Here are answers to the most common questions we're asked.
Ekofolio is a mission-driven fintech startup, whose mission is to enable everyone around the world to invest in forests profitably. Our vision is a dynamic, transparent and liquid marketplace for forests globally, where large and small investors can participate on comparable terms. By unlocking capital and liquidity, and directing it to planting trees on a massive scale, we aim to reverse deforestation and increase the amount of forest cover globally.
We search the world for sustainable forest investment opportunities of the highest quality, then issue EKO tokens which are a debt claim on the value of these forest assets. The EKO is initially issued at €1 face value, but its value rises steadily over time at 3% growth per annum to reflect the growth in value of the forest assets. Token holders can choose either to hold onto their EKOs, or to trade them whenever they like - even if the forests themselves are not mature.
First and foremost, not only are your EKOs growing in value steadily at 3% per annum, you’ll also be investing in a sustainable asset class. You’ll be helping us on our journey to achieve our mission - to increase the amount of forest cover worldwide.
There are many advantages that are unique to forest investments: Stable, predictable appreciation of your capital - driven fundamentally by biological growth of forests and rising timber and land values over time. They also appreciate at a rate at least equal to general inflation, because they are real assets.
Moreover, they are one of the few investments that are explicitly climate positive. Tokenizing forests makes them tradeable before maturity at very low transaction cost, and accessible to a broad array of investors who were not able to participate before.
Globally, forest assets can yield as low as 1% in developed countries with high land costs, or as high as 10% p.a.(IRR) in developing countries that commonly involve more, and different kinds of risks. The EKO portfolio is blended across geographies to diversify risks and ensure more even operating cash flows, resulting in a stable, predictable growth rate of 3% over the long term.
Wherever or whoever you are, chances are that if you look around you right now - you will see something like a floorboard, table or some other piece of furniture that is made from wood. This wood was probably part of a forest sometime in the past, which was harvested, and turned into this beautiful product that you see. In addition, besides the trees that have been growing, chances are that the price of the land that the trees have been growing on has also been appreciating steadily over time. When you invest in forests, you benefit from both rising land prices and the sale of harvested timber.
To invest in forestry through our website, it's an easy and secure process. Click on the top right orange button "Invest" and follow the onscreen instructions.
Similar to common real estate transactions, Ekofolio will publicly publish all legal and financial documentation on the forests, and where possible, direct links to land registries in their respective countries. This ensures that current (or potential) token holders can always access information about the forests in the EKO portfolio in a transparent way. Future plans are underway to improve real time tracking and reporting through satellite imagery.
The forest assets in the EKO portfolio are owned by a separate, purpose-specific holding company, and all profit and loss is separate and ring-fenced from our own operations at Ekofolio. This ensures that whatever happens at Ekofolio is completely independent and separate from whatever happens to the forests.
Forests are unequivocally climate positive, because of the process of photosynthesis as part of their growth models. As added incentives, sustainable forests remove carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, retain ground water, protect biodiversity and protect a natural cooling effect. And that's not even counting the fact that they produce beautiful renewable material (wood). Clearly, more forests = healthier planet.
It sounds like a counter-intuitive idea, but to remove more carbon from the atmosphere in the long term - you actually need to harvest trees, but only in a sustainable manner as required by PEFC/FSC certifications. This means that we only harvest a minor portion of the forest every cycle, and strictly never "clear cut" the whole forest at one go.
Trees that are left standing don't go on growing indefinitely. In fact, their growth tends to slow down after a number of years, and eventually they fall over and die - releasing all the carbon back into the atmosphere when they rot. The way to prevent this from happening is to harvest them at maturity, ensuring that the carbon is "bound" in the products that they create, and not released back into the atmosphere. After that, we can commence the process of replanting, which can ensure that a new growth cycle occurs, and more carbon is sequestered from the environment as the replanted trees grow. At Ekofolio, we like to say that a forest is like a museum — the best way to conserve it is to use it.
If you didn’t receive the confirmation email in your email inbox, make sure to check your Spam folder and, if you’re using Gmail, please check the Social and Promotions folders.
After logging in, navigate to your Account Dashboard and click on "Details". Scroll down to the "Change Password" section, where you should enter your current password and the new one. Finally, click on "CHANGE PASSWORD" to confirm your password change.
To reset your password, please click login on the main page, then click on "Forgot your password?". Then enter your email address in the box to reset your password. You will receive a link via email to create a new password.
Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website, the look and feel of which are identical to the legitimate one and the only difference is the URL of the website. Phishing emails may contain links to websites that distribute malware. To protect yourself from phishing you should: always check you're accessing the correct web address (URL) and link: https://www.ekofolio.com and any email communication from us, comes from our domain firstname.lastname@example.org. Always make sure the URL bar has a lock symbol to the left of the domain, and that the SSL certificates are valid. Do not trust messages or links sent to you randomly via email, Slack, Reddit, Twitter, etc, especially from unknown sources.
While there are a number of reasons why the confirmation has not reached you (e.g. Spam folder), please do feel free to contact us using our contact form if you have any specific concerns or queries. We take your satisfaction very seriously, and would like to know if there's anything we can help you with.
Currently, our minimum investment amount is EUR200. Depending on market response, economies of scale and various other considerations, this may gradually come down over time, so that everyone in the world can take direct action in helping fight climate catastrophe by funding the planting of many more trees worldwide.
"Beta" is just a term we use to indicate that our technology is under test - and like Gmail - we intend to be in Beta for quite a while, as we are constantly rolling out new features. This doesn't mean that things are not "real" in any meaningful sense - quite on the contrary - it just means that we think our work is just beginning, and somewhat never done in making it better.