the year’s most disruptive new market entrants and provide a definitive list of the most exciting ‘ones to watch’ in the angel and early-stage investment space. Several ClearlySo clients were shortlisted for the awards, and three impact businesses went on to win their categories:

Fair Finance – Best Social Impact
Fair Finance is revolutionising financial services to give everyone a fair chance.

The judges said: “Fair Finance has shown strong innovation in bringing new models and approaches to enable financially excluded people to access finance at fair and affordable rates, having successfully used investment to scale the business and achieve national reach.”

Bulb EnergyScale Up Team of the Year
Bulb provide affordable and renewable energy.

The judges said: “Bulb Energy’s team has shown clear leadership in disrupting the traditional energy supply model, achieving significant productivity growth and high sales while building an ethos of transparency, fairness to customers and a commitment to addressing climate change. They have attracted a significant level of investment in support of this ethos.

PowervaultBest Angel-Crowdfunding Investment
Powervault lets you store solar and grid electricity, ready to use whenever you need it.

The judges said: “Powervault has effectively used both crowdfunding and angel investment to develop and scale its solar electricity storage product, which addresses the core challenges of cost effectiveness, security of supply and environmental sustainability. Investment has enabled significant growth and major customer contracts.”

In addition, Meganne Houghton-Berry won Angel of the Year, and in her acceptance speech, she voiced her commitment to promoting women investors and impact investing.

The judges said: “Meganne has demonstrated her clear commitment to angel investing for several years across a wide range of sectors, investing through various syndicates in the UK and US. Meganne has shown extensive support for women entrepreneurs, acting as a mentor and adviser, drawing on her own digital marketing expertise and wider contacts, as well as fundraising, to support the growth of the businesses she has backed. She will be an excellent ambassador for angel investing and especially to support UKBAA’s mission to encourage more women to invest in the year ahead.”

You can find the full list of the winners here.


Leading charity crowdfunding platform JustGiving to be acquired by Blackbaud

We’re thrilled to hear that high impact business and ClearlySo client, JustGiving, will be sold for £95 million.

Blackbaud, Inc., the world’s largest cloud software company powering nonprofits and other social good organizations, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire United Kingdom-based online fundraising services provider JustGiving™, whose online social giving platform has played a powerful role in the growth of peer-to-peer fundraising.

Under the purchase agreement for the transaction, Blackbaud has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding equity interests of JustGiving for an aggregate purchase price of £95 million, subject to certain adjustments. The closing of the transaction is anticipated to occur at the conclusion of a customary regulatory review in the U.K. Blackbaud expects to finance the acquisition with cash on hand and borrowings under its existing credit facility.

JustGiving has been a leader in peer-to-peer fundraising for both nonprofit organizations as well as individuals (also known as personal crowdfunding), with people in 164 countries raising over $4.5 billion for good causes through its online platform since 2001.

Reacting to this announcement, John Lloyd, ClearlySo’s Chief Marketing Officer, said: “ClearlySo was founded with one simple aim – “to help create and fund 100 JustGivings”. We are incredibly proud today that the original JustGiving, a client of ours, is being acquired by Blackbaud for £95 million! To see a business as socially impactful as JustGiving exit is great for the entire impact investing market!”

You can find out more about the sale here.


ClearlySo clients shortlisted for the UKBAA Angel Investment Awards 2017

We’re delighted to see so many former ClearlySo clients recognised across a wide range of categories, in this year’s shortlist for the UKBAA Angel Investment Awards.

Now in its 12th year, the annual UKBAA Angel Investment Awards celebrate high growth and success in the angel and early-stage investment market – recognising the fastest growing brands and acknowledging the founders, angels, crowdfunders and early-stage venture capital investors behind them.

Open to both entrepreneurs and investors, these Awards seek to celebrate the year’s most disruptive new market entrants and provide a definitive list of the most exciting ‘ones to watch’ in the angel and early-stage investment space.

At ClearlySo we work with some of the best and most innovative start-ups in the UK, and we love seeing their progress recognised. Some familiar names in this year’s shortlist include:

  • Bulb Energy (Best Scale-Up Team of the Year)
  • Fair Finance (Best Social Impact Investment)
  • Repositive (Best Social Impact Investment, Best Investment in Life Sciences, Best Investment in a Disruptive Tech Business, Best Angel-VC Scale-Up Investment)
  • Aduna Ltd (Best Angel-Crowdfunding Investment)
  • Open Bionics (Best Investment in an Internet of Things Business)

Congratulations and the best of luck to everyone nominated! The winners will be announced on the 6th July. You can find out more about the awards here.




Elemental Software raises £300,000 to tackle chronic conditions and alleviate NHS crisis

We’re pleased to announce Elemental Software,  which has developed an award winning social prescribing digital platform that connects patients, health and social care professionals and community health & wellness providers, raises £300,000 with the help of ClearlySo.

Derry, Northern Ireland – Tech for good company, Elemental Software,  which has developed an award winning social prescribing digital platform that connects patients, health and social care professionals and community health & wellness providers, announced today that it has raised £300,000 with the help of ClearlySo, Europe’s leading impact investment bank.

Elemental is using the capital to further develop its software that supports and empowers lifestyle change for communities most at risk, make key staff hires, and expand marketing reach.

Elemental’s platform is the only comprehensive social prescribing solution developed by community development experts that measures the impact of social prescribing and the difference that non clinical solutions can make to the health and wellbeing of communities, which is a growing priority at the  highest level in government and rapidly being adopted in the UK. Elemental Software’s platform was awarded the ‘Best Tech in the 3rd Sector’ of 2016 by Digital DNA and the best enterprise software at INVENT 2016.

Leeann Monk and Jennifer Neff, co-founders of Elemental Software, said: “We are absolutely delighted that ClearlySo plugged into the Elemental vision for revolutionising the ability to socially prescribe across the health, social care and third sectors. The investment partnership, created by London-based ClearlySo, engages social impact investors who  each bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and resource to help us solve one of the most pressing health and social care challenges of our generation.“

More than 80% of the world’s chronic conditions can be avoided by lifestyle change alone. Despite this, chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, mental health related illness and heart disease are rising and so too are costs.  In the UK alone, the NHS, which has a funding gap estimated at £22bn by 2020, is spending £7 out £10 in treatment of conditions while GPs capacity is strained. The key aim of Elemental’s Social Prescribing platform is to demonstrate the value and difference that referrals to local exercise, diet and nutrition and mental support can make to peoples’ lives.

Further commenting, Stefano Cappanari, investment manager at ClearlySo, said: “We were very pleased to play a role in helping Elemental scale the “more than medicine” approach to health. From grass-roots Jennifer and Leeann built a business around the patient, health and social professionals, community based providers and Commissioners and we are excited that the capital raise, which closed in record time, and capabilities from our network will allow them to take the next step in transforming our care system for better.”


 Notes to the Editors

About Elemental Software

Elemental Software was launched last year at NHS Expo 2016 by social innovators, Leeann Monk and Jennifer Neff, in response to work they were delivering at strategic and community level in the City of Derry, Northern Ireland, at a time when the city had a connected focus on improving health and wellbeing in local communities.

Since its launch, the company has expanded from its base in Derry into Dubai, where it is delivering a wide range of work to reduce the risk of diabetes. In the UK, it is delivering a wide range of work including incorporating the Baby Box University to enable Halton CCG to arm women with a connection to all levels of guidance and peer support for a healthy birth and aftercare. Linking Elemental social prescribing software to this means the CCG can pilot a cohort of women and families to track their development and emotional health by keeping a live connection through a ‘virtual mammy’ which will connect and track users to the vast local and regional offer embedded into the Baby Box University.

In Northern Ireland, 15 Healthy Living Centres will use Elemental to introduce over 28,000 people to diet and nutrition, exercise and mental health support and will measure the impact of referrals using Elemental’s software.

Elemental Software were announced as the winners of INVENT 2016 Enterprise Software Category and as NI’s Propel Programme Business of the Year, runner up.

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 £142 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

Jennifer Neff
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Elemental Software
T: 0044 777 5732 113

John Lloyd
Chief Marketing Officer, ClearlySo
T: 0207 490 9520



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!


ClearlySo in the Media