Swiss Fin-Tech Enterprise Yova lowers the threshold for small investors to engage in impact investing
Vienna, February 22, 2019 - You don’t have to be big to become an impact investor – this is the motto of Yova, a Zurich-based fin-tech start-up that was founded in 2017 and currently has about a dozen employees. But are they not too small to compete with the big players? That may be true for now, but the company has big plans for the future. It seeks to revolutionize the world of impact investing by making this investment form accessible to all! The team around CEO Dr. Tillmann Lang is committed to sustainable development and a financial system that puts people and their priorities in the centre.
Their vision is a world where sustainability becomes a mainstream movement. To this purpose, Yova’s founders have devised a radically new approach to impact investing that significantly lowers the threshold for small capital owners and promises to combine sustainability with attractive financial returns.
How does this work? The Yova online platform is centred around a unique algorithm which the founders developed in collaboration with the ETH Zurich. This algorithm combines the individual values and priorities of the customers with a professional investment strategy. The new aspect is the low threshold for investing – currently, the minimum investment is 5,000 Swiss Francs, but this already low sum will be reduced even further in the future. Yova’s aim is to offer an attractive investment option that combines positive ecological and social impact with solid financial returns to a broad range of customers.
One of the novel aspects of the Yova system is that the procedure of registering and putting together a portfolio is completely digitalized and transparent. With just a few clicks, customers can select from a pool of enterprises those that most closely match their personal values and priorities and thus assemble an investment portfolio that is completely tailored to their needs and preferences. Sustainable investing has never been simpler!
How to Invest with Yova
In a first step, the customers define their values and impact preferences on the Yova platform and thus determine the individual investment strategy that reflects their individual approach to sustainability. The decision where to invest their money – for instance in enterprises that focus on education, renewable energy or health or in those that put their main emphasis on social engagement, human rights or environmental protection – rests exclusively with the customers.
As a next step, the customers will get an investment proposal where they can see every single share or bond of the portfolio – together with a statement why this particular share or bond was selected as part of the proposal. All this is done on the basis of the criteria previously defined by the customer in question. This proposal can be altered and adapted until the customer has got exactly what he/she wants.
The customers can then decide how much they want to invest – at the moment starting with a minimum of 5,000 Swiss Francs, an amount that will be even lower in the future. The costs for the chosen portfolio is 1.5 percent per year - for Yova to handle the investment portfolio, take care of risk optimization and keep the customers updated about the development of their investments.
What makes Yova Unique?
Impact investing with Yova is easy and quick – thanks to the state-of-the-art web technology that enables the customers to do online investment in real time. Even the verification of the person and the signing of the contract are done per video call – which accounts for the short process. Yova CEO Tillmann Lang explained the intention behind his concept as follows: “Our goal is to use specially designed technological solutions to completely rethink the financial services in Switzerland and to make sustainable investing simple and attractive.” To this end, he and his colleagues have chosen to combine what they consider to be the best methods from both asset management and sustainability analysis.
The enterprise is registered as asset manager in Switzerland and is a partner of the innovation fund of the Alternative Bank Switzerland (ABS). Yova was among the finalists of the Digital Economy Awards 2018 in the category «The Next Global Hot Thing» and ranks among the top ten of the Swiss Fin Tech Awards.
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