planetgroups Seed Funding

Help the planet survive - from 9 to 5

Project Brief

  • Project Target:

    Establish planetgroups in up to 1,000 companies with a total turnover of more than 100 billion EUR in five years, thus visibly driving the momentum of the climate transformation within and far beyond these companies.

  • Funding Target 307.000 €
  • Duration 5 years
  • Minimum Invest 50 €
  • Interest p.a. 6,00 %
  • Advance Interest p.a 2,00 %
  • Ends on Dec. 10th 2021

What we do:

We accelerate and deepen the transformation to a truly sustainable and “planet positive” economy. To achieve this, we establish a new employee based structure in companies which we call planetgroups. Driven by the desire of more and more people to be “part of the solution” also in their jobs, planetgroups act as a constant change engine in their organisations.

Their aim is to make their companies more successful, the employees more purpose driven, and the planet regenerated.

planetgroups image film

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Notice pursuant to Section 12 (2) of the German Investment Schemes Act: The acquisition of this investment involves considerable risks and may lead to the complete loss of the invested assets.

Crowd Funding Details

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The planetgroups support UG (Limited) is a management consultancy in Steward Ownership. We operate in a profit-oriented manner like a normal management consultancy, but are only allowed to use our earnings for pursuing the company’s purpose („profit for purpose“). With the Purpose Foundation as a veto shareholder we work with an experienced partner who not only makes sure that we only do good, but who also has an eye on us using our resources in a far sighted and responsible manner. Our company was founded in autumn 2020 by Tim Riedel and currently employs 8 people, most of them currently on a volunteer basis.

The current Seed Funding is administered through the experienced Crowd Funding Platform based in Frankfurt / Main, Germany. They manage the registration process, provide all the relevant documents and make sure that all legal, investor protection, and fiscal reguations are fully adhered to.

We support planetgroups with a range of different services and activities:

  • Individual consulting and support;
  • Workshops and interactive formats;
  • Regular and topic-related meet-ups between planetgroups;
  • Supporting “planet projects” in companies using design thinking templates and processes;
  • An IT-based collaboration platform (the “PlaNet”) to enable cross-planetgroup learning, networking, mutual inspiration and enrichment of projects;
  • Strengthening the transformative momentum and the brand development through marketing, social media work;
  • organization of an annual conference.

In exchange for delivering these services we invoice the companies in which planetgroups are operating. Depending on their size, they pay between EUR 1,100 and EUR 1,750 per month in a subscription model, and they receive a budget of 13 consulting days per year in return, plus access to the collaboration platform and to the regular MeetUps with other planetgroups, eligibility to use all of our  e-mail and process templates, admission to workshops and our Climate Solution Game, marketing and social media support as well as participation in the annual planetgroups conference.

In addition, we generate income from licences we sell separately for using the “PlaNet” cooperation platform stand-alone (10€ per user per month). On top, there is a revenue potential from exhibitors at the annual planetgroups conference which is not included yet in the budget.

Our core business is to initiate and support “planetgroups” in companies. For this, we deliver a certain package of services and receive a monthly fee in return.

Since our launch at the end of February 2021, we have been able to successfully acquire the first 5 planetgroups (including renowned brands like Deloitte (310,000 employees worldwide), IngramMicro (22,000 employees), and Cornelsen (1,600 employees), thus showing our „proof of concept“. Now we are looking for investors in order to scale our operations who, like us, believe that meaningful jobs in successful companies on a healthy planet are not a contradiction. On the contrary: Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important success factor for companies. Employees more and more value – and demand – that their jobs make a meaningful contribution to a better world. And the threats to our natural resources by climate change are growing at an alarming rate.  At planetgroups, we are connecting these three drivers for change.

Our newsletter already has over 500 subscribers, and our LinkedIn posts regularly reach 1,000-10,000 views. For our “Planet Day“ ( on 10 September we were able to put together a very attractive programme with John Elkington, Patrick Graichen, Katharina Beck, Annike Joeres, Ragnhild Nilsen, Mariana Bozesan, and numerous other well-known speakers. Our image film has received an extremely positive response throughout. With our self-developed “Climate Solution Game”, we possess a unique selling point with which we can inspire companies for more sustainability in a playful and solution-oriented way. Last but not least, the first version of our collaboration platform, the “PlaNet”, is now fully programmed and filled with reference projects, and is being used by the first planetgroups for their own work on “planet projects”.

