Société Générale acquires RE crowdfunding specialist Lumo

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France’s third largest bank, Société Générale has acquired French renewable energy crowdfunding platform, Lumo for an undisclosed sum.

The bank said that, through this deal, it will be able to better serve its energy clients in developing their projects, as requested by the French government’s Renewable Energy Liberation Plan, which is part of the country’s Climate Plan.

“Societe Generale has been serving the needs of energy players and renewable energy developers for over 10 years. This is a strategic acquisition that allows us to offer our clients an effective solution while rounding out our advisory services and arrangement offering,” said Jérôme Deflesselles, head of renewable energies for Europe at Société Générale.

Lumo’s CEO and co-founder, Alexandre Raguet, who will keep his position, commented, “This acquisition is a clear recognition of the relevance of our model.”

Solar projects financed through crowdfunding are currently being granted an additional bonus of €3/MWh within the government’s tender scheme.

Although Lumo has mainly been active in the wind energy sector to date, Raguet told pv magazine in January that the company aims to double the size of its solar energy business in 2018.

According to Raguet, as of this January, Lumo had raised investment for 39 renewable energy projects via crowdfunding, with a combined annual generation capacity of 211 MWh. Under its financing model, Lumo grants interest rates of between 4% and 7%, depending on the risk related to the underlying project. The minimum required investment by potential investors is €25, while the project’s maximum allowed investment is €2.5 million.

Lumo is also one of the three platforms that have an agreement with the French Financial Market Authority and are registered at Orias, the body responsible for holding and maintaining the single register of financial intermediaries. The company is also a partner of the CrowdFundRES initiative, an EU project aimed at unleashing the potential of crowdfunding for financing renewables.