An investment transparency startup founded by an Edinburgh entrepreneur has raised £1 million from a host of investors, including singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel.
Created by Edinburgh native Georgia Stewart, Tumelo is a platform that aims to empower people to invest in companies that align with their personal values.
The platform shows people where they have invested their cash and gives them tools to take action based on their values, including voting as shareholders, joining campaigns to change company behaviour and switching to ethical fund and pension options.
This funding boost will be used to perfect the platform and expand the team from seven to 12. Tumelo plans to bring in new developers and UX specialists as it aims for further growth.
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Co-founder Stewart, who also holds the position of CEO, commented: “Receiving this funding is an exciting milestone for Tumelo as it will allow us to focus on our mission of building a new investment ecosystem, where shareholders are connected to the companies they own.”
The investment transparency startup was founded while Stewart studied at Cambridge University, in an effort to challenge the way the university invested its £6 billion endowment pot.
Stewart added: “Tumelo began life as a university activism campaign. We fought to change the way Cambridge University invested its £6 billion endowment pot. Our campaign was globally successful and, off the back of it, we knew we had to harness the passion of individual investors to influence further change.”
Assets held in ethical funds have trebled over the past decade in the UK, from £4.5bn in 2008 to £16.7bn at the end of 2018. This has largely been spurred on by high-profile governance failures, including the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
Tumelo wants to tap into this trend and has developed its platform with support from Addleshaw Goddard’s AG Elevate; a 10-month initiative that provides mentoring and legal guidance to high-growth fintech businesses and startups.
Dave Anderson, partner at Addleshaw Goddard and AG Elevate mentor to Tumelo, said: “We are pleased to be supporting Tumelo as it expands and fulfils its plans to disrupt the traditional ‘out of sight, out of mind’ investment model, giving people the tools to decide where to invest based on their own principles.
“Even with successful fintech start-ups such as Tumelo, there are a number of legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome and by assisting the co-founders with some of these issues, the business will have strong foundations on which to grow. We wish Georgia and the rest of the Tumelo team the very best as the app continues its rollout.”