Companies start planetgroups with us because they:

  • want to comply with a request of their employees;
  • want to increase employee retention and the attractiveness of their employer brand;
  • have recognised the importance of sustainability for their business case and want to embed the transformation throughout the company;
  • understand that upcoming Carbon pricing and further regulations, like the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities or the Sustainability Reporting Obligations will require them to act;
  • want to drive innovation, new business models and customer centricity through sustainability;
  • use the planetgroups approach in order to foster cross-departmental cooperation and an agile corporate culture;
  • gain opportunities to learn from and benchmark their activities on climate and the environment with other companies through us;
  • know that their sustainability department, if there is, has limited resources and want to gain traction and outreach in the business for it with a planetgroups;
  • understand that a collaboration with planetgroups establishes new collective expertise permanently within in the company, and that it generates commitment from within;
  • gain an external partner with our consultancy who has the tools and experience to set up the entire process, provides an attractive communicative framing, offers a specifically designed collaboration platform, and facilitates the comprehensive process;
  • see that working with any other consultancies or, alternatively, recruiting new internal employees to the sustainability department would be significantly more expensive.

We win new planetgroups mainly through marketing, PR, and social media work plus presentations in our own and third party events, all of this along four possible channels, thus making our sales and marketing efforts highly versatile and robust:

  • Employees want to become part of the solution and therefore approach us on how to start a planetgroup in their company.
  • Companies which have already established so called “Employee Green Groups” like to access and network with other planetgroups through us, and they appreciate more counseling for their activities, new workshop formats, additional energy, and further communicative support through the support of our consultancy.
  • Sustainability departments, which are usually poorly staffed often sometimes sidelined from the business, will gain considerable resources, traction and outreach through a planetgroup.
  • Company top management, corporate strategy, communication, and HR departments want to take their employees along, and harness everybody`s commitment and ideas on their journey to the climate transformation in their company, while at the same time driving commitment, ownership, pro-activeness, agility, cross-departmental cooperation, and innovativeness through the planetgrou approach.

As the planetgroups team consists of employees from Germany, the UK, France and Switzerland, our sales & marketing efforts comprise at least these four countries. Further geographical areas (Italy, Spain, USA, Latin America, India, East Asia, Eastern Europe) will follow successively.

The planetgroups support UG supports the foundation and work of planetgroups in companies. Planetgroups drive the climate transformation internally in companies by improving their company’s impact on the environment and climate change in so-called “planet projects” on four dimensions:

  • Direct, tangible, and company-related, with regard to their own emissions and resource use;
  • Indirect and tangible, related to the machines used, the logistics, the materials and components purchased, the use and after-use of products and services sold, travel, canteen and employee commute;
  • Indirect and non-tangible, related to the overall impact of the company on the climate system, e.g. through advertising, influence on politics and trade associations, finance, customer outreach, community involvement, etc..
  • Regenerative, related to efforts to remove, compensate or regenerate emissions and environmental damage through renaturation and so-called “nature-based solutions”, or by technological means.

Planetgroups thus have a climate-transforming effect on several levels:

  • They increase the level of knowledge and commitment of employees with regard to the environment and climate protection in their companies.
  • They provide a platform to translate this commitment into tangible and measurable corporate climate action.
  • In doing so, they create references and experiences among the employees that they can become effective and create an impact against the climate crisis, and that doing so in fact feels good.
  • They thus stimulate imitation effects and a growing momentum for climate protection both among other companies and in the personal networks of employees.
  • As a positive side effect, they contribute to a stronger initiative and sense of responsibility (“empowerment”) among employees to be able to influence their company’s strategy with regard to environmental protection and climate change.

The business plan is based on the following assumptions:

  • Average salary (full costs): 67,500 EUR per year
  • Each consultant supervises an average of 8 planetgroups with 13 consulting days per year, i.e. has about 50% billable time.
  • Average fee per planetgroup: 17,000 EUR per year.
  • Growth rate: one additional planetgroup per month at the beginning, slowly increasing in absolute numbers thereafter, slowly decreasing in percentage.

The money raised through the seed funding will be used to hire four employees in the first year in order to drive sales and marketing, while further developing the structures and processes as well as our collaboration platform, the „PlaNet“.

Under these assumptions, planetgroups support UG closes the first year with revenues from operating activities of 245,633 EUR and an operating deficit of 183,003 EUR, which is covered from the seed funding.

In the second year our consultancy initially adds plus 2-3 planetgroups monthly, later plus 4-5 planetgroups per month. If you take into account that at this point, one year has already been invested intensively in sales and marketing activities in several countries at the same time, and that parallely our concept and our collaboration platform, the „PlaNet“, is becoming more and more attractive for newcomers just through the exchange with the existing planetgroups, we still consider this growth rate to be a conservative assumption. In addition, the support effort for the existing planetgroups will be lower in the second year, while at the same time more time will be invested in the external presentation and marketing of the existing activities – which in turn will positively stimulate the growth rate.

