Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing has increased as investors have become more conscious of their investments’ impact on society and the environment. However, there are a few problems with the emphasis on ESG. Firstly, the term has become highly charged, refocusing the goal from “doing the right thing” to politicians “interfering” with business strategies. Additionally, the “S” and “G” are often underemphasized, minimizing attention to corporate transparency on employee diversity through a fair cross-sectional representation of society. The most prevalent concern is “greenwashing,” as it continues to pose a challenge to investing in environmentally related businesses. Greenwashing often misleads investors into investing in companies that are not sustainable by providing non-standardized information leading to a misalignment of values and capital. The misallocation of capital can negatively affect authentic companies in the impact space, which may find it challenging to attract the investments they need to grow and succeed. This can create a vicious cycle where investors invest in the wrong companies, and ESG businesses are deprived of funds.
JUSTLY Markets is an investment platform that aims to promote responsible impact investing by providing investors with opportunities that align with ESG&I (ESG & Impact) principles through quantifiable metrics. As a result, the company is closing the knowledge gap in the impact investing space.
JUSTLY: Investing Principal with Principle
Headquartered in New York, NY, JUSTLY’s primary objective is to encourage environmentally- and socially- responsible investing by providing access to high-quality ESG&I investment opportunities. In the words of Paul Karrlsson-Willis, CEO of JUSTLY Markets, “We are more than three letters; we’re really about solutions that can make an IMPACT today.”
JUSTLY has a range of companies on its platform – from energy and electrification to biopharma and health, to minority and disability-owned. Some are profitable, others revenue-producing, and there are also some early-stage companies looking to build prototypes. Two examples include Rangam and CeraPhi Energy. Rangam is a minority-owned, staffing agency offering recruitment services to blue-chip companies, and its mission is to educate, upskill, and place disabled employees across various reputed organizations. CeraPhi, which generates geothermal power from environmentally-friendly sources like abandoned oil and water wells, employs people who have lost their jobs in the traditional oil and gas industry. Both organizations are exemplary illustrations of companies that have positively impacted society, and JUSTLY has facilitated introductions to suitable investors to help them grow and scale.
How JUSTLY Has Made Impact Investment Easy
Impact investment is investing money in companies, organizations, and funds to generate positive social or environmental impact, in addition to financial returns. The aim of impact investing is to use private capital to address issues such as poverty, climate change, healthcare, education, and access to finance. Impact investing is the future, as about 88% of investors believe that companies that focus on ESG&I can provide better financial results in the long term1. However, the process of impact investment is complex and time-consuming. It involves the identification of opportunities, due diligence processing, monitoring of business progression, and ongoing impact metrics. Through its platform and partnerships, JUSTLY has systemized and standardized these processes, making impact investing easier and more accessible.
To help JUSTLY and its issuers assess the impact of companies on its platform, JUSTLY has partnered with Proof, a data intelligence company that offers digital tools and services to collect and analyze ESG&I data. As a third-party, independent rating system, JUSTLY uses Proof to evaluate companies based on their impact – incorporating factors such as strategy, operations, and performance. For example, Proof’s system can take into account items such as carbon emissions, waste management, labor practices, and board diversity. JUSTLY uses the Proof system to standardize its impact ratings and help investors make more informed investment decisions, and its beneficial for companies on the platform to reinforce their commitment to ESG&I principles.
Proof’s assessment is customized for JUSTLY, and the relevant questions are pulled from industry standards such as SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) and the United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). After determining questions that were relevant to its platform, JUSTLY thoroughly tested the assessment to ensure the process would be easy, reliable, and effective for its clients. In addition, JUSTLY is in the process of being certified as a B Corporation to ensure that it abides by the universal ESG&I principles. Certified B Corporations are leaders in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy.
In order to assure that impact investing is accessible to everyone, regardless of their investment criteria or level of expertise, JUSTLY offers a range of investments through Regulations A, CF, and D via equity, debt, hybrid, and callable securities. JUSTLY also provides details on the investments, like a company overview, pitch desk, details of products or services, deal terms, use of proceeds, the risk involved, and other essential documents, to ensure investors have access to all available information.
Every investor has their preference for investment types and sizes; while some may target specific industries, others may be interested in a particular social impact. For instance, an investor passionate about veterans will prefer to invest in a veteran-owned business that employs other veterans. In the same way, some investors are interested mostly in women-owned businesses or businesses run by the BIPOC or LBGTQ+ communities. JUSTLY strives to offer something for everyone.
How is JUSTLY Unique?
JUSTLY is a FINRA and SEC registered broker-dealer, so it must meet those high compliance and risk management standards. As a result, investors are protected from unethical practices and potential fraud. Moreover, JUSTLY charges no fees to its investors; only to companies raising money on its platform. In addition, JUSTLY has made investing accessible to all by keeping the minimum investment values as low as $100. The process for registration and investment is also straightforward and user-friendly.
On occasion, JUSTLY might help raise money for an organization that is not obviously in the impact space. To ensure that it maintains its commitment to make an impact, JUSTLY universally donates 10% of its profits to NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) or non-profits for the betterment of society. The companies receiving JUSTLY’s donations are selected on multiple criteria such as inclusion, sustainability, innovation, and potential, ensuring the investment reaches authentic, impact-driven companies.
For all the good things that JUSTLY strives to do, it must be emphasized that investing in companies at a nascent stage can be very risky. JUSTLY remains transparent with its investors and motivates them to take calculated risks. Relevant information is accessible to investors through the JUSTLY portal, which also helps investors keep track of their investments. Further, Paul states, “We always recommend that investors speak with their financial advisors before making investments and, when a company on the JUSTLY platform is under consideration, we can arrange calls with the company’s leadership to provide additional information to the investor.” JUSTLY’s transparency, expertise, assessments, and goal to support impact-oriented business make it unique and competitive.
What Does the Future Hold for JUSTLY?
Currently, JUSTLY is catering to the global market by providing its services to investors around the world through collaborations with financial service organizations in the US and other international regions. This synergy will help JUSTLY achieve its long-term goal of becoming a leading platform for premium, impact, private equity investments within the next few years.
- Edelman Trust Barometer: Institutional Investors, 12/2019
Pull Quote: “We are more than three letters; we’re really about solutions that can make an IMPACT today.”
Description of the Company: JUSTLY is a FINRA and SEC-registered broker-dealer, where anyone can invest in impact-driven businesses.
Company Name: JUSTLY Markets LLC
Office Location: 1441 Broadway, Suite 5116, New York, NY
Official Website of the Company: www.investjustly.com
Name of the Featured Leader: Paul Karrlsson-Willis
Designation of the Leader: CEO