Social entrepreneurship creates a green industry, which helps to solve environmental problems through the development of innovative solutions. Some companies go green either to reduce environmental harm or to gain consumer support.

From energy sharing and ride-sharing to commodities trading, there's no limit to the kinds of industries green startups can tackle. This article looks at the top three green startups of 2020 as listed by Cision PR Newswire. These green startups have built their businesses on a platform for a greater, greener world.

Key Takeaways

  • Green startups seek to leverage technology to create environmentally-friendly products and to encourage social good.
  • Green startups face unique challenges in attracting the right investors and competing with traditional growth-only focused entrepreneurs.
  • Still, some have seen great success. Here we briefly profile three green startups.

Green Startups

Green startups face additional challenges brought on by their inherent triple bottom linesocial responsibility, economic value, and environmental impact. However, these ventures typically have founders with the passion and drive to rise above challenges, and they can grow fast while helping to protect the health of humanity and Earth.

Green startups are attracting venture capitalists and are gaining new support from socially responsible investors, green investors, and popular crowdfunding platforms.

Socially responsible investing (SRI) involves investing in companies that pursue socially conscious business opportunities, including those in the green industry.

1. Fuergy

This company isn't a household name, but it hopes to be one day. Based in Slovakia, this private company was founded in February 2018 and touts itself as the Airbnb of clean and renewable energy. The company developed brAIn—a proprietary hardware device and artificial intelligence (AI) software. The company states that this product is meant to "optimize energy consumption and maximize (the) efficiency of renewable energy sources."

According to Fuergy's website, consumers who use brAIn can cut their energy costs. This is done through collaborative consumption or by sharing renewable energy between consumers and businesses. Fuergy's proprietary technology connects to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as smart appliances, to make the most effective use of energy consumption. For instance, a person with excess solar power can sell that energy to other consumers in their community. Businesses can also share their energy with other companies in the same way through Fuergy Business, which the company states can save businesses more than 50% on their energy costs.

The company generates revenue through the sale of Fuergy devices—Fuergy Business, Fuergy Home, and Fuergy Lite. All of these devices rely on existing energy grids. The company also collects fees through energy savings made from its New Energy Ecosystem.

2. Facedrive

Facedrive is a Canadian company based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, just north of Toronto. It operates as a ride-sharing and food delivery service just like Uber and Lyft. Founded in 2016, Facedrive promises to be a "people-and-planet first" company through its environmentally-friendly transportation system.

Drivers who sign up to work for the company can earn as much as 90% of their fares and all of the tips. Those who drive hybrid or electric cars also earn more. Money is deposited directly into drivers' bank accounts. The service is available in 10 Canadian cities, including Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington, Ottawa, and London.

The company's food delivery app is, according to the website, Canada's first green service of its kind. The company states that it has more than 3,500 delivery drivers registered in seven Canadian provinces. The company also provides other services including health tracking, which helps consumers track contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic through apps and wearable technology.

Facedrive has big plans, including an expansion into the U.S. market. The company's stock trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol FD.V. As of Dec. 16, 2020, the company had a market capitalization of $1.419 billion. The company's stock closed at CAD 15.82 per share on Dec. 15, 2020. Facedrive reported revenue of CAD 747,976 for the nine-period ending Sept. 30, 2020.

3. Power Ledger

Founded in 2016, Power Ledger is based in Perth, Australia. The technology company works in two different markets through its proprietary peer-to-peer (P2P) application. The first one is energy trading while the other is environmental commodities trading.

Power Ledger's energy trading platform helps consumers optimize the energy they use by allowing them to share any surplus with others without any subsidies. For instance, someone with solar panels can store and sell excess energy to their neighbor through the company's trading platform. Consumers can also take part in commodities trading, including carbon credits, using the company's software, which eliminates fraud and double counting risks.

The company has a series of strategic partnerships in Silicon Valley, Australia, and Japan and is also working on projects in New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Power Ledger also won a contract with Alperian, an Italian energy company,y in February 2020 to test blockchain energy trading.

The Bottom Line

Entrepreneurs will continue to enter the green industry because support from more conscious consumers and investors continues to grow. These companies choose to strive for a triple bottom line, aiming to generate revenue and profits for shareholders while also working to increase the social good and mitigate environmental problems. From large multinational projects to local grassroots startups, these companies are capitalizing on the green revolution.