Tesla, solar farms, green bonds: The app that makes climate investing easy

·3-min read
wind turbine and bloom impact investment app founders
Bloom cofounders Camille Socquet-Clerc and Bertrand Caron say it can be been quite challenging for retail investors to access climate-positve investments. (Source: Reuters/supplied)

The past few years of back-to-back floods, bushfires and droughts has many Australians considering green investment options to fight climate change while growing their wealth.

However, Bloom co-founder Camille Socquet-Clerc said it had traditionally been quite hard for retail investors to access climate-positive investments.

“I wanted to invest in sustainable and climate-positive investments, but the only way to do that was through angel investing or by buying into individual stocks,” Socquet-Clerc said.

That’s why she and co-founder Bertrand Caron recently launched Bloom, the country’s first climate-impact investing app.

The app is all about making impact investing easy, Socquet-Clerc said.

By impact investing, she means investments that actively do good, including investments that drive down emissions to help the planet avoid a climate catastrophe.

This is a different investment approach to the strategy that underpins the majority of green ETFs, she said.

That’s because they often use what’s known as “negative screening”, which simply removes the “bad stuff” rather than filtering for positive impacts.

As such, it’s not uncommon to see the likes of the big tech companies captured by these ETFs, leaving many investors wondering if their investments are doing much to curb emissions at all.

“We attract people who really want that deep green impact because our divestment screening is very different - it's impact led, and it's based in science research,” Socquet-Clerc said.

She said the fund only invested in science-based climate solutions.

The app also likens itself to the “Instagram of investing” by visually illustrating where the money is going and the impact it is having, along with the standard graphs depicting the fund’s performance.

“It's also about getting good returns,” she said.

The fund features a mix of green bonds, publicly listed stocks and privately held projects, such as solar and wind farms, the latter of which were only previously available to wholesale and sophisticated investors.

She said the ability to easily access clean energy infrastructure projects had attracted a number of investors.

How it works

With a $500 minimum investment, and no brokerage fees, retail investors gain access to the Bloom Climate Impact Fund managed by the company.

Money is invested in 95 different climate-impact investment holdings, including big players like Tesla and BluGlass, diversified across five different asset classes.

“We’ve created a diversified and liquid portfolio to ensure our clean-energy projects are mixed with larger, listed companies and green bonds,” Socquet-Clerc said.

“In simple terms, our platform doesn’t put all our customers’ eggs in one basket, nor do we lock their money away for long periods of time.”

Future Super’s former investment officer, Dan East who has 35 years of investment experience, has been brought on board to manage the company’s investment strategy and growing portfolio of assets.

There’s a $4.50-a-month account fee and a 0.80 per cent annual investment-management fee.

Since the app launched last month, it has collected around half a million customers.

So far, it has $512,149 total funds under management, with the average investment sitting at $1,700.

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