Spark Change raises $4.5m, led by Barclays
November 11, 2020 in Press Releases
Spark Change, the technology platform that simplifies investing in green financial products, today announced the close of a $4.5m (£3.5m) funding round led by Barclays. FinLab EOS VC Fund (a partnership with Block.one and FinLab AG) and Solactive AG also participated in the round. Spark Change’s technology creates access to a new class of green financial products that target significant environmental impact at scale without compromising returns. The company serves a global audience of financial institutions and their customers who are seeking new ways to meet their financial objectives in a manner consistent with the world’s climate change goals.
“By making a seed investment in a FinTech business like Spark Change, Barclays is helping the company further develop its proposition at the exciting intersection of tech innovation and green finance,” said Ryan Hayward, Principal Investments at Barclays. “Spark Change lets institutions and companies easily gain access to and develop their own innovative ESG investment products to offer their customers. That’s a compelling proposition.”
Spark Change’s platform provides investors with direct exposure to the value of physical carbon emission allowances. The firm, with offices in London, Seattle and Boston, said it is seeing increased demand from institutional portfolio managers looking to capture returns, hedge their carbon price exposure or meet ESG benchmarks. “Spark Change’s technology and products extend the boundaries of green investment products – a value proposition that aligns with Solactive’s disruptive mission,” said Steffen Scheuble, Chief Executive of Solactive. “We look forward to supporting this journey and providing our clients with these new tools for innovative ESG solutions.”
Stefan Schuetze, Managing Director of FinLab EOS VC Fund, added: “By leveraging distributed ledger technology to scale key components of its operational infrastructure more easily and cost effectively, we’re excited to see Spark Change has one foot in the present and one foot in the future.”
According to Morningstar, ESG funds attracted $45.6 billion of inflows in Q1 2020. The company is rapidly scaling its team to meet this growing demand.
Chairman Daniel Barry said the company will use the funding to launch its first range of products later this year. “We created Spark Change to address the lack of innovative green financial products that provides exposure to physical carbon allowances,” said Barry. “The greater impact of Spark Change extends beyond what we have already built in our core technology, where we can overlay exposure to the value of physical carbon allowances into any equity or fixed income portfolio. The growing demand from institutions illustrates we’ve struck a chord that resonates around the world. We believe that market-driven pressures combined with our platform can directly impact the price of carbon and create significant environmental benefit.”
Stefan Schuetze, Managing Director of FinLab, and US serial entrepreneur Paul Stahura, will join the board of directors, while Ryan Hayward, Head of Strategic Investments for Europe and Asia at Barclays, will join as board observer. Other investors in the current and previous rounds include Techstars, Swing Ventures, Librae Holdings, which is owned by the trustees of a discretionary trust of which Vincent Tchenguiz is a beneficiary, and angel investors Matthew Le Merle and Chris Adelsbach.
About Spark Change
Spark Change is a technology platform that simplifies access to green financial products designed to accelerate the world’s transition to a low carbon economy.
Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company which provides technology, operations and functional services across the Group.
Solactive is Europe’s award-winning and independent custom index and FinTech solutions provider. The company develops, calculates, and markets cost-efficient indices over several asset classes, e.g., Equity, Fixed-Income, and Commodity indices. With its headquarters in Frankfurt, Solactive operates on a global basis with offices in Canada and Hong Kong.
About Block.one and EOS VC
Block.one’s EOS VC program offers developers and entrepreneurs the funding they need to create community-driven businesses leveraging EOSIO. It makes investments and provides support to companies building on EOSIO software through its venture capital partnership funds. For further information, please visit Block.one and vc.eos.io.
About FinLab AG
Stock market listed company FinLab AG (WKN 121806 / ISIN DE0001218063 / ticker symbol: A7A) is one of the first and largest investors focused on the Financial Services Technologies (“FinTech”) and blockchain sector in Europe. FinLab’s focus in this context is providing venture capital for start-ups. FinLab’s aim is long-term participation and ongoing support of its investments. FinLab in this regard supports its investments in their respective development phase with their network and know-how. In addition, FinLab acts as an asset manager and manages assets in the three-digit million-dollar range.