Our decision to launch CO2 Bambu as a “life project” three years ago has reached a key milestone. As many of our blog readers and friends know, the company has had several “near death” experiences on the path from personal eco project to profitable company. Yet we persevered due to our passion and core belief that our commitment to environmental and social impact was worth the hard work and the healthy dose of personal risk.
By mid 2010 we determined that we were at a crossroad and that it was time for us to seek external funding to exit our start up mode and enter a growth phase for CO2 Bambu, making it possible for us to expand on our accomplishments to date in Nicaragua and to replicate our Nicaragua experience in other markets in Latin America.
But those who have pursued investor funding before know that this is easier said than done. When I sought to drag Peta into discussions about business plans, gross margins and the mechanics of future due diligence, she would would insist “be clear about what you want, and it will come”. I occasionally jested “what I want is a knight in shining armor, a Prince on a white horse who shares our vision and will join our environmental crusade.”
Enter His Serene Highness Prince Maximillian von und zu Liechtenstein, the current heir of a Princely Family which dates its origins 800 years back and which, recently, 80 years go, started what is now the largest European private asset management bank and more recently, LGT Venture Philanthropy, the LGT Group’s impact investment fund.
Along with LGT VP’s investment, a side investment by a French impact group called Groupe SOS was orchestrated. Groupe SOS, a collection of dozens of associations and for profit businesses, includes a high impact investment fund, “Comptoir De l’Innovation”, which invested in CO2 Bambu. We look forward to synergies with companies that comprise this group.
We write this entry on a bumpy bus ride from Panama City to Pedasi, which we understand to be a small laid back town near beach communities on the Pacific Coast, where we have been invited to meet HSH Prince Max on vacation at their winter estate in Panama, as Princess Angela is Panamanian.
Certainly an interesting start to the new year.