French sustainable neobank Helios picks up €9 million for its fintech-for-good that’s protecting the planet

Having created one of the first digital eco-banks, Helios has recently raised €9 million in a seed round. The French fintech is combining banking with effective climate action, and pioneering a new approach to protecting the planet. 

The fresh funding was led by Racine with the participation of Raise Seed for Good funds; tiers one business angels such as Hugues Le Bret, the founder of Nickel, and the C-suite of several startups such as Malt, Swile, Meero, or Blissim (formerly Birchbox).

On a mission to limit global warming, Helios was co-created in 2020 by Maeva Courtois and Julia Ménayas as a new sustainable and ecological banking solution, allowing environmental investments. At Helios, not a single euro funds polluting industries, such as oil, or coal. On the contrary, the ethical player only supports environmentally-friendly investment projects from the very first euro. Unlike conventional banks, Helios ensures complete transparency regarding the destination of the financing.

Maeva Courtois, co-founder of Helios commented: “We are leading the ecological revolution in banking services. If 10 years ago neobanks invented a digital banking experience focused on mobile usage and instant notifications, with Helios we are changing the rules of banking towards more transparency and a real commitment to climate action. For €6 per month, our users can manage their accounts easily from their mobile or desktop and reach their dedicated financial advisor while having a positive impact on the preservation of the environment.”

Since its launch, one year ago, Helios has become the first player positioned in the eco-banking market with a community of 50k people and nearly €40 million of transactions on its accounts. Impact wise, about 20k tons of CO2 have been avoided and €1 million invested into the ecological transition – the scope for impact in this fresh approach to banking is impressive.

The funding boost brings the social-impact company one step closer to becoming the leading sustainable bank in Europe. To meet this objective, the company is planning to hire more than 20 talents this year, across marketing, mobile development, and data positions.

In addition to the existing products – current account, shared account and youth account – Helios is launching a new banking product: a sustainable savings account crowdsourced with its community of users. 100% transparent with full disclosure of realized investments, this savings account allows users to finance the ecological transition from the first euro deposited on their account.  Helios aims to reach 100k customers and €30 million invested by the end of 2023.

Angélique Elizé, Investment Director at RAISE Seed for Good said: “We are proud to renew our support to Helios in this new stage of growth. The team has done a remarkable job, led by Julia and Maeva, committed founders, who have shown us their strong ability to execute. Helios is a unique ecological banking model which is rethinking in depth its market through a transparent approach and responsible financing, thus playing a driving role in the Fintech sector. And it is in the service of this sustainable growth that we will support Helios in its new challenges.” 

Eric Gossart, Partner for Serena added: “Savings are a powerful leverage to initiate the transition towards sobriety, energy efficiency and renewable energies. Choosing a bank means making a societal choice. I’ve obviously been impressed by the work accomplished by Julia, Maeva and the whole team, but what I am most excited about, is that only the surface has been scratched and that Helios is laying the groundwork to make a lasting difference for finance.”