In the second year, accordingly, revenues from operating activities of around 760,000 EUR are expected. Since additional investments will be made in sales and marketing at the same time, these funds will be offset by operating costs of just under EUR 790,000. This operating deficit be covered by money still available from the initial crowd funding.

According to plan, the planetgroups support UG will be profitable from the third year in the sense that further growth, sales and marketing activities can be financed from operative cash flow. Assumed to be supporting 152 planetgroups then, net earnings will amount to 172,866 EUR after 3 years, so that half of the seed funding loans could be paid back already after three years. The remaining EUR 150,000 could then be paid back ahead of schedule after four years according to the business plan. The loan terms stipulating a 5 year duration are hence to be understood as conservative planning in order to be able to repay all loans for sure after 5 years at the latest, even should the growth or the organization stay behind projections.

The essential variable for risk reduction is the speed of the company’s growth. The operative work with and support of the planetgroups in companies is profitable for each planetgroup starting at day one, and even with only five planetgroups in total. However, in order to finance the costs of scaling the organization (Sales & Marketing, further developing the tools, templates and processes, building the „PlaNet“ Collaboration Platform), additional investment is needed. The less seed funding we generate with this Crowd Funding Campaign, the longer it will take to grow the number of planetgroups. At the same time, the longer it will take to recruit new planetgroups, the more we will stretch the growth process in order to reduce expenses. Accordingly, the number of staff as budgeted in this business case will only be built up in the outlined dimension if and as long as new planetgroups are acquired within the assumed time frame.

The second most important lever for risk reduction is the projected salary level, which has been budgeted at an average of 67,500 EUR annually per full-time employee (full cost). Since all planetgroups staff members are willing to accept a deferred growth path in their remuneration, and since many planetgroups tasks can also be delivered by employees with little professional experience, or from countries with lower salary levels, the actual salaries paid should only reach the targeted levels if and when the number of the signed planetgroups correspond to the budgeted figures.

Thirdly, the fees charged to the companies by our consultancy are significantly lower than the daily rates that would have to be paid for a comparable management consultancy on market level. If need be, there is therefore the possibility of closing any budget gaps at a later date by raising the fee level.

The planetgroups support UG, registered in Berlin in the commercial register under the file number HRB 227736 B, is 99% owned by the founder Tim Riedel. The remaining 1% belongs to the veto shareholder, the Purpose Foundation, Hamburg. The Purpose Foundation monitors the compliance with the “Purpose Principles” according to §2 of the statutes of the planetgroups support UG:

“The purpose of the company is to support initiatives and projects of environmental and climate protection, in particular the support of related employee initiatives in companies, but also of committed groups in schools, associations and similar communities.”

“Apart from the controlling shareholder, only selected employees or companies consisting only of employees can become and remain voting shareholders. In addition, profits of the company cannot be distributed for private benefit, but are either reinvested or used for public welfare purposes. Entrepreneurship and ownership are linked. Shares in the company may only be transferred at a maximum of the nominal value.  Profit-making is a means to realise the company’s purpose and not an end in itself. The company is committed to sustainable profitability and careful use of resources, consideration of the needs of all stakeholders in question – e.g. customers, suppliers, employees, the public and investors.” This includes a review of the market appropriateness of the salary structure.

All investors with a minimum investment of 200 EUR will receive a one-year membership on the PlaNet collaboration platform worth 99 EUR as a bonus. In addition, all investors who invest at least 1,000 EUR will receive a planetgroups hoodie of a sustainable fashion brand with the claim “I`m a planetgroupie” or “I help the planet survive – from nine to five“. All investors investing 5,000 EUR or more will on top receive a one-day, in-house training consisting of the “Climate Collage” and the “Climate Solution Game” for up to 20 participants for free.

Info - Webinars

Webinars: On 7th October from 18h-19h CET, we will jointly offer an information webinar together with our platform provider bettervest. Here we will answer any open questions about our investment under the following zoom link (no registration required):

In addition, we will offer a weekly 30-minute “Open Door” for potential investors every Monday at 10 a.m. (CET) on zoom (no registration required):

Last but not the least, we welcome any participants to the weekly Climate Collage, and our Climate Solution Game, every Tuesday from 10-12h and 13-15h (CET),  which is another good opportunity to get to know us and our work and here

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