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This female-led fintech grabs €9M as Europe’s largest Series A funding in climate tech

Image credits: Helios

Helios, a sustainable banking alternative from Paris, has just announced that it has nabbed $9 million in funding. The investment round was led by Racine2 (fund operated by Serena and Makesense) with participation from Raise Seed for Good funds; tiers one business angels such as Hugues Le Bret, the founder of Nickel, and the C-suite of several startups such as Malt, Swile, Meero, or Blissim (formerly Birchbox).

Largest European seed fund in its class

As the market matures, the company claims this is the largest seed round raised by a greentech/climatech startup in Europe. Helios will deploy the proceeds of this round to get one step closer to becoming the leading sustainable bank in Europe and is planning to hire more than 20 talents this year, across marketing, mobile development, and data positions.

Angélique Elizé, Investment Director at RAISE Seed for Good said, “We are proud to renew our support to Helios in this new stage of growth. The team has done a remarkable job, led by Julia and Maeva, committed founders, who have shown us their strong ability to execute. Helios is a unique ecological banking model which is rethinking in depth its market through a transparent approach and responsible financing, thus playing a driving role in the Fintech sector. And it is in the service of this sustainable growth that we will support Helios in its new challenges.”

Eric Gossart, Partner for Serena stated: “Savings are a powerful leverage to initiate the transition towards sobriety, energy efficiency and renewable energies. Choosing a bank means making a societal choice. I’ve obviously been impressed by the work accomplished by Julia, Maeva and the whole team, but what I am most excited about, is that only the surface has been scratched and that Helios is laying the groundwork to make a lasting difference for finance.”

Launches sustainable savings account

While its existing portfolio includes current account, shared account and youth account, Helios has launched a new banking product – a sustainable savings account, crowdsourced with its community of users. It will bring about 100% transparency with full disclosure of realised investments.

This savings account allows users to finance the ecological transition from the first euro deposited on their account. With savings available at any time and guaranteed up to €100,000, this bankbook is a real alternative to the bankbooks offered by conventional retail banks.

Helios is now accelerating its development to reach 100,000 customers and €30 million invested in the ecological transition by the end of 2023. With the aim to become the main savings account for its users, Helios plans to launch new investment products and credit options to complete its offer and fully replace a conventional retail bank.

First sustainable neobank

Helios, the first purpose-driven company sustainable neobank was launched in March 2020 by Maeva Courtois and Julia Ménayas. Initially, it was launched with a community of 20,000 people. Helios will not fund even a single euro to polluting industries, such as oil, or coal. It supports only environmentally-friendly investment projects from the very first euro.

Now, Helios has become the first player positioned on the eco-banking market with a community of 50,000 people and nearly €40 million of transactions on its accounts. In terms of impact, Helios has already helped save 20,000 tons of CO2 emissions.

“We are leading the ecological revolution in banking services. If 10 years ago neo-banks invented a digital banking experience focused on mobile usage and instant notifications, with Helios we are changing the rules of banking towards more transparency and a real commitment to climate action. For €6 per month, our users can manage their accounts easily from their mobile or desktop and reach their dedicated financial advisor while having a positive impact on the preservation of the environment”, said Maeva Courtois, co-founder of Helios.

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