Hey guys! Thanks for tuning in! A few months ago, we launched our startup Terra2 to enter the ground floors of fighting climate change. Since then, we have raised almost $75,000 to fund our lean 8-team operation. At Terra2, we believe people want to fight climate change—they just don’t have the opportunity to easily participate.

· The United Nations 2019 climate report states that the world only has until 2030 to prevent catastrophic consequences from climate change. It’s almost on the verge of becoming impossible.

· Technological improvements in the last few years have made solar cheaper than natural gas, coal, wind, etc. ( https://www.lazard.com/media/451086/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-version-130-vf.pdf)

· While investments into renewable energy are increasing, it’s not enough. We need to get more solar farms into the ground ASAP.

· Our goal is to open renewable energy to a new source of investment: you, the average investor! By accelerating the flow of capital into this space, we can build more solar farms faster and save the world before it’s too late.

Our solution is an online platform that lets everyday people quickly invest into solar farms, earn a return on investment (the profit from selling energy to power grids), and monitor carbon emissions reductions over time. We’re launching a beta platform later this year! Check out our website at www.terra2.com and if you like what you see, please join the waitlist. We want to share our site visits and form submissions with investors so we can show them that this is a project with real demand worth funding. We’d also love any feedback, either positive or negative, so we can make improvements to our ideas as quickly as possible.

Special thanks to the mods over at r/climateoffensive for their help on bringing awareness to our solution and the support!

Proof: https://www.terraii.com/team

Edit: Additional Proof https://twitter.com/Terra2Official/status/1216136476091723776

Edit1: Ouch, gg to our first reddit AMA. But is that all ya'll got? (all on the same team, btw...)- David

Edit2: Wow we were seriously confused where all these random downvotes to people's comments came from....

Edit3: Moved edit notes to bottom and updated broken link to Lazard report

Edit4: Adding a good list of reads/resources provided by /u/Steamy_Jimmy!

Edit5: A big thank you to everyone so far for participating with your questions! It's getting into the late hours, but we will still try and get to as many as we can. In the meanwhile, we'll start aggregating the answers to some of the more commonly voiced questions/concerns and leave them here below!

Edit6: Hey guys! Thanks so much for the questions and feedback. Unfortunately we're closing the AMA for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow to answer more comments and questions so please stay tuned!

Edit7: Last update! We are officially closing out this AMA - we'd like to give a sincere thank you to everyone who brought their questions and feedback to the table. Together, we generated some good discussion points and we'll definitely be referring back to the comments here to incorporate the feedback moving forward. However just because the AMA has ended, doesn't mean the conversation has to. We encourage you to reach out with any more questions, and we'd be happy to address them:

General Inquiries - [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Partnerships - [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Summary of the FAQs - https://www.terraii.com/faq
Stay up to date with our progress and news on our blog - https://medium.com/terra2

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Q: What do you provide that normal solar/energy ETFs dont?

A: The plan is to build out a tech platform with features that will keep users actively engaged with their energy investments. With regards to returns, at this time, we can't give a projection on those numbers at this time. What we can say is that we will definitely aim to compete with the returns that ETFs provide with the hopes that they'll be appealing enough to incentivize users to use our platform!

Q: Will you only operate in the U.S? Do you have plans for international projects?

A: We'd definitely love to invest overseas but we chose to start in the States for now which we believe is a great target considering it's the second largest producer of emissions after China! We are definitely looking to expand overseas as soon as we can.

Q: What do you mean we only have a decade left..?

A: No, the world is probably not coming to an end in 10 years. However, according to the 2019 Emissions Gap Report from the UN, we are running out of time to reduce emissions to a point that would limit the increasingly severe environmental impacts of the future.

Q: Why solar? What about other renewable sources?

A: The costs for solar development have declined due to improvements in solar technology, making it more attractive as an investment offering. From a logistical perspective, at our current early stage for a team of our size with minimal resources, it makes sense to us to focus our efforts rather than risk spreading ourselves thin across multiple types and and not properly executing on any of them.

