Ecco Nova accelerates its development - Trends-Tendances sur PC

Ecco Nova accelerates its development – Trends-Tendances sur PC

The Liège crowdfunding platform for sustainable projects has raised funds to strengthen its position in Flanders and aim internationally. After six years of “bootstrapping”, the goal is to grow to become number 1 in Belgium…

News follows one another on the growing Belgian crowdlending market. Alongside Look & End, which is attracting a good deal of attention, the other players are also progressing. Ecco Nova, a crowdlending platform from Liège which wants to support sustainable projects, has just announced a fundraising of 725,000 euros, the majority of which (500,000 euros) from Leansquare. Although the start-up was launched in 2016, this is its first real fundraising.

News follows one another on the growing Belgian crowdlending market. Alongside Look & End, which is attracting a good deal of attention, the other players are also progressing. Ecco Nova, a crowdlending platform from Liège which wants to support sustainable projects, has just announced a fundraising of 725,000 euros, the majority of which (500,000 euros) from Leansquare. Although the start-up was launched in 2016, this is its first real fundraising. “So far, we have chosen bootstrapping, which consists of betting on the money we generate to develop, insists Pierre-Yves Pirlot, one of the two founders of Ecco Nova. business and reinvest the profits for growth.” This is because the crowdfunding platform was directly profitable. “The only year in loss, proudly advances the co-founder, was the year 2020 hit by the covid.” It was also that year, just before the confinements, that Ecco Nova hired its first employees. Bad timing. But the demand for equity loans, in full growth, has enabled it to raise the bar and, from 2021, to generate a profit of more than 90,000 euros on a claimed turnover of around 700,000 euros. In total, since its launch, the young company, which employs eight people, has already financed 70 projects for a total of 45 million euros. Projects on which Ecco Nova is remunerated via a commission of 4 to 6% on the amount raised, once the operation is successful. Then, it provides for management fees payable by the borrower. Ecco Nova claims to finance projects with a sustainable positioning. On the funded projects, a lot of real estate and some start-ups as well. “In the first case, these are essentially renovated, built or rebuilt projects, specifies Pierre-Yves Pirlot. So, all with real energy efficiency. As for start-ups or non-real estate projects that are on the platform, either we take care of a sectoral approach such as organic agriculture, organic products or alternative mobility, or we check that the company meets at least two of the sustainable development criteria.” The fundraising recently announced – at the same time as obtaining B Corp certification – should allow Ecco Nova to accelerate its growth, particularly in Flanders where the firm has set up offices and recruited its first employee. But also abroad since the start-up aims to be able to attract lenders from anywhere in Europe. It has also just submitted an application for European approval for this purpose. It is however on the Belgian market that the firm displays its ambition: to become the Belgian number 1, “that is to say, the number 1 in terms of the amounts raised… for the benefit of Belgian companies”, specifies the boss of Ecco Nova.

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