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Sustainable investments with impact: A conversation with Nick van Heesewijk, CEO of Corekees


Bianca Iulia Simion

· 3 min read
Sustainable investments with impact: A conversation with Nick van Heesewijk, CEO of Corekees
Explore the sustainable investment landscape with Nick van Heesewijk, CEO of Corekees and the motivations driving Corekees.

Nick van Heesewijk is the founder of Corekees, a company at the intersection of sustainability and investing. Before founding Corekees, Nick leveraged his expertise in sustainability and digital consulting, notably at Quadriz BV, where he spearheaded corporate CO2-offset programs with a quadruple climate impact. With a background in marketing, management, and information systems, Nick brings a diverse skill set to their mission of giving sustainability an economic value through sustainable investment.

Corekees is dedicated to giving sustainability an economic value through its state-of-the-art sustainable investment platform, which allows investors throughout Europe to participate in green projects while profiting from the harvest proceeds.

1. What ‘aha’ moment led to the founding of the Corekees?

In 2016, I visited my uncle's 'tree project' in Paraguay. During the visit, I encountered the Pongamia tree for the first time. This tree absorbs a significant amount of CO2 and produces nuts. These nuts can be converted into biofuel.⁠

This was an eye-opener for me: why didn’t more people not know about the existence of these trees? This seemed to me like the perfect way to put all of that investment money in the world to work for actual impact. I found (and still find) this to be the ideal combination: a profitable investment that creates a sustainable impact.⁠

2. What was your drive back then, and what change did you aim to make in the sustainable investment landscape?

At Corekees, we believe that money is the most powerful tool to make a positive impact on global challenges, such as climate change, social inequality, and the loss of biodiversity. However, most capital is invested in the wrong way. Therefore we aim to make an impact investing in the new standard; investing with a verified positive impact on society, the environment, and the climate.

3. How does Corekees' investment platform contribute to sustainability, and what specific market gap does it address?

Only 0.5% of all European investments are impact investments which means that 99.5% of all investments are not sustainable (enough). On the other hand, there is a rising demand for investments with a positive impact, especially among Millennials. Which does not correspond with the current market size.

Corekees facilitates profitable investment projects with a net positive impact. For example, we reforest the Amazon, plant bamboo fields in Portugal, and cultivate organic ginger and turmeric with coffee farmers in Nicaragua. Our projects all have three aspects in common: they are financially profitable, have a measurable and validated impact, and the risks are minimized.

4. How do you scale your business model while ensuring financial success for both investors and environmental initiatives?

We have become experts in finding, structuring, and managing high-quality projects. With extensive due diligence and a critical eye, we minimize the risks for our investors and ourselves. Our team is really on top of everything, together with our local partners and the local stakeholders. This allows us to communicate transparently and in detail with our investors.

This is the foundation of our current and future investment projects: scalable, tangible, transparent, and financially attractive.

5. How does Corekees guide and empower investors to make informed decisions about their sustainable investments?

Our investments are at the project level, ensuring a high level of tangibility and involvement. With an accessible entry rate, a transparent approach, and a clear dashboard, our investors have all the tools to put their capital to work in a positive manner. We also keep our investors informed about new opportunities and market developments.

6. What are potential exit scenarios for investors supporting Corekees?

With the raised capital, we can expand our investor base, scout for new investment projects, develop the Corekees investor platform, and prepare for a Series-A funding round in 2026.

The return on investment comes from the increase in value of the shares when Corekees becomes more valuable. The shares can be sold over time through SeedBlink; they offer a marketplace where you can offer your shares for sale to other investors.

7. How do you envision Corekees' future growth?

We want to become Europe’s main platform for sustainable investing. With the funds we raise through this crowdfunding, we are going to scale our current projects and scout new ones. In addition, we aim to serve our investors even better and attract new investors, including companies.

8. Do you have a mentor or figure within the sustainability or investment industries whom you admire and draw inspiration from?

There are only a handful of companies that monetize impact into an economic model like Corekees does. Companies like Carbon Equity or influential people like Paul Polman (former Unilever CEO) spring to mind. In addition, we see corporations being forced into making sustainability a main driver in their strategic choices. This movement makes us hopeful for our future and the potential for initiatives like Corekees.

9. Why should investors consider being part of Corekees' journey?

As an investor, you become an official shareholder of Corekees. This means you become part of our growth potential. Since the previous investment round in 2021, we have grown each year by at least 100%.

In May 2021, our company's valuation was 1 million euros, and following this crowdfunding campaign, our company's valuation has been determined to be 5 million euros.

Moreover, you contribute to a greater positive impact. With the new capital, we can ensure the high quality of current projects and scout for new ones.

And last but not least, you facilitate a transparent and sustainable investment opportunity. With the raised growth capital, we can optimize and expand our Corekees platform.

Explore the opportunity on SeedBlink.

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