Not as far as we know. We believe that this is a world first in terms of the business model. While Fedgroup has multiple financial services licenses and offers traditional products and services to the market, we have deliberately done things differently with Impact Farming. We have tried to get rid of the complexity of a traditional financial services model where assets would be placed into financial structures such as funds.
Impact investing is a global buzzword, but this generally translates into some type of sustainability/impact fund. Instead, we have launched a classic peer-to-peer type model where a number of investors (asset owners) are in essence funding a commercial-scale project, with a farmer (or building owner in the case of solar) on the other end who needs access to funding.
The investor owns the physical asset in the case of beehives or solar panels (with individual serial numbers) and proceeds from the produce in the case of blueberries (we only use very specific licensed varietals where one cannot actually own the bush). The big winners are the investors and the farmer, while Fedgroup makes a thin margin in between.
We’re investing for the future and to ensure that we are positioned at the cutting edge of financial services solutions, rather than waiting for someone else to do it, and frankly this will only make money for us at volume, but we’re prepared to invest in the future. Think of it like Uber. A driver can buy a car (an asset) and make money from that asset by charging passengers a fee for a ride. Uber is simply a platform that puts the two parties together.