Daniel Zywietz, the chief executive of Enerwhere, was able to raise Dh1 million from crowdfunding in less than a week for his solar power company. Ravindranath K / The National
Daniel Zywietz, the chief executive of Enerwhere, was able to raise Dh1 million from crowdfunding in less than a week for his solar power company. Ravindranath K / The National

Dubai solar company Enerwhere raises quick Dh1m via crowdfunding platform



Dubai-based solar company Enerwhere raised Dh1 million in less than a week via a crowdfunding platform tapping unconventional investors amid tight SME lending from local banks.

The three-year-old company decided to test the crowdfunding site, Beehive, to secure financing for operational expansion including solar hybrid power generators as well as solar rooftop systems.

Daniel Zywietz, chief executive of Enerwhere, said that the company turned to crowdfunding as a result of a lack of avail­able bank financing for SMEs in the UAE.

“Banks aren’t providing [attractive rates] for the type of company that we are, which is young, fast-growing and without a local backer,” he said. “The only offers that we saw from banks were double-digit interest rate offers which is unattractive.”

Enerwhere asked for a Dh1m loan with an 18-month tenor using Beehive’s 14-day reverse auction system, where investors bid against one another to fund a company’s financial request driving down the cost of borrowing.

Within five days, the amount had been funded with a 15 per cent interest rate. However, as investors kept bidding in a show of interest for the renewable energy sector, that rate dropped by over 27 per cent by the final close with 130 investors on board with the average pledge totalling around Dh7,700.

Beehive was launched in 2014, and has helped to facilitate Dh68m in funding, according to Francesca Moore, its chief marketing officer.

While the financial facilitator makes it easier for SMEs to register, the company still uses the same credit criteria as conventional banks. Despite having 150 businesses currently listed on the site, Beehive turns down 80 per cent of the applicants.

Besides there is a growing interest in renewables on this peer-to-peer lending platform.

Anne Petersen, a Beehive investor, has been involved in the platform for two years. “I welcome the opportunity to invest some of my funds into sustainable SMEs like Enerwhere, as it means I can invest in companies that meet some of my personal values and investment criteria and it allows me the opportunity to invest in environmentally sound businesses which I found hard to do before.

“It’s good to see companies from forward thinking industries such as renewables on Beehive as I wouldn’t normally be able to invest in these outside of their platform,” she said.

lgraves@thenational.ae

Follow The National's Business section on Twitter

ASIAN RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2024

Results
Hong Kong 52-5 UAE
South Korea 55-5 Malaysia
Malaysia 6-70 Hong Kong
UAE 36-32 South Korea

Fixtures
Friday, June 21, 7.30pm kick-off: UAE v Malaysia
At The Sevens, Dubai (admission is free).
Saturday: Hong Kong v South Korea

At Everton Appearances: 77; Goals: 17

At Manchester United Appearances: 559; Goals: 253

Fourth-round clashes for British players

- Andy Murray (1) v Benoit Paire, Centre Court (not before 4pm)

- Johanna Konta (6) v Caroline Garcia (21), Court 1 (4pm)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

The biog

Name: Timothy Husband

Nationality: New Zealand

Education: Degree in zoology at The University of Sydney

Favourite book: Lemurs of Madagascar by Russell A Mittermeier

Favourite music: Billy Joel

Weekends and holidays: Talking about animals or visiting his farm in Australia

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Switching sides

Mahika Gaur is the latest Dubai-raised athlete to attain top honours with another country.

Velimir Stjepanovic (Serbia, swimming)
Born in Abu Dhabi and raised in Dubai, he finished sixth in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 200m butterfly final.

Jonny Macdonald (Scotland, rugby union)
Brought up in Abu Dhabi and represented the region in international rugby. When the Arabian Gulf team was broken up into its constituent nations, he opted to play for Scotland instead, and went to the Hong Kong Sevens.

Sophie Shams (England, rugby union)
The daughter of an English mother and Emirati father, Shams excelled at rugby in Dubai, then after attending university in the UK played for England at sevens.

Tips for newlyweds to better manage finances

All couples are unique and have to create a financial blueprint that is most suitable for their relationship, says Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer at Century Financial. He offers his top five tips for couples to better manage their finances.

Discuss your assets and debts: When married, it’s important to understand each other’s personal financial situation. It’s necessary to know upfront what each party brings to the table, as debts and assets affect spending habits and joint loan qualifications. Discussing all aspects of their finances as a couple prevents anyone from being blindsided later.

Decide on the financial/saving goals: Spouses should independently list their top goals and share their lists with one another to shape a joint plan. Writing down clear goals will help them determine how much to save each month, how much to put aside for short-term goals, and how they will reach their long-term financial goals.

Set a budget: A budget can keep the couple be mindful of their income and expenses. With a monthly budget, couples will know exactly how much they can spend in a category each month, how much they have to work with and what spending areas need to be evaluated.

Decide who manages what: When it comes to handling finances, it’s a good idea to decide who manages what. For example, one person might take on the day-to-day bills, while the other tackles long-term investments and retirement plans.

Money date nights: Talking about money should be a healthy, ongoing conversation and couples should not wait for something to go wrong. They should set time aside every month to talk about future financial decisions and see the progress they’ve made together towards accomplishing their goals.

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Brief scores:

QPR 0

Watford 1

Capoue 45'+1

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A fraudulent investment operation where the scammer provides fake reports and generates returns for old investors through money paid by new investors, rather than through ligitimate business activities.

THE LOWDOWN

Romeo Akbar Walter

Rating: 2/5 stars
Produced by: Dharma Productions, Azure Entertainment
Directed by: Robby Grewal
Cast: John Abraham, Mouni Roy, Jackie Shroff and Sikandar Kher 

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

Suggested picnic spots

Abu Dhabi
Umm Al Emarat Park
Yas Gateway Park
Delma Park
Al Bateen beach
Saadiyaat beach
The Corniche
Zayed Sports City
 
Dubai
Kite Beach
Zabeel Park
Al Nahda Pond Park
Mushrif Park
Safa Park
Al Mamzar Beach Park
Al Qudrah Lakes 

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).