Copenhagen based fintech Gaia has launched an investment platform, using Matter's sustainability data, with the aim of enabling retail investors to invest more sustainably
At the same time as ESG, in one form or another, is becoming increasingly ubiquitous at an institutional level, momentum is gathering around sustainable solutions for the retail investment market.
The demand is certainly there. A 2020 report by the 2 Degrees Investing Initiative claims that two-thirds of respondents said they wanted to invest sustainable, and 43% of respondents interested in sustainable investing said their main goal was to have an “environmental impact” in the real economy.
In Denmark, the newest sustainable solution to try and meet this demand is Gaia. On 14th February, 2022, Gaia went live with an investment platform that aims to make it easy and accessible for anyone to invest in companies actively working towards a sustainable future.
Sustainability at the core
For Gaia, sustainability is not secondary to financial considerations. They have embedded a double materiality approach into the DNA of their solution, which intertwines financial and sustainability data as markers of performance.
As Andreas Vinther, Co-Founder and CFO of Gaia explains, “We started Gaia to solve the world’s biggest problems by using the most powerful resource in the world - money. We believe that the financial system today has a great responsibility to be a part of the change. We want to make sure that our members investments are supporting companies creating long term solutions for the climate crisis and enormous social challenges the world is facing.”
Providing transparent and nuanced sustainability insights with Matter
Sustainability is not simple. It is a simple word comprised of a complex tapestry of interlinked and subjective factors. According to Vinther, “the hardest part about integrating sustainability into our investment philosophy has been the consideration of all the nuances of an investment.”
Gaia, in creating their investment platform, did not want to over-simplify sustainability by presenting users with a sustainability score or rating, as Vinther explains, “we decided to give our members the full picture and not just the feel-good stories - and this requires data.”
In order to achieve this, Gaia chose Matter as their sustainability data provider. Vinther elaborates, “Transparency is key at Gaia. Matter enables us to fully understand all the nuances of our current and prospective investment offerings. Matter’s data has become a vital cornerstone in our asset selection process and our continuous monitoring.”
Gaia plans to harness Matter Elements, Matter's retail investment focussed solution, to present sustainability information directly to their end-users, equipping investors with the tools to make better-informed decisions with their money. “Our users value the transparency they get with Gaia and Matter plays a vital role in our mission of achieving full disclosure.”, says Vinther.
Ease of integration
There are no illusions as to the difficulties of developing, beta testing and launching an investment product. Gaia have spent years developing and six months testing and iterating with over 100 Beta Users. The last thing Gaia wanted during the development process was to be burdened with cumbersome integration of sustainability data.
Vinther explains that with Matter, “The integration has been without any issues. Matter has been extremely flexible in accommodating our needs during the data setup. Furthermore, the new platform makes it very easy for us to quickly get an in-depth overview of our investment products"
Try it yourself
You can try Gaia, equipped with Matter's sustainability data, by signing up here and investing from as little as 500DKK