In previous posts, we introduced you to the diverse animals that are present in what we like to call “the Zoo of Entrepreneurship”. We talked about gazelles, camels, cockroaches and unicorns, among others. However, this time, we want to introduce the new species that we believe will soon populate our ecosystem: the green zebras.
What does “green zebra” mean? The term “zebra” was coined in 2017 by the financial services company Zebras Unite. Contrary to the obsession of investment funds to pursue the once almost extinct unicorns (companies worth more than $1 billion), green zebras are companies that stand out for their focus on profitability rather than market dominance. They also stand out for their focus on improving society and building sustainable businesses.
ESG criteria into the spotlight
Zebra companies aim to create a positive social impact. They seek solutions for underserved markets but also attach great importance to the satisfaction of their customers and employees. For this reason, they constitute companies that fit perfectly with ESG criteria. This entrepreneurial species pays special attention to environmental sustainability and the possibility of creating a more ethical and inclusive world.
In our opinion, the current situation favors the emergence of green zebras. The coronavirus crisis, for example, has highlighted the need for a wider range of pharmaceutical companies to provide solutions for this new disease, as well as for other pathologies with a high incidence (cancer) and a low incidence (the so-called “rare diseases”). Likewise, given that we are immersed in an environmental crisis, it is essential to create electric mobility or sustainable food companies, among others.
Green zebras stand out for their ambition to build a better world. But they can’t do it alone. Unfortunately, such companies have traditionally failed to attract the interest of investment funds. Last November, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Charles Duhigg sharply criticized these funds for their rejection of green zebras.
Equity Crowdfunding: the perfect ecosystem
Given the focus of investment funds on the search for the increasingly laborious unicorns, the future of green zebras is to turn to alternative sources of funding such as Equity Crowdfunding.
Fellow Funders believes in focusing on this entrepreneurial type of company, helping them search for funding. Some of our funding rounds (available or already closed) include biotech companies (Laminar Pharma, Neurofix, etc.) or companies focused on sustainable mobility (EasyCharger). We have also helped finance companies such as Marsi Bionics (developer of exoskeletons) and FoodintheBox (committed to healthy and sustainable eating). We currently have on our website companies like Sqrups (a company that helps eliminate surplus production of large manufacturers).
When assessing projects, Fellow Funders takes into account their viability but also their compliance with ESG criteria. Our company is aware that all of us must do our part to improve as a society. There are hundreds of companies that, despite not creating as much noise in the business ecosystem as Amazon or Google, have a positive impact on society. Fellow Funders does not forget them. For that reason, the green zebras have been included in our particular entrepreneurship zoo.