The Spanish investors reward start-ups with a strong profile focused on sustainabilityaccording to a new independent study commissioned by Amazon. These investors, both venture capital and private equity, claim that startups with strong sustainability credentials can earn up to 17% higher valuation, which represents an opportunity for those entrepreneurial people who are thinking of creating more sustainable products and businesses. Conversely, start-ups with poor sustainability credentials could see their valuation reduced by as much as 9%.
More than two out of three investors surveyed (67%) say they have requested, in the last 12 months, more details about the sustainability credentials of the start-ups in which they were considering investing, with a special focus on ensuring that they comply with the SDG commitments (environmental, social and governance) of your organization. Almost half (48%) of these investors admit to having turned down at least one opportunity to finance start-ups in the last year, due to concerns related to their environmental impact. Asked what are the most frequent reasons for discarding, investors mention concerns about the sustainability of their logistics throughout the supply chainor about responsible waste management processes.
On the other hand, almost seven in ten investors (68%) consider that current and future regulation on SDGs is a brake on investing in start-ups focused on sustainability. In order to move forward, the vast majority of Spanish investors (85%) believe that new companies need more support to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices. 86% of the study participants acknowledge that more than half of the start-ups they evaluate lack the technology and knowledge necessary to operate more sustainably.
The results of the study have been presented coinciding with the announcement of the 16 European start-ups that will participate in the second edition of the Amazon Sustainability Acceleratoran initiative of Amazonhe EIT Climate-KICa leading European center for innovation on climate change, and WRAP, the UK’s leading climate action NGO. The accelerator is open to start-ups dedicated to creating more sustainable consumer products and, for the first time, also to those developing technologies that can help industry recycle more effectively and efficiently. The program has received more than 1,500 applications this year, and among the sixteen companies selected there are two based in Spain: the Catalan Infinite Athletic and the Mallorcan FUNQ.
The founders of Infinite Athletic they set out to create the first infinitely recyclable garment in history. After more than two years of research, they managed to develop a technology never used before in the world of sports, which provided durability, resistance, elasticity and softness to the touch, as well as comfort for practicing sports. All this from the strings that were discarded from the rackets, with no other materials than the polyester itself so that they could always be recycled. His co-founder, François Devy, comments: “At Infinite Athletic, we have the mission of solving the textile business model through an innovative double circularity process. Participating in the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator will help us scale this solution, so we can all play for the planet.”.
For their part, the creators of FUNQ They challenged themselves to find an alternative to bottled drinks, allowing anyone to turn tap water into a great-tasting, healthy and sustainable soft drink. To do this, they developed a 100% natural and low-sugar syrup. His co-founder and CEO, Michael Schwarz, underlines: «At FUNQ we are thirsty for change. We are convinced that the beverage industry needs to be reimagined: the idea is to replace plastic bottled drinks with your own drink, mixed at home with tap water. We are very excited to be part of the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator as we truly believe that this idea has the potential to not only transform the beverage industry with a more complex tasting product made from natural ingredients, but also have a positive impact on our planet, generating a more responsible consumption”.
Kirsten Dunlop, Chief Executive Officer of EIT Climate-KIChas stated that “investors increasingly making decisions based on environmental impact data is an important signal for companies to take an active role in social transformation«. “By equipping new start-ups with the tools to measure their climate mitigation potential and support their ability to think systemically, we can foster a critical cultural shift in business mindset, while helping to build robust data that can direct business decisions.” investments towards transformative and scalable climate solutions. At EIT Climate-KIC we are excited to expand the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator, supporting more entrepreneurs so they can achieve their greatest climate impact potential”has asserted.
In parallel, Harriet Lamb, CEO of WRAPhas said to be “proud” to support these sustainability-focused startups and help them scale their businesses. “We need pioneering product development and new approaches to recycling infrastructure, as we seek to move away from a wasteful world. From WRAP we are delighted to be part of this accelerator, which seeks to increase investment in recycling technology and the products of the future, helping to drive advances in the recycling sector, and discovering and supporting cutting-edge solutions”has asserted.
Free capital grant of 12,000 euros
He Amazon Sustainability Accelerator is a 12-week personalized program designed to help entrepreneurs overcome the challenges of creating and growing a sustainable business. It will include virtual and face-to-face workshops led by experts, specialized tutoring, a personalized study plan and access to a network of like-minded entrepreneurs. Amazon and the EIT Climate-KIC will work together to guide Accelerator participants through a Climate Impact Assessment of impact forecastin which they will learn how to self-assess the climate impact of their business and develop strategies to improve their environmental footprint.
Participants will also receive a free capital grant of 12,000 euros and $25,000 in AWS Activate Credits, which will help them access cloud computing services. In addition, they will be able to meet and work with Amazon leaders, and have free access to workspace at Amazon’s London and Berlin headquarters. Start-ups participating in the consumer products program will also receive free access to Amazon Launchpad for one year. After participating in the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator, all start-ups will have the opportunity to present their business to an audience of expert investors who will help them make connections and raise more funds. The companies participating in last year’s edition raised more than 5 million euros, and increased their sales on and off Amazon by more than 250% on average after participating in the program.