Tom Crook, investment manager for the Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund (SW), describes how Exeter based Co Cars have harnessed the power of social impact investment to achieve their goals and how Resonance has provided the solutions.
Co Cars are an eco-friendly vehicle sharing co-operative with the aim of transforming travel across Exeter and the wider south west through on-demand shared mobility. They want to create greener, calmer and more connected places for people to thrive and have demonstrated some impressive results: Co Cars have over 1,200 active members who have reported a 30% reduction in their car use, a 15% reduction in travel costs and a 20% increase in walking and cycling. In the last five years Co Cars have removed over 150 private cars from the road and saved 149 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Building from this strong base, Co Cars are aiming to grow their fleet of electric cars and bikes across the region. Using enhanced IT solutions they want to improve their customers’ experience, with the aim of increasing membership to over 5,000 regular users, taking a further 150 private cars of the road. Working with our Community Asset team’s investment manager Ben Wrigley, Co Cars developed a strategy to meet both their investment needs and to drive community engagement. They needed to raise £600,000 and decided a blend of community shares and unsecured debt would provide an effective solution to meet their cashflow needs, whilst at the same time involving the community as they tackle the environmental and congestion challenges facing Exeter and the surrounding area.
Resonance was able to provide a solution for all of Co Cars investment needs. As Ben worked on the community share offer through the Ethex platform, our Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund (SW) was able to offer a blended finance solution of a £100K loan and £50K of permanent capital, on a six year term, with a capital repayment holiday for the first two years.
Co Cars’ bounce-back from the COVID-19 pandemic was remarkable and showed demand for this type of service is likely to increase as working patterns change. Strong relationships with developers, local councillors and other networks in Exeter has meant Co Cars are well positioned to achieve their goals of making Exeter a greener, calmer and a more connected place to live.
The joined up financial solution from Resonance has meant that Co Cars have managed to secure £760k of investment, surpassing their initial target of £600k. They now have the financial resources they need to achieve their ambitious and exciting plans, and we look forward to seeing them deliver it.
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Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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