UK fintech startup TreeCard gets $5 million to reforest the planet through debit card payments


TreeCard, a London startup that plants trees financed by customers’ everyday spending, has raised a $5.12 million seed round led by EQT Ventures, with participation from Seedcamp and Episode 1. 

 TreeCard is a Mastercard (made of wood) that links with current bank accounts, making it easy for users to integrate into their usual spending habits. The card is free for consumers.

The company says that, without spending money on marketing, it’s 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.

The fintech startup will make 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 percent 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.

Founded in August 2020 by 23 year-old Jamie Cox (CEO and co-founder), the idea for the company came up in a kitchen table conversation with his mom. Having already founded Cashew, a Venmo-like payment platform for the UK, Cox says he wanted “create a financial product with a difference, one that was far removed from greenwashing.”

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.

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