UK eco-banking challenger Tred lands £1m in Crowdcube raise

Tred, one of the latest UK fintech start-ups to enter the eco-friendly banking scene, raised £1 million from more than 1,000 investors on Crowdcube last week.

Co-founded by two former Newton Europe consultants, Peter Kirby and Will Smith, Tred tracks its customers’ carbon emissions and promises to plant trees with its profits.

Tred partners with Forest Carbon to deliver on its tree planting promise

It can track the carbon impact of day-to-day transactions, as well as direct debits – like a gym membership.

The app will then suggest ways to reduce or offset a user’s carbon footprint, generating personal monthly emission offset plans. One of Tred’s partners is US fintech payments giant Stripe.

The UK eco-banking scene
The start-up joins other environment-focused banking fintechs live in the UK market, including Treecard – which eco-friendly search engine Ecosia bought a 20% stake in for £1 million last year.

As well as Emitwise, Creed, and Clim8. Some are looking beyond carbon counting, or merging different ethical services together.

Picnic Bank’s niche is “fintech for good”, which includes an “eco-concierge”. Whilst Kestrl focuses on “ethical banking” – be that an integrated carbon counter, or Sharia-compliant savings services.

Tred partners with Forest Carbon to deliver on its tree planting promise. It also says on its website that it “take[s] plastic out of the ocean” to make its cards.

“For every card we make we save around 25 plastic straws from going into the ocean,” it says.

UK challenger bank Starling, as well as UK kids-focused challenger goHenry, have both launched eco-friendly debit cards in the last year.

But it’s not just digital challengers who are getting in on this trend. NatWest partnered with New Zealand-based fintech, CoGo, to launch an on-the-go carbon emissions calculator based on users’ personal spending.

In July 2020, reports emerged that a UK new state-backed green bank is set to land in the UK to help finance the country’s net zero carbon goals.

A European movement
Further afield, the European Central Bank (ECB) is launching a new climate change centre to coordinate its actions on tackling environmental issues.

Last September, France birthed Helios – a fintech firm focused on sustainability and transparency to allow users to offset their carbon footprint.

The same month, Spanish banking challenger Mitto – which targets the “conscious consumers” – announced it was gearing up for launch in the UK and the rest of the Eurozone sometime this year.

Longer-established challenger bunq, based out of the Netherlands, is edging further into the space too. Last year, it unveiled a carbon counter, as well as a tree-planting programme attached to its ‘Super Green’ and Green Card offerings.

Read next: Ethical challenger algbra banks on tech to define it in “fintech gold rush”

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