Tembici, a Brazilian micro-mobility technology startup, has secured a BRL 29 million ESG credit line to expand the supply of shared bikes in Latin America and structure the operation in Brasília city, where the startup will debut with 70 stations and 500 bikes. Tembici’s partnership with iFood, through the iFood Pedal project, will also benefit from the financing line.
The green financing line is structured by Santander Bank and ties the interest discount to the company’s improvement in pre-defined ESG indicators. “We issue a debt to invest in the expansion of our business and the interest rate is linked to the performance of ESG indicators,” explained Leandro Fariello, CFO of Tembici.
According to Fariello, there are several ways to access the financial market and the startup has chosen this financing model at a time when it is looking to bolster its ESG agenda.
“We are innovating by expanding startups’ access to the green structured debt market. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank and a shareholder of Tembici, expects the green bond market in emerging countries to handle more than $100 billion over the next three years,” he said.
In early 2021, Tembici announced it had reached revenues of BRL 100 million by 2020, with a balance of more than 30% in EBITDA and a 300% growth in gross margin. For 2021, the company forecasts a 60% increase, aiming at BRL 160 million in revenues.
Tembici is already responsible for more than 50 million bicycle trips per year in the main Brazilian cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Recife, and Porto Alegre, in addition to Santiago, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Three months ago, the startup announced a new feature in its app: users who ride the shared bikes receive some data about the amount of CO2 saved when they finish their trips. The information is stored in the user’s account. In 2020, Tembici claims to have saved more than 4,000 tons of CO2, which would require the planting of about 30,000 trees.