Category: TreeCard

Founder Q&A: The Future of Sustainability

This post is by Polina Stavrovski from Seedcamp

We’re currently living in the decisive decade for creating a lasting, positive impact on our planet. Previously, we published a deep dive on the future of sustainability and highlighted some of our portfolio companies spearheading the way. On the back of this, we spoke with six of our founders from Gardin, Treecard, Protagonist, Vinterior, Club Zero and Martie, who are all building mission-driven businesses, on what the future of tech holds for sustainability. It was great to get their collective opinions on some of the questions below:

What is the future of sustainable tech?

Founder Sumanta, and Data Scientist Julian from Gardin, “The future in store for sustainable technology is that soon everything will be sustainable technology. The success story of renewable power will continue and multiply into industries outside electricity, unleashing a transformation of the world economy. We are already seeing a dramatic shift in the positioning of the world’s largest brands to align their products with the sustainable agenda. What is currently a hip marketing trend will imminently become consumer expectation. This has been one of the biggest successes of the climate movement and will make it easier than ever before to make consumer choices which are ‘sustainable’.”

What is the future of sustainable finance?

Jamie, Co-Founder and CEO of Treecard: “In consumerism, this is a vertical built primarily on trust and authenticity. Once a brand has built sufficient trust mass, they’ll sweep up. I’m biased but I think (Read more...)

The Future of Sustainability, and the Tech Companies out to Improve it

This post is by Polina Stavrovski from Seedcamp

Within the last decade, buzzwords such as “sustainability,” “ESG,” “UN SD goals,” and “social impact” have woven their way into how startups and established companies operate. These frameworks, guiding as vehicles of change, impact how organisations build business models, implement technology, establish crucial frameworks, shape branding, and conduct their day-to-day governance. We all know actions need to be taken because the planet is at a tipping point. Some companies are frowned upon for taking advantage of these buzzwords and ‘greenwashing’, others are commended for embracing what those terms symbolise and making a positive impact through their building and delivery of tech-enabled sustainable products or services. The global drive in public markets is prioritising climate and social technologies: EVs, batteries, micro chips, energy solutions, and solar finance to name a few. In the last 3 years, most ESG stocks and indexes have outperformed the S&P 500. This is creating a flywheel of attracting more capital at all stages of companies. At Seedcamp, we are prioritising a few themes that fall under the wider sustainable bracket. Now more than ever, we’re continuously looking for founders who are both redefining and pioneering the space while addressing multi-billion dollar markets and acting as role models in an effort to scale massively for stakeholder value creation. If you’re building something ambitious in the sustainability vertical, please do get in touch and apply for funding here – we’d love to chat!

Our sustainability-focused investment bets, covering both consumer and B2B models, fall under three broad themes:

(Read more...)

TreeCard raises $5.1M seed to plant trees as you spend

TreeCard, a U.K. yet-to-launch fintech offering a spending card made out of wood and the promise to fund reforesting via the interchange fees generated, has raised $5.1 million in seed funding. The round is led by EQT Ventures, with participation from Seedcamp and Episode 1.

Angel investors also backing the startup include Matt Robinson (founder of GoCardless), Paul Forester (founder of Indeed) and Charlie Delingpole (founder of ComplyAdvantage). TreeCard says the funding will be used to hire talent, support the roll-out of its product across the U.K. and to expand into the U.S. and “key European markets”.

Aiming to become a “leading green finance brand”, TreeCard was founded in August 2020 by Thiel fellow Jamie Cox (who previously co-founded Cashew), Gary Wu and James Dugan. The team hit onto the idea of swapping loyalty points or cash back for tree planting, in a bid to create a fintech proposition with more societal impact.

Once signed up, you link the TreeCard app to your current bank accounts so you can begin routing your spending through the Mastercard-powered TreeCard. Purchases you then make — or, specifically, a portion of the card transaction fees your spending generates — is then put toward tree planting projects run by green search engine Ecosia, which is also a pre-seed investor in TreeCard.

“[At a] high level, the climate crisis is the biggest existential risk that humanity has faced in the last 200,000 years; we believe directing the flow of consumer finances is the most powerful (Read more...)