Q: What can I do to help?

A: A good first step would always be to do your own due diligence/research and understand for yourself the current state of the many environmental facts, as well as arguments out there, from both sides.

That being said there are a multitude of ways to contribute to positive environmental change. Our platform that we're creating is just but one of them that we hope will drive positive impact and that we hope you will support.

With regards to us, you can start by visiting our website and checking out some of the information we have on there and showing your support for our solution by filling out the interest form!

Comments: 963 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

GoX141024 karma

Okay, so my understanding (which is likely wrong) is that this is basically a socially conscious crowd-sourced investment. Those exist in other verticals. Conceptually, it kinda works. But I can already invest in a solar ETF or an equity. And anyone can do that. And those are much lower risk than this pseudo-angel investment. So in order for it to work, there has to exist the possibility of a much higher return than those competing investment vehicles.

Can you model the returns for us, assuming a $1,000 investment?

Terra2Official151 karma

This is a good question and it shows that you know your stuff. That said, what we are providing, as you said, exists in other verticals but not in renewables.

Right now, I shouldn’t say any specific number until offering circulars are made available. That will have financial information that you need to model the asset before you make any investments. This document would be involved with the SEC qualification. But this will come later, and vary project by project. It’ll obviously have to be professionally audited and checked before we make a project’s financials public to you.

David

Terra2Official-1 karma

Because we are at a really early stage in this project, as well as for our own legal protection, it's hard to give a projection on those numbers at this time. What we can say for now is that we will definitely aim to compete with the returns that ETFs provide with the hopes that they'll be appealing enough to incentivize users to use our platform!

- Kenneth

MajorWhite249 karma

So you’re essentially just a middle man for investments? Raising awareness for your own for profit investing company?

Terra2Official4 karma

Pretty much! And the way we see it, this isn’t a bad thing!

If we had the money ourselves to fund the construction and maintenance of hundreds solar farms, that’s what we’d be doing because we believe solar energy to be one of the best ways to move forward into a renewable future. Other people share that belief, too, and we just want to provide a way to pool all the small amounts that people can afford/are willing to invest together to work towards a common goal.

And yes, we’re for-profit, but that’s because we think that being for-profit can attract a wider audience of investors and customers (not just philanthropists). It’s the unfortunate truth that money is the biggest motivator in our society right now, and we’re aiming to align financial incentives of big players with the interests of everyone on the earth.

pperca161 karma

What do you offer that a regular solar ETF wouldn't?

Terra2Official53 karma

Great question! A regular solar ETF let’s you invest in different solar companies. We let you directly invest into a solar project or solar farm itself. So, the asset you are investing into is fundamentally different.

Additionally, ETFs don’t let you pick. We give individual investment decisions to you so you can handpick which solar projects you want to invest into and build your own solar portfolio that way.

Lastly, we will be tracking your emissions reductions over time. You will be able to check it real-time on your phone, on the website, etc.

Hope that highlights the key differences! Please let us know if you have more questions!

David

pperca621 karma

Let me see if I got this right.

1) You are tech developers who do not really have financial investment background or deep knowledge of the solar energy space.

2) The people you expect to crown fund these farms likely do not have that knowledge either and I don't see anything in your proposal that will help a regular investor decide which projects to fund (that's why ETFs have professionals with decades in the industry to "handpick which solar projects" to invest). Solar investments are not Instagram posts for you to "like". It requires a minimum of understanding of the energy market, solar technology and investigation on the background of the company running the farm to be a realistic proposal. I don't see your proposal of "letting a layman pick a solar project to invest" as a benefit at all.

3) All you seem to offer is a vague promise of "my future emissions will be tracked by an app on my phone". I'm not really quite sure what you are planning to track here, how relevant it is or what that has to do with efficiency and financial health of the farm you intend to fund.

So, instead of investing in SEC regulated solar ETFs (some that have been producing some very healthy returns of 50+% YTY which are driving more investments and new projects), do you expect people to send investment money to your GoFund style platform with no return guarantees and some questionable tech features like a fuzzy carbon metric?

