Ecosia invests $1M in wooden debit card startup

Eco-friendly, U.K.-based search engine, Ecosia, is investing £1 million ($1.1million) for a 20% stake in TreeCard, a wooden payment card program.

For every $60 spent using the card, 80% of TreeCard’s profits from merchant surcharges will be channeled into tree replanting programs in 38 locations worldwide, according to a Finextra report.

TreeCard users can log on to the card’s app and track spending, split bills and monitor how many trees have been planted due to the user’s spending.

The card uses the Mastercard platform, and acts like a debit account with a pin and a chip, letting the user withdraw cash from a bank account and make contactless and mobile payments.

“We’re looking to get at least 100,000 people on board. We estimate that this would help us fund the planting of six million trees. TreeCard will be launching in the U.S. and a number of EU markets over the next 12 months, but so much depends on the interest and sign-ups we get from Ecosia’s users around the world,” Jamie Cox, TreeCard co-founder, told the news outlet.

Ecosia uses profits generated from its search advertising to plant trees. The company set up a waiting list for the TreeCard and expects to begin shipping the first cards in December.