In the past year and a half we have interviewed in this blog many interesting P2P lending marketplaces… but is not often that we have the chance to examine closer a regulated platform that not only has an interesting return potential but also a deep commitment towards sustainability (all projects in GoParity must adhere to at least one of the 17 official Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN)
Today we have with us Nuno Brito Jorge, CEO and co-founder of GoParity… Welcome to TodoCrowdlending!
1 – First of all, Nuno, for all our readers who are still not familiar with your platform, can you briefly tell us what GoParity is and what your unique investment proposal is for all users interested in joining as investors?
GoParity is an impact finance platform that allows people and companies to make a decent return on their money while investing in sustainable development projects.
2 – Seeing your intense career as entrepreneur, including your current positions as Founder and President of Coopérnico and General Manager at Citizenergy… the question that comes to my mind is what are your goals with GoParity?, what was your driving force for creating this platform after all the experience you have amassed these years?
GoParity is actually the reason I wanted to become an entrepreneur in the first place, back in 2012. Having lived a few years abroad I always had my bank account with ethical banks (Belgium and Spain). Coming back to Portugal, in 2009, there was nothing like that, or even close! So I convinced a few friends to invest with me in a small solar power project to earn some decent returns on money that we knew was doing something good for the planet. We didn’t have enough money so we did a sort of a private crowdlending with friends and family. That’s how it all started.
There wasn’t a legal framework for crowdfunding in Portugal back then so we started Coopernico (a renewable energy cooperative), Boa Energia (a solar power installer that I left in 2017 to start GoParity) and created the Citizenergy platform.
3 – Having achieved and surpassed the impressive mark of 10.000 investors in a few years, and flying fast towards the 5 M€ milestone, what is the goal achieved you are most proud of so far?
There’s a couple of features we’re really proud of, like the Sustainable Savings Plans and the IBANization (providing every wallet with and IBAN number) but I guess the most impressive and maybe even slightly unexpected is the fact that we’ve come to this point having currently no loans in arrears and no bankruptcies in our projects and only 3 loans were renegotiated (except for the introduction of grace periods for a few others at the beginning of the pandemics) with more than 98% acceptance by the lenders.
4 – Month after month GoParity appears in our monthly crowdlending statistics report as one of the fastest-growing platforms in relative terms, which usually points to a platform that is going to be a market leader in a few years from now… what is the secret for this continued growth even in the middle of turbulent times such as the Covid19 pandemic where -despite all challenges- you claim you have zero bankruptcies in promoters?
It is true that we’ve been having our best months ever since September last year and we follow attentively your statistics! We tend to look at the overall results but like to compare with other actors in the ethical finance space to make sure we’re leading among the “best in class”.
I guess transparency and consistency are a big thing and the way we led with the pandemic crisis and we pushed for a green recovery that people can lead probably also helped reach the results we’re observing now.
There really is no secret for any of this but one thing is for sure, our biggest strength is in our team, an amazing group of talented people committed to positively impacting the world through their work.
About risk, we take due diligence very seriously but it is also relevant that we work closely with our project Promoters at all times. And we do it in full transparency by representing the lenders in the negotiation with borrowers but asking for their validation after we’ve reached what we believe is the best solution for all the parties, positive impact included.
5 – What are your plans for 2021, what new projects, functionality, etc. can we expect in GoParity this year?
We have big plans for 2021. A lot is going to happen but to point out some of the biggest I’d highlight that it is the year we plan to launch in Spain (we’ve just joined the Impact Hub Barcelona, did the Google For Startups Madrid residency last year and took the Ship2B accelerator). It is also the year we’ll be launching our B2B offering focused on allowing medium to large companies and corporates attract and retain talent by introducing impact investing as a benefit or a way to compensate their CO2 footprint. Last but not the least, we also expect to launch projects in 5 new countries throughout the year.
6 – Being a platform already regulated by the Financial Authority of your country, Portugal, is indeed a strong point and a differential value very much appreciated these days by all European investors. What do you think about the new Regulation on European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP) approved last year how it may affect GoParity operations when finally coming into force?
We were very pleased to finally see a common EU framework come to life. We look forward to it as we believe it will bring much more clarity to investors all over Europe but also simplify cross-border financing and investing a lot.
We also believe that this new framework will create a level playing field that privileges transparency and financial literacy over restrictions.
7 – Thanks for all the information shared so far, Nuno, would you like to mention or comment anything else to our TodoCrowdlending.com community?
I’d just like to invite everyone to try out GoParity and that we’re very sensitive to user feedback so we’d be very keen to take on some improvements or even new ideas that such an expert community might have!
Great. Thanks for your time!