London, 30 November: Treecard, the fintech allowing people to plant trees with every purchase they make, is today announcing it has raised $23 million in Series A funding led by Valar Ventures. World Fund also participated in the round, along with previous investors EQT Ventures, Seedcamp and Episode 1 as well as angel investors Dylan Field (Figma) and Josh Browder (DoNotPay).
Founded in late 2020, London-based Treecard was created to make it easier for people to make sustainable choices in their daily lives. The wooden debit card sits on top of a customer’s existing bank account and channels 80% of the profits earned from merchant transaction fees into tree planting. Currently in beta with a global waitlist of over 250,000, Treecard’s US-based customers have already funded the planting of over 200,000 trees (around 490 football fields) around the world in partnership with Ecosia, the world’s largest not-for-profit search engine that uses advertising profits to plant trees. TreeCard users have also removed 315,000 plastic bottles from the ocean through the app’s rewards program.
There is growing recognition that more needs to be done if we are to reach net zero by 2050. Across the world, 85% of people have shifted their behaviour towards becoming more sustainable in the past five years whilst a recent study by Mastercard found that people are making conscious efforts to reduce their carbon footprint since Covid-19. Treecard is tapping into this trend by enabling people to take meaningful climate action every day, through providing accounts to customers with no monthly fees, loading fees, or foreign currency fees as well as a market-leading 3% APY.
Whenever a Treecard customer swipes or taps their card, from buying a morning coffee to saving cash for holiday, they are helping to finance the planting of trees across the world. They can monitor this personal impact through the Treecard app with their own individual forest and watching on the TreeCam when new trees are going into the ground. Whilst other products may focus on unproven methods of tackling the climate crisis, such as carbon offsets, Treecard instead encourages people to make impactful changes in their lives while continuing to channel profits into proven methods that are fighting the climate emergency.
TreeCard’s accounts will never be used to fund fossil fuels or deforestation. As well, the app uses gamification techniques and a rewards programme, enabling people to access exclusive deals and offers such as free National Park passes after spending a certain amount, to help people understand more about their finances and environmental footprint as well as highlight where they could be spending less to reduce their impact on the planet.
Though there has been a big push over the past few years for people to become more sustainable, for many this is still easier said than done. Dubious greenwashing campaigns, incomprehensible environmental jargon and the high costs that are often associated with buying sustainable products mean it can be difficult to find the right information or too inconvenient to make meaningful switches according to research by Deloitte.
That’s why Treecard aims to go beyond just finance and build a raft of sustainable-focused features that will enable people to transform all areas of their lifestyle. From supporting people as they change to a more plant-based diet to suggesting both eco and wallet-friendly ways to travel, Treecard will help provide the guidance and information for anyone to become more sustainable in the easiest way possible with an aim to build the environmental super app for millions of people who want to minimise their impact on the planet and invest in the future.
To achieve this goal, the company has raised nearly $30m in funding so far with Valar Ventures leading the recent Series A round along with participation from Europe’s biggest climate tech VC World Fund. Treecard will use the funding to grow the team, with the aim to almost double in size, as well as continue to develop the product ahead of the official launch in 2023.
Jamie Cox, co-founder and CEO at Treecard, said: “We’ve always believed that if there was a button that could make your life more sustainable, then people would press it. There is a desire, and an urgent need, to be more sustainable but too often people don’t know where to start or aren’t sure about the right way to go about it. Treecard is here to provide that support. First by helping people to become more sustainable in their financial lives, including the ability to plant trees with purchases, and then eventually extending to all aspects of their lifestyle. Through this, we’re making it easier than ever for people to reduce their carbon footprint so we can help more people embrace this journey. We’re excited to have the backing of Valar Ventures and World Fund as we look to build the ultimate environmental super app for millions of people across the world.”
Tom Mendoza, Partner at EQT Ventures, said: “At EQT Ventures, we believe that some of the largest consumer companies in the coming decade will emerge from the intersection of climate and fintech. Enabling mass-market consumers to effortlessly make more sustainable and responsible decisions is a huge opportunity no one has capitalised on yet. We’re honoured to have joined Treecard as their first investors and excited to see them scale!”
James Fitzgerald, founding partner at Valar Ventures, said: "In the last decade, we've witnessed the ability of fintech companies to act as a powerful force for good, for example by effecting positive change in financial inclusion and the democratization of opportunity. We are excited to see Treecard now harness this power to enable people to make more sustainable and environmentally responsible financial decisions."
Tim Schumacher, founding partner at World Fund, said: “The Treecard team is building a brilliant product that will help transform the way people think about their own carbon footprint. It’s not enough to offer carbon offsets, if we’re going to reach the target of limiting global warming by 2030, then sustained, comprehensive action is needed. Using interchange profits to plant trees is one of them, as is driving meaningful change across all areas of a customer’s life. We’re delighted to be supporting Jamie and the rest of the Treecard team on the next stage of their journey as they look to build the leading environmental super app.”
Profits raised by Treecard go directly into Ecosia.org established projects, supporting Ecosia’s partnerships with tree planters and fast-tracking planting which can take years to achieve in remote regions of the world. Ecosia currently has 38 projects across 25 countries and has planted over 150 million trees since 2009.
Treecard is the leading green finance startup, with a free debit card that uses its profits from merchant transactions to plant trees in biodiversity hotspots and areas affected by deforestation. Treecard’s wooden debit card is made from sustainably sourced FSC cherry wood. Currently in beta, Treecard’s users are making more sustainable choices and investing in the environment every day. Treecard.org
World Fund is the leading European-focused climate venture capital fund established by Daria Saharova, Danijel Višević, Craig Douglas, and Tim Schumacher. From energy, food, agriculture, and land use, to building materials, manufacturing and transport, World Fund is investing in European climate tech with a climate performance potential (CPP) of at least 100Mt CO2e emission savings per year from 2040. Because we need to decarbonise our economy, we believe startups with technologies with such CPP will be among the most valuable companies of the next decade.
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