Capitalflow secures €10m to help Irish SMEs in green transition

24 Aug 2022

Image: © Arthon/

Research from the European Investment Bank suggests that Irish SMEs invest only 6pc of their budget in energy efficiency.

Specialist lender Capitalflow has secured €10m from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to help Irish small and medium-sized businesses to fund energy efficiency projects.

Capitalflow, which was acquired by Dutch unicorn neobank Bunq last year, is a Dublin-based business lender that works with Irish SMEs and property investors to provide flexible finance options to scaling companies through its digital platform.

The latest funding has been secured from SBCI’s new low-cost Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme, which aims to support businesses investing in the energy efficiency of their enterprise. This will directly contribute towards Ireland’s climate goal to halve its carbon emissions by 2030.

According to European Investment Bank figures, Irish SMEs invest only 6pc of their budget in energy efficiency – one of the lowest figures in Europe. Capitalflow blames this on a lack of competitive funding that has been a “major roadblock” to Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

Capitalflow CEO Ronan Horgan said that by making the move towards green finance and investing now, Irish businesses can “help the environment and reduce their costs in the medium to long term”.

The SBCI energy-focused loan scheme totals €150m in funds and aims to align itself with Ireland’s goal to become a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. Businesses in Ireland have until 31 December to apply.

“Capitalflow’s participation will assist SMEs and farmers in accessing low-cost flexible finance for investment in energy efficient equipment as they respond to the ongoing increase of energy costs,” said June Butler, CEO of SBCI.

“This scheme is our first dedicated climate action-related product and has been specifically designed to help Irish businesses to improve their sustainability, cut their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions by investing in energy saving measures.”

Capitalflow was acquired by British private equity firm Pollen Street Capital through private equity investment in May 2016. Bunq, which launched an Irish IBAN in May, then agreed to buy Capitalflow Group from Pollen Street for €141m in July 2021.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic