In Europe alone, there are 10 trillion euros sitting in people’s bank accounts or invested without sustainability in mind. Given the current trajectory of the environment, this — to put it lightly — simply won’t do. Driven by the idea that we owe it to future generations to do better, seasoned investor Karin Nemec set out to build an investment portfolio with sustainability at its heart.
“We wanted to commit our time, money, and resources to investments that would make a larger impact, and a better future for the future generation,” Nemec says. “We need radical solutions. Money has the power to drive this change.”
Grünfin’s platform focuses on investments in climate change, equality, and health — something that Nemec had found difficult to add to her own portfolio before starting the company. Not only is the platform easy to use for aspiring investors, but it also selects the best sustainable funds for its customers’ portfolios. Client portfolios can focus on the environment, health, equality, or a combination of all three.
Debunking the myth
Over the last decade, there has been a shift towards greener choices, whether it be making more sustainable food choices or using renewable energy. We don’t often think green when we invest, but studies show that green investments are 21 times more effective at reducing your carbon footprint than other green initiatives.
“Some people think that sustainable investing is not so profitable, but that’s not true,” says Nemec. “There’s a huge trend toward sustainable investing, not only by investors but pressure from legislation and governments for greener practices. You see companies moving away from unsustainable solutions. We believe that sustainable investing will become the norm.”
Grünfin uses more than 20 factors to screen 300,000 funds for sustainability and impact-focused exchange-traded funds. For example, companies in Grünfin’s portfolio emit 60% less CO2 than companies on the broad stock market, which Nemec compares to choosing an electric car over a flight for the same distance.
Their portfolio of funds also supports more companies with female board members, as well as companies trying to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare sector with treatments for neurological disorders or other illnesses.
A future impact unicorn?
Having raised €2M in funding for the launch of their platform to European consumers in October 2021, Grünfin owes some of its success to the supportive startup community in Estonia.
“It’s an easy place to start something from the ground up,” Nemec says. “There is easy access to everything from shared knowledge to supportive people to capital. I think it’s the easiest place to start a company, because of Estonia’s size, but you must also realise the limitations of a small market and be ready to expand to Europe.”
Already expanding across Europe today and now highlighted as a potential Estonian unicorn-to-be, Nemec continues to dream big. “We want to be the leading sustainable investment platform,” Nemec says, not getting bogged down in the traditional definition of a unicorn company. It’s not the billion-dollar valuation that puts the spring in Grünfin’s step, but a different billion altogether. “We want to be an impact unicorn, positively impacting a billion people’s lives,” Nemec says. “Investing is more impactful than any other lifestyle choices. It’s a huge impact we could have collectively.”
Are you ready to help build Estonia’s next unicorn? If you want to invest in Grünfin or another Estonian startup, get in touch with us via e-Consulting. We’ll schedule an appointment with one of our investment advisors, who are happy to help you on your journey to building Estonia’s next unicorn.