I sincerely hope that's not all you are proposing and that the friends and family members that provided with you with the angel funding do not need that money.

A real solar investment offering will require a lot more sophisticated energy planning tooling to assess investment and viability of those farms (location, sun coverage, local demand, local supply, grid capabilities, energy trading figures, historic energy bid analysis with predictions and trends). You don't seem to be even in the ballpark of that kind of plan.

I'd pass, sorry.

Terra2Official56 karma

Hi pperca,

So our CEO actually has worked on financial modeling for both gas pipelines and large solar projects so we do have some industry expertise on our team! Sorry for not clarifying that sooner.

Regarding your second point, we totally understand your concern and in general would want our investors and investors everywhere to be able to make good decisions with their investments. We also totally agree that the diversification offered by ETFs is very beneficial.

That said, there are a couple reasons we believe our company is a useful complement to what's out there on the market right now.

  1. I'm not sure which ETFs you are recommending specifically. However, the ETFs I've seen are mostly comprised of companies that are related to the solar space but aren't primarily involved in the business of financing solar farms. For example, Invesco Solar ETF is mostly comprised of solar techology companies (https://www.etf.com/TAN#overview). While these are definitely useful, they perform a very different role in the solar energy ecosystem than we're proposing. At the least, the money invested in these funds won't go in their entirety to financing solar farms.
  2. Ease of use: One of our goals is to make it extremely easy to invest in these types of products while also surfacing important details about the underlying assets in a clean and transparent way. While we may be less diversified than ETFs, we definitely aim to be more transparent and easy to use. If the average investor of a solar ETF like Invesco wanted more information on what they were invested in they would have to dig through the SEC filings of the individual companies comprising the ETF. One of our goals is to make understanding what your invested in as easy and transparent as possible.

Finally, we are by no means advising individuals to invest their life savings with us. Nowhere do we offer to make people a quick buck or guarantee the safety of their investment. Rather, we think that as a private market investment with an underlying revenue generating asset (where the revenue may be contracted or uncontracted depending on the investor's risk profile), users can diversify their portfolio by investing a small percentage with us. We also believe that there are few other investments you can make that would have as direct an impact on emissions reductions as us!

Finally, our offerings will be registered with the SEC and actually, the financial filings we need to do are one of our primary expected expenses!

Finally regarding your third point, realtime tracking of carbon emissions reduction and related realtime data is something that hasn't been done before or at least not made publicly available. It will require realtime tracking of the productivity of the underlying asset which is a difficult problem and also fantastic in terms of visibility to our end users. We agree that the specific carbon emissions reductions display doesn't have much to do with the financial health of our assets - this is a cool new feature we can offer that provides a transparency from a climate change impact perspective that people haven't seen before!

pperca222 karma

So our CEO actually has worked on financial modeling for both gas pipelines and large solar projects so we do have some industry expertise on our team!

I can see in your website he was an intern and then an analyst in the trading desk for Vega Energy for about a year. I'm afraid that's not a whole lot of experience with energy trading and solar production.

We also totally agree that the diversification offered by ETFs is very beneficial.

It's not just diversification but fund managers they have experience with the markets and a fiduciary responsibility with the investor's money. In your model both are missing.

ETFs I've seen are mostly comprised of companies that are related to the solar space but aren't primarily involved in the business of financing solar farms

Like I said in another reply, I don't think lack of capital is what's holding back solar farms. The real issues are related to the grid and energy storage, not production.

One of our goals is to make it extremely easy to invest in these types of products while also surfacing important details about the underlying assets in a clean and transparent way.

During the tech bubble of the 2000's, it was extremely easy to invest in tech companies that inflated their revenue numbers by making out deals with other tech startups. No real money existed, just paper.

Ease of investment is not the issue here. Let's assume you are widely successful, make tons of money in fees, a huge number of non viable farms are funded and the whole thing crashes. The fossil fuel companies would have a field day with that financial disaster, solar will have a huge set back, investors will be out of their money but you guys will keep the fees. Sounds like the risk is all with other people.

