Dublin, 8th August 2022 – Capitalflow Group, Ireland’s fastest growing business lender, has secured €10M from the new low-cost Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (EELS) launched by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). This funding will enable Irish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to invest in energy efficiency financing projects, helping them transition to sustainable energy and thus directly contributing to Ireland’s goal to halve its greenhouse emissions by 2030. Businesses can apply for funding until 31st December 2023.
Research* shows that Irish SMEs invest a mere 6% of their budget in energy efficiency, one of the lowest in Europe. The lack of competitive funding up until now has been a major roadblock for the Irish SME sector’s transition to a lower carbon emission economy.
By obtaining €10M from the SBCI EELS facility, Capitalflow can directly leverage a positive impact on the climate, as they can now offer SMEs easy access to energy efficiency financing projects.
Ronan Horgan, CEO of Capitalflow, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the SBCI once again in supporting the Energy Efficiency Loans Scheme and the move towards Green Finance. By investing now, helped by the Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme, businesses can help the environment and reduce their costs in the medium to long term”
June Butler, CEO of SBCI, said: “I welcome the addition of Capitalflow as a partner for the SBCI Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme. Capitalflow’s participation will assist SMEs & farmers in accessing low-cost flexible finance for investment in energy efficient equipment as they respond to the ongoing increase of energy costs. This Scheme is our first dedicated climate action related product and has been specifically designed to help Irish businesses to improve their sustainability, cut their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions by investing in energy-saving measures”
The SBCI EELS facility totals €150M in funds intended to be a catalyst for energy efficiency investments. This Scheme coincides with the ambitions of the Irish government to become a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 and will enable businesses to align their efforts accordingly.
Recently acquired by EU’s second largest digital bank, bunq, both Capitalflow and bunq share a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint with bunq firmly on track to become a climate neutral bank.
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About Capitalflow Group
Established in 2016 and led by Ronan Horgan, Capitalflow is Ireland’s fastest growing specialist business lender. Partnering with Irish SMEs and Property Investors, Capitalflow provides flexible finance options through its digital platform to companies looking to grow and scale their business. Headquartered in Dublin, with offices in Santry and Baggot Street, the company employs 80 experienced decision makers, and it has advanced €800 million in facilities to a broad range of SMEs across all sectors since formation.
In 2021 Capitalflow was acquired by Dutch fintech bunq, founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Ali Niknam, and earlier this year bunq launched its Irish IBAN offering quick sign-up, transparent fees, and a suite of easy-to-use banking products for Irish consumers.
bunq was founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Ali Niknam (1981) after he secured the first European banking permit in over 35 years. He set out to radically change the traditional banking industry and was bunq’s sole investor until 2021, financing the company with €98.7m of his own money. This provided bunq with the freedom and independence to build a bank rooted in the wants and needs of its users. By the end of 2021 user deposits at bunq surpassed €1.1 billion, having doubled in 2019 and then again in 2020.
In July 2021 bunq announced the largest series A round ever secured by a European fintech. bunq raised €193 million in a deal with British private equity firm Pollen Street Capital, valuing bunq at approximately €1.6 billion. At the same time, bunq also reported its first-ever profitable month. The first investment of external capital will help bunq to further expand across Europe and to continue incorporating M&A as part of its business growth strategy. As part of the deal, bunq acquired Capitalflow, a Dublin-based company which lends to SMEs across a broad range of sectors in the Irish economy.
About the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland
The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) was set up in September 2014 to ensure that SMEs in Ireland have access to stable, lower-cost, long-term funding options. As a state-owned promotional institution, and in common with its European peers, the SBCI has become an integral part of the business finance framework. By supporting and helping to develop an effective credit market for SME finance, it ensures that SMEs have access to finance in both positive and negative market conditions.
Since its incorporation, the SBCI has built out and further expanded its range of supports providing liquidity and/or risk-sharing guarantee schemes to a wide range of finance providers. This expansion of partners has delivered more choice for Irish SMEs in accessing lower cost finance for their business.