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Behind Goldmarie Finanzen: Dr. Jennifer Rasch and Dr. Caroline Loebhard

Consistently Sustainable Investment

In this installment of our series on FinTech in Berlin, we interview Jennifer Rasch of Goldmarie Finanzen.

If you want to invest in shares but the stock market or sundry ETF offerings are just not sustainable enough for you, then Goldmarie Finanzen may be just what you seek. CEO and top trader Jennifer Rasch is very sensitive to greenwashing. She takes ESG (environmental, social and governance) seriously. If a company makes its profits from, for example, pesticides, furs, tobacco or e-cigarettes, cosmetic products tested on animals, or from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for oil or gas, then she won’t buy shares. Other areas of concern are civilian firearms and military sales, coal-fuelled as well as nuclear power generation, pornography and gambling, any of which may make up at most 5% of a company’s profit before that company gets excluded. 

Instead, Jennifer wants to create a positive impact in the world through carefully invested funds. Topics of interest include: 

  • Energy and climate change
  • Protection of ecosystems
  • Health
  • Responsible finance
  • Healthy food and nutrition
  • Infrastructure

In the field of water and sanitation, the aim is to ensure a global supply of clean drinking water and to use this water sustainably. Other aims include expanding public transport and affordable housing. In brief, any venture is good that seeks to reduce emissions or enable life with the consequences of climate change.

The European Union has developed various regulations that seek to define sustainable finance. The goal is to:

  • avoid adverse effects on people and the environment
  • create transparency and consistency in customer information
  • label financial products that have a positive impact

Goldmarie Finanzen ensures that the turnover of a sustainable division of a company that it invests in accounts for at least 10% of the total, meaning that the company has at least one environmental or social goal. In addition, at least 31% of the Goldmarie Finanzen investments are designated as sustainable as defined by the EU taxonomy.

Dr. Jennifer Rasch, co-founder and CEO of Goldmarie Finanzen
Not too hasty – Dr. Jennifer Rasch, co-founder and CEO of Goldmarie Finanzen – © Goldmarie Finanzen

1. For those who don’t know your company – what is it about?

Goldmarie Finanzen enables private investors to build portfolios of sustainable individual stocks. Our platform utilizes a novel algorithm, developed in-house by mathematicians, to optimize these portfolios based on both financial metrics and the ecological and social impact of the companies. This approach offers transparency and control to investors, who retain voting rights on individual shares. Our collaboration with the renowned rating agency imug ensures the consistent sustainability of selected companies.

2. Why did you decide to found your company in Berlin?

Caroline [Dr. Caroline Loebhard, co-founder and CEO/CTO] and I studied in Berlin and met in a research group at the Humboldt University. So when we decided to found our company there was never a question where to locate it. Berlin's vibrant startup scene, favorable startup conditions, and international appeal make it a really great location for a startup.

3. You and your co-founder are both scientists. How is your opinion on transfer possibilities from the university into the business? Are there some support tools or programs?

Yes, we were funded by the EXIST program for founders which helped us tremendously to work on our startup in the first years. Berlin Partner assisted us in finding follow-up financing. Our scientific background helped us get awarded as Digital Innovation Startup by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany and to receive the Women TechEU grant. Currently, we are funded by IBB Pro Fit.

4. What was or is one of the most helpful networks that supported your first steps?

There were a lot of crucial networks for us, most helpful were the women’s cooperative Weiberwirtschaft in Berlin, the support from Humboldt Innovation, and KIEZ – just to name a few.

5. What was your biggest challenge starting and growing your business in Berlin?

The bureaucratic hoops and hurdles in startup life are sometimes exhausting and time-draining. Navigating through the unexpected challenges of lost mail, damaged packages, and unresolved issues, where accountability was elusive, was definitely a challenge.

7. What were your biggest stumbling blocks so far?

Scientific evidence confirms that female entrepreneurs often face challenges, including being taken less seriously, receiving more questions about risks than opportunities, and being associated less with ambitious local projects. The male-dominated finance and startup world further compounds these challenges. Overcoming stereotypes, being underestimated due to age, and tackling gender-related biases have been ongoing hurdles. Despite these challenges, we remain committed to setting an example, empowering other women in entrepreneurship, and challenging doubts.

8. Based on your experience, what emerging trends do you see shaping the FinTech industry in the next few years?

In the coming years, we anticipate increased emphasis on sustainability in FinTech. The demand for transparent and socially responsible investments is likely to grow. Technological advancements, particularly in artificial intelligence and data analytics, will play a pivotal role in shaping personalized and innovative financial services. Additionally, regulatory developments and collaborative initiatives within the industry are expected to influence its trajectory significantly.

Thank you, Jennifer!

Jennifer and her co-founder Caroline are scientists with an emphasis on mathematics and computer science. Accordingly, their stock selection strategy is determined by a mathematical model tested against historical data. The algorithm developed by Goldmarie Finanzen has been at work and continually optimized since 2020. Every share in a Goldmarie Finanzen portfolio satisfies stricter sustainability criteria than ostensibly green exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

By recognising that the sustainability megatrend applies to the finance sector as much as to any other, the two co-founders have pioneered sustainable FinTech by filling a gap in the market. 

Be sure to read the other parts of our FinTech series:

  1. Berlin: The FinTech Capital
  2. Banking on Success in Berlin
  3. Berlin’s Global FinTech
  4. FinTech as a Transfer Tool

Header image:  © Goldmarie Finanzen

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