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TreeCard secures $5.1 million investment for wooden debit card

TreeCard secures $5.1 million investment for wooden debit card

TreeCard, the provider of a wooden Mastercard debit card that channels profits from merchant surcharges into reforestation programmes, has raised $5.1 million in a funding round led by EQT Ventures

The round also included participation from Seedcamp and Episode 1, as well as a number of well-connected Angel investors including GoCardless founder Matt Robinson and Charlie Delingpole of ComplyAdvantage.

Eco-friendly search engine Ecosia bought a 20% stake in TreeCard last year for £1 million.

The wooden debit card comes with an app that lets users track spending, split bills with friends and monitor how many trees have been planted as a result of user spending. Operating over the Mastercard network, and using back-end card processing services from Synapse, TreeCard acts as a fully fledged debit account, able to receive top-up from a user's regular bank account, with support for chip and PIN, contactless transactions and mobile payments.

TreeCard makes money from the interchange and promises to invest 80% of profits into sustainable causes, including reforestation in partnership with Ecosia.

Jamie Cox, CEO and co-founder comments: “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. 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”.

The company currently has 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.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 25 February, 2021, 11:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The wooden cards were tested in Sweden some 10 years ago and found not to be more friendly to the environment than plastic cards due to the resins and lamination needed to get the card to keep the chip and mag stripe and not break too easily when bent. The chip itself is electronic waste and an environmental burden on both plastic and wooden cards. The good idea is to donate monies to reforestation in threratned areas and that can be done from business with cards made of recirculated plastic but the most environmentally friendly one can be the card that exists only in the mobile app without a physical card. No extra hw, glue or resin needed, just tap and go. 

Francesca G
Francesca G - Medium - London 26 February, 2021, 21:11Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It seems to be a great idea though, even if it isn't completely eco friendly it is a beginning. Little by little change is being made. I'm looking forward to see how this card evolves.

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