Edinburgh tech start-up fighting climate change nets high-profile investors with £700k crowdfund

An Edinburgh-based eco start-up that is helping to fight climate change has “smashed through” its latest crowdfund target, raising money from investors including Skyscanner co-founder Gareth Williams.

Pawprint is pitched as a 'behavioural change platform and community with a mission to empower users to fight climate change on their own terms'.

Pawprint originally sought to raise £400,000 via Crowdcube, but with another two weeks still to go it has brought in more than £700,000 from some 420 investors.

Investments ranging from just £10 to £100,000 have been made from a wide range of investors. Among the higher profile investors are: Williams, ex-chief executive of Skyscanner; Darina Garland, co-founder Ooni; and Tim Doubleday, chairman, Climate Action Leadership at Business in the Community and group chief financial officer at Burger King UK.

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Christian Arno, Pawprint founder and chief executive, said: “This is our second crowdfund this year and we are blown away by the support we have received, especially given what a challenging year 2020 has been for everyone.

“We at Pawprint believe that for a problem on the scale of climate change, the best way to tackle it is to unite and empower as many people as possible to play their part.

“Not only have we raised over £700,000 so far but we have hundreds of investors from all walks of life willing to back our mission.”

Arno previously founded Lingo24, in 2001, building it into a thriving business.

Pawprint is pitched as a “behavioural change platform and community with a mission to empower users to fight climate change on their own terms”.

People will answer questions about their lifestyle as part of their “onboarding experience” on the Pawprint app, and then be able to compare their personal “Pawprints” in areas such as diet and travel with country averages, as well as other groups of their choosing.

They will then be presented with a personalised range of challenges and tips to help them choose if and how they make small changes to transition to a lower carbon lifestyle.

As users reduce their own carbon footprints, they will be encouraged and incentivised with rewards to compete with and against their friends and colleagues.

Williams said; “I hope for this investment to also be in our planet. A great team and now both a consumer and a business product. Pawprint could make a global positive difference.”

Garland said; “I invested in Pawprint because I’m inspired by how they’re engaging people everywhere to tackle sustainability issues in realistic, actionable ways. We all have a role to play in saving the world. Pawprint have created a platform and tools that help people get started.”

Doubleday added: “I’m backing Pawprint as a great way for businesses to mobilise their teams around sustainability. It’s critical that business leaders win the hearts of minds of their colleagues – and quickly, given we’re facing a climate emergency.

“Pawprint will help people understand what they can do about climate change and reduce their carbon footprints personally and at work.”

The firm has raised more than £1 million from some 1,200 investors including leading entrepreneurs Oli Norman of Itison and Kevin Dorren of Dietchef alongside early backers of Tesla, Spotify and Amazon.

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