'Launching a start-up against all odds', Camille Socquet Clerc co-founder BLOOM
Camille Socquet-Clerc joins Purposely to share her journey from digital marketing executive to green investment entrepreneur.
Camille, along with Bertrand Caron, are the founders of BLOOM, an online platform helping Australian investors make a financial return and a positive difference to the environment. Camille and Bertrand are also husband and wife, recently returning home to France to tie the knot following the launch of the company.
Launched in 2022, BLOOM provides people access to a diverse range of climate solution investments. These include solar and wind farms, energy storage, plus previously difficult-to-access assets like unlisted alternatives, green bonds, clean energy loans and infrastructure projects. Their vision is to make climate investing easy and accessible to all Australians, so that they can own and benefit from the clean energy transition.
'We're dreaming about a world where a carbon free economy allows both people and the planet to thrive.'
Camille started work on BLOOM in her spare time in 2019, predominately a side hustle to start with, she describes the different stages of development. This included coming up with the idea, really falling in love with the problem and carrying out research. She diligently studied reports about climate finance, understanding the potential problems and solutions. They formed a community of would-be investors, people who pledged a total of $3 million purely based on the concept. Amazingly this all happened in less than six months and gave them the confidence to build the platform and take the first steps to applying for a license. Two years on BLOOM has three full time employees, one part time investment manager, an investment committee as well as advisors and mentors. They have close to 200 customers who have invested over $1.6 million AUD and they are now in the running for several industry awards. '
'I would read about how clean tech was performing and what companies were driving this new sector. I then started to formulate the solution, I interviewed people and did a lot of customer research.'
The launch of BLOOM hasn't been straight forward though, with volatile financial markets and the value of green investments hit by the effects of the pandemic and geopolitical events including the war in Ukraine. Despite the challenging financial situation BLOOM has performed better than their benchmark in the short term. Camille, however, is quick to point out that investing with them is a long-term proposition with investors balancing purpose, positive climate impact as well as making a return on their capital.
‘We state very clearly that our investment horizon is seven years because that's how long we believe it will take for the companies and sectors we invest in to deliver impact and positive change'
Incredibly, neither Camille or Bertrand had any prior experience working in investment or finance and they learnt on the job. They moved from France, adjusted to living in a foreign land and learnt a new language and culture. Camille is the CEO of start-up and Bertrand is the technology lead.
'I think Australia is a wonderful country, one of the wealthiest countries in the world and somewhere that can have a significant impact on positive climate action.'
Camille and Bertrand have been together for over a decade and Camille points to the benefits of launching a company with someone you love, including their ability to communicate effectively, a deep understanding of each other and real trust.
'Overall it is great to be in business together, however, it raises some questions around boundaries. How do we maintain a healthy relationship outside of work?! How do we make time for us as a couple?! Sometimes we worked too hard, and we didn't have enough boundaries when we started.'
Exciting times for these two green entrepreneurs!