If the average investor of a solar ETF like Invesco wanted more information on what they were invested in they would have to dig through the SEC filings of the individual companies comprising the ETF. One of our goals is to make understanding what your invested in as easy and transparent as possible.

The reason why the SEC is involved in securities and investments is to prevent scams. If the average investors can't read an SEC filing, that person has no business investing in a model like yours.

Unless you intent to file the same disclosures as an ETF and be regulated the same, I believe transparency won't mean much since there's no actual oversight.

Rather, we think that as a private market investment with an underlying revenue generating asset (where the revenue may be contracted or uncontracted depending on the investor's risk profile), users can diversify their portfolio by investing a small percentage with us.

If you don't plan to run this as a regular ETF, I would not recommend anybody to invest any amount in this model. Even kickstarters have rules related to investments that don't pay up.

Are you guys going to monitor how the money is invested by those farms, will those farms have to file financial disclosures to get the money, will any of this be regulated?

Finally, our offerings will be registered with the SEC

As what? What kind of classification will be used for your investment instrument?

realtime tracking of carbon emissions reduction

What exactly are you planning to track? Just because there's a farm producing energy with a person's money, that doesn't translate in emission cuts by said individual.

It will require realtime tracking of the productivity of the underlying asset

Again, solar production and reduction in carbon emissions are not the same thing. The grid usually can't handle the extra energy at peak hours from solar and wind. Most of that energy is wasted, especially if not forecasted correctly. The bidding in the morning is what defines what goes in the grid, so monitoring production does nothing more than understand production availability.

this is a cool new feature we can offer that provides a transparency from a climate change impact perspective that people haven't seen before!

With all due respect, it's a gimmick designed to attack uneducated investors that will be fooled into believing that's a real metric.

Again, you guys seem to be trying to oversimplify a very complex and intricate market just to become a trade desk for a niche targeting non sophisticated investors.

Terra2Official3 karma

Hey! Thanks for the responses. This is David and I will be as objective in my responses as I can to answer your questions/concerns:

I do have experience in solar production. My most recent job was at Lightsource BP, where I was responsible for financial modeling for a few solar projects (30+ opportunities). I haven’t worked in the development and construction of, but that’s a risk that has largely been mitigated as we will be working with industry EPC and developers for that. In the industry, you can either have an experienced in-house construction team or you can subcontract for a known budget. We will do the latter, and we’ve confirmed that this is all possible.

We recognize there’s gaps in our knowledge—and that’s why we have a board of advisors that we get guidance from! They include executives—one has founded and sold a $100m solar development company to Cypress Creek Renewables, and one has been involved in energy transactions of over $1B. We are thankful for these experts who can lend us their experience and continue to guide us.

I understand your concern, but let me assure you that we’re as incentivized as our individual investors to screen for and do due diligence for high quality assets. As a business, it would undermine our reputation and goals to offer low-quality products. There are many industry standard forms such as the PVsyst, 8760, IA agreements, System layouts, etc. that we would be reviewing. Additionally, we’re actually working on our own diligence model to help us create an added layer of diligence so that we can filter out potentially bad projects. Those would all have to be prepared in advance of an offering of a specific solar project for investments. We wouldn’t be hiding financials. All of this is legally required for us to qualify successfully with the SEC.

If you are interested in the SEC, please take a read at the SEC JOBS Act under Regulation A+. It’s quite long but that is currently our process. More details are also on our website (at the footer).

I don’t know what you are implying about the tech bubble, but we wouldn’t be artificially inflating numbers on paper... seems illegal! Again, financial disclosures are a requirement for our qualification of our offering with the SEC. We will take this feedback to heart and work on providing a more detailed description for what our users should expect before making their investments: such as financial disclosures, form 1-As, offering circulars, project details, etc.

