3 questions to smart minds

Crowdinvesting is in vogue, the first platforms are specializing

For this 3 questions to Marilyn Heib

better­vest GmbH
Photo: M. Heib | bettervest
16. Septem­ber 2014

Crowd­in­ves­t­ing is beco­ming incre­asingly popu­lar. This is a form of finan­cing in which a large number of people (micro­in­ves­tors, inves­tors) invest typi­cally small amounts of money in mostly young compa­nies via the Inter­net, in most cases through silent part­ner­ships, profit parti­ci­pa­tion rights or parti­ci­pa­ting loans. The incen­tive for the micro­in­ves­tor is to hope for high returns. — Mean­while, there are highly specia­li­zed plat­forms with diffe­rent procedures.

For this 3 ques­ti­ons to Co-foun­der of better­vest GmbH in Frankfurt

1. better­vest is the world’s first crowd­in­ves­t­ing plat­form for energy effi­ci­ency projects. What can you imagine by this?

At, compa­nies, muni­ci­pa­li­ties, asso­cia­ti­ons and other insti­tu­ti­ons can obtain finan­cing for their plan­ned energy effi­ci­ency projects by presen­ting their project on the better­vest Inter­net plat­form. Energy effi­ci­ency projects are projects in which energy is saved, e.g. new light­ing or heating is instal­led. Recently, we have also begun finan­cing projects that combine rene­wa­ble energy gene­ra­tion, such as photo­vol­taics, with energy effi­ci­ency. Project owners can imme­dia­tely reduce their energy use, lower CO2 emis­si­ons as well as save costs. The project owners receive the neces­sary invest­ment capi­tal through the support of the crowd, who can invest amounts start­ing at 50 euros in the projects on our plat­form by means of a subor­di­na­ted loan. All neces­sary contracts and proces­ses are auto­ma­ti­cally coor­di­na­ted by the plat­form or by better­vest employees.

2. How does the parti­ci­pa­tion process work at bettervest?

The inves­tors can parti­ci­pate very easily. First you have to regis­ter at , where you only have to enter your address, birth­day and email address. Then you can view details of the offe­red projects on the plat­form. If you are inte­res­ted in inves­t­ing, you can make the invest­ment by a few clicks. It is neces­sary to read and accept the invest­ment contract, risk warnings, gene­ral terms and condi­ti­ons and re-instruc­tion, in case of accep­tance the invest­ment is binding. The mentio­ned docu­ments are auto­ma­ti­cally gene­ra­ted by the plat­form, upon invest­ment closing they are sent to the inves­tor by mail toge­ther with an invest­ment infor­ma­tion. Then you still have two weeks to with­draw from the contract. Howe­ver, if you want to conti­nue being an inves­tor, you pay the invest­ment amount to the escrow account speci­fied in the mail and contract. In the inter­nal custo­mer area every inves­tor can find all infor­ma­tion about his investments.

3. What does the better­vest busi­ness model look like?

better­vest coor­di­na­tes and orga­ni­zes the entire process of project funding from the first meeting with the project owner to the control of the last loan repay­ment and commu­ni­ca­tes it to each inves­tor. If desi­red, better­vest supports the project owners even from the idea of an imple­men­ta­tion, that is, then we even send the energy consul­tant and imple­men­ta­tion company of our confi­dence to the inventory.

On only such projects are finan­ced which are ecolo­gi­cally meaningful and so high cost and energy savings can obtain that they amor­tize them­sel­ves in maxi­mally 10 years inklsuive inte­rest and better­vest fee. Inves­tors receive an annual return of 5- 10% and are repaid their invest­ment by the end of the term. The term is measu­red by the amor­tiza­tion period. The return on invest­ment is deter­mi­ned by the project owner in advance. Savings, and ther­e­fore payback time, are projec­ted for each project by a certi­fied energy consul­tant. Thus, all parties invol­ved can be sure that the projects are wort­hwhile and that the invest­ment can be paid back by the savings. In the end, ever­yone benefits.

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