The female-led social impact company aims to be the biggest sustainable bank in Europe
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Spotted: According to France’s Helios, funding equivalent to the entire GDP of France has been invested in polluting industries by the 60 largest fossil fuel supporting banks – and that’s just since the Paris climate agreement. The climate-friendly neobank is on a mission to raise awareness of how our bank accounts are financing the climate crisis while offering an alternative.
Helios was founded in 2020 and the startup has recently raised €9 million in a seed round. Transparency is at the heart of the company’s product offering, with depositors having full visibility of where their money is invested.
The way Helios operates at the back end is the key to its sustainability. Like other neobanks, Helios is covered by the banking licence of a partner institution, Solarisbank. But unlike other neobanks where deposits are held on the balance sheet of a conventional bank partner, Helios deposits are ring-fenced outside of Solarisbank’s balance sheet. This means that depositors can be sure that their money is not being indirectly used to finance fossil fuels and other polluting industries.
As a result of these ring-fencing measures, Helios can claim that it does not give a single euro to polluting industries, such as oil or coal. Instead, depositors’ money is directed towards funding for environmentally friendly initiatives.
Helios currently offers youth, current, and joint accounts, but the recent funding will help the startup to launch a new sustainable savings account.
Other sustainable finance initiatives recently spotted by Springwise include a funding platform designed for climate startups, a platform that helps institutional investors track corporate ESG issues, and software tools that support ESG investment.
Written By: Katrina Lane