The planet and the environment are becoming increasingly important within the decision-making process of modern-day investors. It’s evolving into such a pressing concern that many have decided to take matters into their own hands.
Positioned at the fast-growing intersection of climate-conscious investments and the rise of DIY portfolios, London-based Goodfolio is on a mission to make value-based investing the norm.
The company is actively responding to the growing demand for smarter investments, echoed in predictions that half of investors will move their portfolios into environmental, social and governance (ESG) this year.
Goodfolio provides a transparent and customised platform for impact-driven investors, providing access to an increasing number of impactful investment options, data and tools, including exchange-traded fundings (EFTs).
This Behind the Idea chats with the company’s founder and CEO, Omid Pakseresht, an Oxford-educated entrepreneur with a successful track record in finance and technology product commercialisation.
Tell us more about your company and its offering
Goodfolio is a sustainable investment platform – a DIY – targeting retail investors who would like to see their investments as more than just traditional financial returns.
Users of our platform also have the added benefit of being able to track the social and environmental impact their investments have.
We have managed to screen a list of ETFs that can provide investors with specific portfolios that aim to tackle some of the important social and environmental issues that resonate the most with their priorities.
The company operates in a very transparent manner, where the fees are clear without any hidden fees and easy to track.
Goodfolio’s vision is to become the go-to platform for all impact-driven investments.
What problem was your company set up to solve?
I founded Goodfolio precisely because as an engaged investor, I could not find platforms that made it simple, customisable and relatively reliable (in terms of data) to build and grow an impact-driven portfolio.
The transparency and control just weren’t there.
ESG and impact data are in flux and notoriously complex but I found that generally, the data provided was not always adequate to give a holistic perspective of return, risk and impact.
Nor was it easy to understand or access at point of use. Labelled ETFs, as you may know, need quite a bit of dissecting to understand what is under the hood.
Coming from a quantitative, product and financial background, I also found that many young professionals experienced the same pain points: a desire to invest and grow their savings, yes, but in alignment with their values, which may be climate-related but also gender-sensitive, for instance.
It’s cliché but since the solution did not exist, it had to be created given the need and growing opportunity at this very moment.
Since launch, how has your company evolved?
The company has gone through multiple funding rounds and we have managed to secure around £500,000 through angels and the Seedrs community.
We have a long waiting list and our users are providing us with constant feedback so we’re able to work towards a product that meets the end user’s needs.
The team is slowly growing, consisting of team members with varying degrees of experience and cross-sector knowledge we are able to rely on to try and cover all aspects of our offering.
What has been the biggest challenge or most ‘tricky moment’ to overcome?
One of the biggest challenges has been collating the impact data from individual companies within the funds and presenting that data to investors to help understand their portfolio’s impact.
We are constantly trying to improve that side of our offering to promote ESG issues and keep them at the forefront of our investors’ minds and not just an afterthought.
This is also happening whilst we are in the midst of a market sentiment transition and gloomy economic outlooks. Getting to the heart of the issues and offering a product that genuinely helps long-term investors is even more important now.
What are your biggest achievements or ‘proudest moment’ so far?
We have had a few wins since we started Goodfolio and a few of them really take the cake.
When the first users started making second transfers on the website, that was validation for us that they received value from using it.
Nothing really compares to that and positive feedback.
Or the support receiving an email saying “Goofolio, we love you.” Those little moments are really special.
How would you describe the culture of your company?
The culture is a collaborative one, consisting of employees and advisors, with an array of cultures and work experience that help us in improving our offering.
The mix of experience allows us to take into consideration varying factors that may not be initially obvious and open communication helps us identify issues to resolve any outstanding items.
What’s in store for the future?
As mentioned above, Goodfolio’s vision is to become the go-to platform for all impact-driven investments.
Currently, we are starting with ETFs but are working on other asset classes and products, conversing with institutional clients, as well as keeping a close eye on markets outside the UK.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect is that we are looking at how to empower our community for collective action and have their voices heard.