Crowdfunding sustainable energy projects? Could you elaborate?

Joukon Voima functions as a marketplace where projects advancing sustainable production and consumption of energy meet funders. Sustainable energy production is based on renewability and causes no unnecessary load on the natural environment. Consumption, on the other hand, is sustainable when its ecological footprint is as small as possible. Examples of sustainable consumption solutions include improvements in energy efficiency and projects advancing the electrification of transportation systems.


What kind of projects are you looking for?

We don’t limit ourselves to any particular technology, but instead welcome every sustainable energy solution.

Projects can be completely reliant on crowdfunding or can be larger projects in which crowdfunding plays only a partial role.

The funding goal – the amount of money that is being crowdfunded – plays a critical role in financial feasibility. In general, to make crowdfunding feasible, this amount must be sufficiently large. However, if the project can be easily replicated, for example, the individual projects can be smaller in scale.

Contact us and we will assess the feasibility of crowdfunding for your particular project.


How far must the project be planned before applying for crowdfunding?

The project can be planned in full in which case Joukon Voima will be the final piece in the puzzle through providing a reliable source of long term funding. On the other hand, Joukon Voima can also be involved in the planning stage from the very beginning and leverage the deep knowledge and experience of its large network of experts until the project is successfully concluded.


How does Joukon Voima stand legally?

Joukon Voima complies with all relevant legal requirements. In Finland, only donation-based crowdfunding (without compensation) is illegal without specific permission. The loan- and compensation-based crowdfunding provided by Joukon Voima is not in conflict with these regulations.

As our service is a meeting place between those looking for funding and those looking to fund, we are not required to apply for permission from the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority. Regardless of this, Joukon Voima commits itself to follow industry best practice in all relevant matters. We actively co-operate with the authorities to ensure our operations remain within all prevailing legal and regulatory guidelines.


If I fund a project, what is my compensation?

Joukon Voima organizes both compensation- and loan-based crowdfunding. In compensation-based crowdfunding, you will receive a product or a service in return for your money. In loan-based crowdfunding, you will receive a bond that yields interest on your investment. Interest and amortization are paid once a year.

The interest rate payable by these bonds is linked to the profitability of the project. Total interest received by an investor is a combination of a fixed part and a variable part, with the latter dependent on the amount of energy produced or saved.

As the projects are likely to be very different from each other, the interest rates they provide will also vary. When determining the interest rate, we will consider a number of factors including the profitability of the project and its overall risk level.

Joukon Voima will not participate in the crowdfunding of financially unfeasible projects.


How is my money handled?

Joukon Voima collaborates with the Finnish web-based banking service Fundu. When you fund a project, the money is deposited in an escrow account with Fundu. The money cannot be withdrawn from this account unless the project reaches its minimum funding goal.

If the minimum goal is reached, Joukon Voima then withdraws your money from the account at the end of the funding campaign and uses it to move forward with the project as described in the project documentation. If the minimum is not reached, you will receive all your money back.


What is the minimum amount for funding?

The minimum amount for loan-based funding will vary from project to project. Following the nature of crowdfunding the minimum amount will be kept low to allow as many interested to participate as possible. Small amounts are not financially viable, as transactions costs would be extremely high compared to overall returns.

However, in compensation-based campaigns minimum funding amounts can be smaller.


Can I fund for someone else?

Generally, yes. However, this may be limited depending on the project.


How long will the bonds last?

This depends on the project, but the range will likely be from 2 to 20 years.


What if I need to sell my bond early?

The bonds are transferable, though we don’t (yet) provide a marketplace for them. Terms for the transfer are provided with each bond.


Can I lose all my money in a loan-based crowdfunding project?

Yes, like in any investment, there is always a risk of losing your money. However, as both Joukon Voima’s revenue and reputation are tied to the profitability of the project, this is something we do our very best to avoid. Joukon Voima will screen each project carefully to ensure that they are economically viable and worthy of your investment.


What happens to my interest if a loan-based project I fund fails?

In this case, what happens depends on the terms of the bond and the financial situation of the issuer. If the issuer is in good financial health, you would likely get most of your money back. But it is possible that a failed project would also harm the issuer.


What about tax?

Yes, you need to pay taxes according to the tax legislation of your country. Please seek advice from your local tax authority.

Joukon Voima’s project-dependent crowdfunding provision (paid only if the project is successfully funded) includes a value-added tax of 24%, as required by Finnish legislation. By convention, the investment appraisal measures (net present value, internal rate of return, etc.) of our projects are reported before tax, unless specified otherwise.


What if Joukon Voima fails?

That would be sad, but not affect your bond, as the bond is issued by the project owner, not us. Our services would, however, likely end, so you would no longer receive project-related news, for example.


What is your profit earning model?

Our most important source of profit is the provision from the crowdfunded amount. In addition to this, we have a small fee tied to the profitability of the project. This fee is used to organize the flow of information and money over the project’s lifetime. Our marketing costs during the campaign are covered with a one-time service fee collected from the project owner.

All of these fees are assessed individually for each project to ensure that the project remains feasible for all participants.


What is your short-term plan?

Our first projects are extremely important for us. Our goal is to fully verify the feasibility of our business model and also to collect information to improve our service offering. We aim to reinforce our position as a well-known and reputable Finnish crowdfunding service.


What about the long-term then?

When designing our business model, there have been two main guidelines we have sought to follow. Firstly, the model has to be easily scalable, and secondly, it should be replicable in as many international markets as possible. The core of our service will most likely not change, but it will become much more effective.

Our great aspiration is to take our service to developing countries. The market potential is extraordinary and the opportunity to bring long term social benefits drives us to make this happen when the time is right.