Terra2Official1 karma

This is a valid point, and we will be providing all of the above, including Pvsysts, system layouts, financials, etc. as is protocol. We just haven’t gotten to that point yet as a startup. We launched a few months. By the way, we are not taking investments right now! We will get the above available in a circular. This is what the waitlist and interest sign ups are meant for. Once we have the necessary documents needed in a typical offering, we will qualify with the SEC, and then update those signed up. No money will be received right now.

By no means should you not invest in solar ETFs! Please do support the solar companies. Not all solar companies get to list publicly though :( and our platform will aim towards small and mid sized companies to introduce a way for them to receive investments as well. But invest as you prefer and as it is fits your risk/return, we are just trying to allow more marketing of solar while incentivizing more people to invest. Apologies if we came off in that way - the solar industry will need all the fuel it can get!

David

BlueStoneArt120 karma

So, your proof is an attempt to drive traffic to your website. That isn't proof.

Where is the team? We need a photo of real people, not a link to drive traffic to your website. Young entrepenuers leaving corporate jobs should know this.

Also, it's a give and take situation. People are asking questions. You are not answering them. The only 'response' has been to the bot saying to be wary of proof.

Edit: You certainly changed everything in the introduction than when I first saw it! Much better introduction. Glad to see you are answering questions now and that there is a proof of real people behind the website. Also, you fixed the link. Good job.

Terra2Official15 karma

Hello! Please check out our updated post! Our website also has a link to our team if you want to check that we are real people. We will be providing responses to all of the questions.

BlueStoneArt23 karma

I did. Much better introduction, thank you!

Terra2Official16 karma

Thank you for following up!

cryptotrader874 karma

Need DevOps/Software Engineers?

Terra2Official2 karma

Yes! Please email me directly - [email protected]

Once we get to seed investment round, we should definitely talk. Then we can finally afford to pay my team who has been doing all of this for free (actually, pretty much everyone has put in most of the pre-seed and it represents a well sized portion of the investments in). Tech (coding and optimization) and hire to significantly help our world transition to a renewable future faster. This is just our solution I guess, but I am sure there’s plenty that tech can do to improve the pace of transition. If you can’t wait for us to get seed, I encourage you to go explore what can be done (and what can’t do you don’t pursue). Feel free to shoot any ideas or ask questions-

David

stooshie452 karma

Have you considered becoming a certified B Corp?

Terra2Official2 karma

We have! While we intentionally chose to be a C Corp we have definitely considering becoming a B corp. Even though we're a C Corp we'll treat investor transparency as if we were a B corp.

Cheetokps2 karma

I am curious, is the only a decade left claim accurate? This has been said many times in the past

Terra2Official2 karma

Hey! We truly think so. The United Nations officially released saying that we have only this decade to lower our emissions by 7.6% a year (which is a lot...) from 2020-2030 to limit our temperature increase to the 1.5 degrees. What they said was that at 1.5 degrees, we will lose 70% of our coral reefs and half of our habitats for insects. They are all vital to our food chain. We don’t think in 2030 the Earth will be a fireball. We are worried about major disruptions to the food supply, droughts, hunger, more intense and frequent weather storms, and the ever more bullet train towards catastrophe. At 2 degrees, 100% of coral reefs will be lost. Each additional 0.1 temperature increase is catastrophic. We are currently at 1.13 degrees of 1.5.

Tish_EllisLPC-1 karma

How can the average Joe help with the climate change crisis?

Terra2Official0 karma

How can the average Joe help with the climate change crisis?

Hi, we were wondering about that too, which led to Terra2. According to the gap analysis here https://www.unenvironment.org/interactive/emissions-gap-report/2019/ we want to limit temperature increase to 1.5C within the next decade. Part of Terra2's goal is to allow the average Joe to pitch in and fund the development of solar farms. The more alternatives we can find to fossil fuels, the better. This way we can all work together to reach the goal set by the UN.

As of now, raising environmental awareness is good. In the future we hope that Terra2 can be a solution towards creating more solar farms and other renewable solutions.

- Kenneth