Crowdfunding for sustainability

To democratise access to investment, thereby benefitting both society and the planet. This is the primary mission of Go Parity, a startup created in Portugal with international ambitions

In just three years, a small Portuguese startup, created with the aim of bringing together developers of sustainable projects and socially-aware investors, has already backed almost fifty ideas, involving total financing to the amount of around 2.2 million euros, in addition to preventing the emission of 8,386 tons of CO₂ per year. GoParity's digital crowdfunding platform – the first in Portugal to obtain CMVM licensing – features projects open to investment starting at 20 euros, and at an interest rate of between 4% and 7%, far higher than the rates offered by the traditional banking institutions.

The project was the brainchild of four entrepreneurs with a passion for sustainability and innovation, who realised that many good projects involving green energy never see the light of day due to a lack of funding through traditional channels. Luís Couto and Manuel Nery Nina (pictured in the opening photo), Nuno Brito Jorge and Bernardo Tavares pooled all their expertise and experience acquired over the course of their careers and set to work on the creation of the platform that serves as a point of contact between those with a project in need of support and those with money to invest. However, this platform only supports projects that are associated with sustainability, that meet one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that benefit the community in which they are implemented.

Indeed, this is what sets GoParity apart from other crowdfunding platforms and what renders it unique. A mission that, together with the guarantee of above-average returns on investment – defined in accordance with the risk involved in each project –, and, with the guarantee of CMVM-regulated supervision, makes it an original idea.

Almost 600,000 euros have been returned to investors (in capital plus interest) since project was launched, guarantees Pritesh D. Kotecha, one of the members of the management team, in an interview with Energiser. However, over and above the returns on the capital invested, the investing partner believes that “the feeling that we are contributing to the good of society” is motivation for an increasing number of people. “The emotional rewards are immense due to the fact we are backing projects that are good for the planet and the environment, and that shape our society”, he adds.


In order for a project to pass the GoParity ‘screening’ procedure and qualify for funding, it must, first of all, meet at least one of the 17 United Nations SDGs and have a positive impact on the community. Failure to meet this requirement will mean the analysis of the project is discontinued prior to the financial viability assessment phase. Once this challenge has been overcome, the start-up team conducts a thorough analysis of the business plan and an assessment of the project's viability. “Transparency, reliability of information and financial regulation are essential to guaranteeing the trust of investors and, as such, these analyses are always exhaustive”, assures Pritesh Kotecha. “We have already financed projects in fields as diverse as renewable energy and sustainable fashion, electric mobility and home economics, while rewarding capital investment with security”, he adds. With regard to the magnitude of the amounts involved, the GoParity manager recalls projects financed with 30,000 euros and, at the opposite end of the scale, with around 350,000 euros.

“The emotional rewards are immense due to the fact we are backing projects that are good for the planet and the environment”

An example of the above is the first international project geared to building two small solar energy plants in Brazil, to be installed on a football field and in a shopping centre by a Swedish developer. The aim was to raise 50,000 euros at a current interest rate of 5.8%. This project was an “extremely important” step for the Portuguese startup, the entity´s CEO, Nuno Brito Jorge, recently declared.

Another project still in the financing phase is SolarWood, a modular solution developed in Madeira that produces heat and electricity using biomass and solar energy. The goal is to install the system at the Good Shepherd Mission Hospital in Eswatini (former Swaziland), with a view to slashing the institution´s electricity bill by 10% and preventing the emission of 1,350 tons of CO₂ per year. Furthermore, all the jobs generated in relation to the project will be assigned to women from the region.

Also worthy of mention is the involvement of GoParity, from the start of the pandemic, in the Tech4Covid19 initiative, a project that brought together a group of entrepreneurs from the information technology sector to raise funds for the acquisition of medical supplies. Just one euro could be invested in masks, gloves and protective suits, with a target of 100,000 euros in donations.

On the other side of the business are the investors, including those investing small savings and those laying out thousands and thousands of euros in these projects. By way of example, Pritesh Kotecha reveals that the current 6,873 investors (a rapidly increasing figure) include people who have invested just 20 euros and people who have already invested 200,000 euros. All you need to do to join this ecosystem is to register on the platform and wait to be assessed. As a means of preventing illegal activity such as money laundering, GoParity will ask you to certify the origin of the money. “Security for everyone and a CMVM requirement for the regulation of our activity”, explains the partner. “Transparency and trust are key factors in our business. Without them, we wouldn´t have investor confidence”.