TreeCard – the world’s first wooden Mastercard payment card that plants trees with everyday spending – has raised a USD5.12 million in a seed round led by EQT Ventures, with participation from Seedcamp and Episode 1.
Angel investors including Matt Robinson (the founder of GoCardless) and Charlie Delingpole (founder of ComplyAdvantage) also participated in the round. The funding will be used to hire fintech talent, support product roll-out across the UK, and expand into the US and key European markets.
TreeCard links with current bank accounts, making it easy and convenient for users to integrate TreeCard into their usual spending habits. The card is completely free to customers and regular purchases contribute to tree planting projects by Ecosia, the green search engine; at least 80% of profits go straight to reforestation projects in 26 countries around the world. Without spending money on marketing, the company has organically grown a waiting list of over 140,000 people for the launch of the card, which is due to be released in the next few months.
Founded in August 2020 by 23 year-old Jamie Cox (CEO and co-founder), alongside James Dugan (CMO and co-founder) and Gary Wu (co-founder and CTO), the idea for the company was initially discussed over the kitchen table with Jamie’s mum. Having founded Cashew, a Venmo for the UK that achieved 20% WoW growth, Jamie was hungry for another fintech opportunity with higher impact. TreeCard, as a complementary product to Ecosia, presents a responsible alternative to everyday banking services.
TreeCard makes money from the interchange charge and operates in a similar way to Amex, which gives a huge percentage of profits back to consumers in cashback rewards. Instead of funnelling money back to the customer, TreeCard invests 80 per cent of profits into sustainable causes, including reforestation in partnership with Ecosia. Over the last 10 years, Ecosia has planted more than 119 million trees all over the world.
Consumers direct the economy through spending, with sustainability increasingly prioritised. Last year, it was announced that ethical consumer spending and finance in the UK alone reached a record GBP98 billion. TreeCard enables consumers to take an active role in making a difference to the climate emergency through everyday spending, without any cumbersome processes. By challenging the finance industry in this way, positive and long-lasting impact can be created.
Jamie Cox, CEO and Co-Founder, says: “We wanted to create a financial product with a difference, one that was far removed from greenwashing and allowed customers to improve the impact of their spending without drastically changing their habits. We’re really excited to be backed by EQT Ventures; it was clear throughout the fundraising process that the team really understood and resonated with our mission. As a multi-stage fund, EQT Ventures’ presence across both Europe and the US provides the perfect springboard for us to launch into international markets.”
Tom Mendoza, Deal Partner at EQT Ventures who led the investment, adds: “TreeCard has the potential to become a leading green finance brand, going where no brand has gone before in creating a de facto platform for impactful financial management. At EQT Ventures, we’re increasingly aware of the environment and the impact that our investments have on the world around us, so we’re really excited to support the TreeCard team, who are actively working with the financial system to create a better future for the planet.”