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Retail activist investment platform taps into demand for ESG overhaul

Founder Antoine Argouges

Tulipshare is targeting the next generation of shareholders by tapping into their booming interest in retail investment and demand for a corporate ESG overhaul.

After launching in July of last year, the London-based startup has raised $10.8m in seed funding from investors including Eurazeo, Speedinvest and Frst, and received backing from the co-founders of friend locator app Zenly and games studio Voodoo.

It plans to use the new funds to complete its broker-dealer license process in the UK, hire 20 staff in roles in engineering, marketing and compliance, and expand geographically.

Tulipshare seeks to enable individuals to “vote with their money” for change from the inside at large corporations like Amazon, Coca-Cola and JP Morgan – an activity normally reserved for hedge funds and other institutional investors – by investing as little as £1.

Currently, investors can buy shares in these three companies trading on the US stock exchange, chosen for their global influence and therefore the anticipated appetite for the platform’s ESG campaigns for each.

It’s been regulated by the FCA since April and has recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US – the main area of focus for the company.

“The UK is much more restrictive regarding minority interest and the ability to submit shareholder resolutions on a country-wide level, so we chose to focus on these three well-known companies because their US trading means there is a greater chance of success,” founder Antoine Argouges told City A.M. newspaper recently.

“When people realise that buying Coca-Cola shares means buying an opportunity to ban plastic in our oceans, word will spread.”

Founder Antoine Argouges

“We’ll then use that success in our first campaigns to create a cascade of success.”

When an investor uses Tulipshare to invest in one of the three companies, they forfeit their shareholder rights so that the platform can aggregate them.

Once Tulipshare has accumulated the critical mass of $25,000 equity needed in the US companies, it then tables a voting resolution on behalf of all the individual investors.

Ethical campaigns

Tulipshare launched with three ethical campaigns: Fair and safe working conditions for Amazon warehouse workers; all plastic bottles produced by drinks giant Coca-Cola to be made from 100 per cent recycled materials; and right-to-repair at Apple so that people can repair their devices without jeopardising their customer guarantee.

A new campaign, calling for JPMorgan to stop investments in fossil fuel, has been added to the mix after Apple recently bowed to pressure (not just from Tulipshare) and began allowing people to buy parts to repair their iPhone 12s and 13s themselves.

What are your views on the integrity of ESG impact investing? Get in touch.

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