AMSTERDAM, AUGUST 17 2023
Sumthing, the platform where you can restore nature and follow the progress first hand, announced today the launch of a brand new platform following their successful closing of an investment round rooted in steward-ownership. The platform connects businesses and individuals to a curated selection of nature restoration projects across the globe, and visualises the impact of each donation using a variety of technologies.
Following the recent passing of the EU nature restoration law and the prior COP15 agreement committing $200 billion per year to restore 30% ecosystems by 2030, it’s clear that businesses can no longer stand by. But the current alternatives are often not transparent, obscuring the expected real-life results behind certificates, much debated credits or written reports. By making the results of every single donation visible, Sumthing is shaking up the industry.
Founded in 2022 by Gijs Schuringa, Guido de Rooij and Mike Odenhoven, Sumthing is a social enterprise offering a curated set of restoration projects lined up to the priorities set out by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The system allows users to make a variety of positive impacts from one place, ranging from ocean-bound plastic salvation, coral restoration to soil revitalisation and reforestation.
Each project uses the platform to provide near real-time feedback on the impact created, whether it’s a tree planted or kg of plastic salvaged. This way anyone can follow the impact their donation is making.
The tech-savvy trio was tired of watching nature go to waste and not seeing any tangible progress, and wanted to create a platform where businesses and individuals could come together to make a real, tangible impact. “We’re using technology to connect people to the impact they’re making. By making it more engaging, we can mobilise many small donations that add up to something bigger than we can ever imagine." said Guido de Rooij. "We’re setting a new standard for donations to nature, and aim to replace the digital certificates with the actual, tangible results."
Companies work with Sumthing to donate to nature restoration projects whilst involving their employees and customers. "We believe that companies have a responsibility to restore nature, creating benefits for biodiversity, climate and local communities" said Gijs Schuringa, responsible for Growth at Sumthing. "Our platform makes it easy for companies to do just that, while engaging their employees and customers in the process." Since its launch in 2022, notable companies have joined Sumthing’s movement such as Deloitte, EcoChain, O My Bag and HappySoaps.
The company raised half a million euros from investors who share Sumthing's mission to create a comeback for nature, by making donating to restoration transparent, accessible and meaningful. Sumthing is the first company in the NatureTech sector to successfully raise a financing round with the principles of steward ownership applied. Steward-ownership, well-known from impact-first companies like Patagonia, Triodos and Ecosia, ensures the business can prioritise making a positive impact over turning a profit.
Sumthing’s Steward Ownership model separates the company’s voting rights from the economic rights. The voting rights are in the hands of a separate entity governed by mission-aligned stewards, among which are Hans Geels, former marketing director at WWF and current CEO of Dille & Kamille, and Lisette Schuitemaker, chair of the supervisory board at PYMWYMIC and champion of steward-ownership in the Dutch Impact investment scene.
"We are thrilled to have closed this investment round with such a great group of investors and stewards who share our vision to give nature the comeback she deserves. The challenge to restore nature is global, and so are our ambitions. " - Mike Odenhoven, co-founder &CEO
The funds raised in this round will be used to accelerate restoration world-wide by expanding Sumthing's technology platform with more automated validations and building and ‘one-click restoration’ integrations with fintechs, commerce and travel platforms.