We spoke about the new JO last week.In a landmark decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed on Friday that Section 5.2 of the JOBS Act, which permits entrepreneurs in America to raise money through internet crowdsourcing, is legal. We saw the enormous potential that this presents not just for the crowdfunding industry and startups, but also for the entire investment sector.
Trillion Fund is one of many firms betting on the new regulations to boost their business. The ‘Trillion Fund,’ for example, aims to raise $1 trillion in investment money for sustainable energy projects. The foundation’s goal of raising $1 million in small amounts from individuals who want to invest modest sums of money is just as audacious.
a group of overachievers from the investment, tech, and renewable energy sectors has founded the Trillion Fund. One of them is Julia Groves. I spoke with her last week to talk about how she plans to leverage crowdfunding to save the world (and help average people profit from investing).
The Trillion Fund is a fascinating concept. Where did the inspiration for it come from?
It began as a means to address two issues using crowdfunding.
The first is financial markets, particularly as they exist today. Currently, smaller investors are unable to find much in the way of investment possibilities. We want to provide these individuals with the opportunity to invest directly in firms that they like at a reasonable rate of return.
The second issue is energy production. Almost everyone agrees that we need to develop an alternative fuel as soon as possible – public support for change is enormous, particularly in Western Europe. Many individuals believe they aren’t able to make a difference. All of the firms we offer to investors will be 100% committed to sustainable energy generation. Those who choose us as partners will be assisting in the transformation of the planet.
We believe that if people are aware of where their money is going and the difference it makes, they will be more likely to invest in a sustainable way. We want ordinary investors to be able to experience the joy that elite investors get from investing. For our time, “Daddy, what did you do in the war?” might be “Mummy, what did you invest in?”
The early contributors in particular will be making it possible for millions more to join, so we have some unique ideas planned for them.
What is the lowest amount of money you want to invest?
Eventually we want to get to $100. The more people that get involved the better. The economies of scale are particularly significant in renewable projects, but the potential benefits go beyond this, as five thousand people investing $100 will have a lot more impact than one person investing $500k.
If people have the chance to engage in meaningful, exciting projects, they might choose to invest small amounts of discretionary cash rather than wasting it on the normal consumer junk.
I’m not sure what you’re implying, but I’m not talking about my iPhone.
nIt’s not a chance! We’d ultimately want to develop an app that enables investors to interact with us and their businesses in a simple and straightforward manner.For example, I may view the output from my solar panels on an application on my phone (14 kWhrs yesterday – and I have a tiny London roof!). Tickers and numbers going up all the time has a narcotic quality to it.
Which sustainable energy firms will you provide your services to?
We will select our partners with great care. The leadership team has significant expertise with renewable energy and new business projects in general.I spent the last two years putting solar panels on houses in the United Kingdom, for example (and there’s plenty of sun! So long as the roofs face south-to-north, it is certainly profitable!).
In the end, each investor must make their own decision about where to invest and how much risk to take. We are not a typical fund, despite our name. Rather of selecting investments for our members, we will discover the finest projects to invest in and provide the tools and information to make it as pleasurable and rewarding an experience as possible.
When should I mail my cheque?
In the fall, we’ll be launching the technology with a few partners over the summer. The UK’s markets regulator is currently revising the rules in this area, just as the SEC has in the United States, so we will be working with them to ensure that this new approach of fund raising and engagement receives approval. We won’t go public until this procedure is completed. We’ll keep you updated!