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Press Release: Raise Green Launches First Impact Investment Marketplace for Clean Energy

Empowers Direct Investment in Local Climate Action Projects

Former Obama Administration Alum launches marketplace for local impact investing with IBM to combat climate change and democratize access to sustainable investment opportunities

Somerville, MA - Raise Green — the impact investment marketplace for green infrastructure and clean energy projects — today announced the launch of the first crowdfunding platform for investment in clean energy projects nationwide, as well as their initial offering on the platform, the first of more than 50 projects in the pipeline. The Greentown Labs-incubated company’s first project with the National Energy Improvement Fund (NEIF) will include loan options for families and small to medium businesses conducting energy efficiency retrofits and resiliency improvements to essential infrastructure. Raise Green is the first company to offer equity crowdfunding focused on investments for climate solutions nationwide since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) finalization of equity crowdfunding regulations.

Raise Green aims to give people the direct impact they have been looking to make on climate change by providing access to verifiable investment opportunities. If you invest in a solar project listed on Raise Green, you'll know exactly the amount of clean power your dollar has produced. Raise Green is a two-sided marketplace that brings together innovators seeking financing and a wide range of investors, empowering anyone in the U.S. to participate. Raise Green makes financing small projects more profitable than ever; for the first time, retail, accredited, and institutions can invest in the same security, offering truly blended capital. Whether it is as little as $100 or as much as $100,000, everyone can be directly involved with a climate action project to support sustainable infrastructure.

“Raise Green empowers anyone to take meaningful action in the fight against climate change by offering direct investment opportunities in local resilience through community solar power and energy efficiency projects,” said Franz Hochstrasser, CEO and Co-Founder of Raise Green. “It’s a kind of local and grassroots ‘Green New Deal,’ for those who don’t want to wait for government or big financial institutions to act.”

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, experts state that there needs to be at least $1 trillion in global investments into clean energy and climate solutions each year between now and 2050. If global investments in green infrastructure and decarbonization total $110 trillion, it would create massive socioeconomic gains and resilience to climate crises across the world. Moreover, millennials have shown an increased interest in sustainable investments amid COVID-19, marking significant generational momentum. By early March, environmental social governance (ESG) aware companies “outperformed other stocks by up to 5.7%,” and, as of last year, 67% of millennials were actively investing in sustainable products. Raise Green’s first of many sustainable investment opportunities through the National Energy Improvement Fund is available nationwide.

“As a certified B corporation, NEIF is committed to providing fair, simple, and transparent financing options to help increase the affordability of energy efficiency and resilience improvement,” said Peter Krajsa, Founder and Co-Chair of NEIF. “We are excited to work with Raise Green to bring our Climate Action Investment Notes and the opportunity to support this effort to a broader investor market through their sustainability-focused crowdfunding platform.”

Raise Green’s marketplace offers a wide variety of replicable, templatized investment opportunities for solar power, affordable housing, electric vehicle charging stations, agriculture, water projects, and microgrids. Each investment vertical is designed to have an immediate impact on the resiliency of local communities with a chance to earn returns while building sustainable infrastructure. Individuals or organizations looking to start their own clean energy project can also find the proper resources through Raise Green’s “Originator Engine” — developed in partnership with IBM — to guide anyone who is interested through the process of facilitating a project from start to finish. This includes opening up access to tax equity investment for eligible projects and investors.

Greentown Labs— the largest climate tech startup incubator in North America — is proud to have Raise Green as a member company in its Somerville headquarters. After relocating to the Boston area in 2019, Raise Green joined Greentown's community of nearly 100 clean tech and climate tech startups to solve the climate crisis through entrepreneurship and collaboration.

“If we’re going to drive meaningful, long-term change in the fight against the climate crisis, we need more people and more capital to get on board,” said Emily Reichert, CEO at Greentown Labs. “Raise Green gives people the opportunity to engage locally through investments in clean energy projects in communities across the country. At a time when investment in climate action is so needed, we are excited to see Raise Green’s tremendous efforts lead to the launch of this platform.”

Raise Green’s innovative platform is spearheaded by CEO and co-founder Franz Hochstrasser, a Yale School of the Environment alumni who served for eight years in the Obama Administration as a White House appointee on energy and climate. He is joined by fellow Yale alumni Matthew Moroney, who serves as the co-founder and COO of Raise Green, and is a data scientist with over 10-years of experience in environmental remediation, permitting and corporate sustainability strategy.

Previously the founders of Raise Green launched two successful pilot projects through New Haven Community Solar which provided discounted electricity for the Jim Vlock First Year Building Project -- a partnership between the Yale School of Architecture and Columbus House, a nonprofit organization based in New Haven that serves people who are homeless by providing shelter and housing and fostering personal growth and independence.

Supported by a team of industry leaders and experts in finance, climate action, and sustainable energy Raise Green works to empower everyone with the resources needed to take direct action in the fight against climate change. The Greentown Labs-incubated marketplace is backed with investments from veterans of the renewable energy industry and project financing and is in the process of fundraising towards their Series Seed.

To learn more about Raise Green and to utilize their platform to invest in or start clean energy projects, visit: raisegreen.com.

About Raise Green: Raise Green is the first marketplace in the U.S. for local and inclusive impact investment with verifiable and demonstrable environmental benefits. Through the platform, anyone can be an originator of their own community solar project. On Raise Green’s investor marketplace, anyone (individuals and institutions) can invest in community-focused climate resilience projects across a varied range of project scales and minimum investments. Early investors in Raise Green are veterans of the renewable energy industry and project financing. Investors can derive value while at the same time creating quantifiable impacts in local communities, as well as receiving financial returns if the project is successful.
About NEIF: NEIF is a PA public Benefit Corporation and serves people and local small/medium-sized businesses with financing needs with an emphasis on affordable efficiency and carbon-pollution-reducing upgrades available to low/moderate-income households. NEIF began making loans in 2018 and has received accolades from the Department of Energy. More their investment campaign can be found here.

About Greentown Labs: As the largest climate tech startup incubator in North America, Greentown Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, politicians, and many others with a focus on scaling climate solutions. Driven by the mission of providing ground-breaking startups the resources, knowledge, connections, and equipment they need to thrive, Greentown Labs offers prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, a large network of corporate customers and investors, and more. Greentown Labs’ 100,000-square-foot campus in Somerville, MA is home to more than 100 startups and has supported more than 280 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 6,500 direct jobs and have raised more than $850 million in funding. For more information, please visit www.greentownlabs.com or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.