Sustainability-focused tech startup Greener has raised $1 million in a seed round.
The funds raised will be used to accelerate the development of the Greener app, secure further commercial partnerships, and prepare the world-first solution for a national launch next year.
The Greener app makes it easier for consumers to identify brands with a focus on sustainability.
It also calculates the carbon emissions from products people buy from those brands and automatically makes the purchase carbon-neutral – at no cost to the consumer.
Greener has partnered with organisations planting forests to capture carbon in order to solve that problem.
Co-founder Neil McVeigh said investors were encouraged by the results of Beta testing of the app this year by early adopters and partners, with results exceeding expectations.
“Participating consumers were able to reduce the carbon emissions of their spending by 28 per cent. Some of the sustainable businesses in the trial saw an uptake of 20% in customers drawn from their competition – a win for sustainable businesses and the planet,” McVeigh said.
“Greener investors are excited by this innovative marriage of fintech and cleantech, that reimagines consumerism to potentially deliver lucrative financial and environmental returns.”
The funding round coincides with Greener signing on more than 50 brands as part of its program, including Microsoft, Koala, LEGO, Powershop, T2, Single Use Ain’t Sexy and Who Gives a Crap.
His co-founder and Greener’s CEO, Tom Ferrier, the company is not targeting the so-called “deep green consumer” – the 3-6% who research their purchasing decisions and are willing pay more for a greener options.
“To bring the scale needed to solve the climate crisis, we’re targeting the 45- 65% of ‘middle green’ mainstream consumers,” he said.
“Those who want to make a difference but don’t know how to, those who want the convenience and the feel-good factor, without having to pay for it.
“Not only does this scale present the opportunity for incredible environmental impact, but financial returns to match.”
Ferrier said the app is just the beginning of a broader push to help businesses and consumers tackle climate change.
“We have a vision to grow the platform into an offers engine that rewards consumers for shopping green in other ways, and rewards businesses for delivering on their sustainability targets,” he said.
“We are forging partnerships with a range of businesses and environmental charities to bring this vision to life, and drive impact at scale by bringing sustainability to the mainstream. This is when things will get really exciting.”
He added that the team was “blown away” by the support from new and existing investors.
“This is further evidence that sustainability is a trend, not a fad, and it’s great to have so many supportive people in our corner helping to bring this vision to life,” he said.
“We can’t wait to release Greener to Australia and the world.”