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GreenGrowth was named one of Europe’s top wealthtech startups to watch in 2022. Their incredible mission to “empower consumers to invest and spend for a more sustainable world” has captured the hearts, and pockets, of VC firm SFC Capital and renowned fintech investors.
Their mobile app, custom built from the ground up by GreenGrowth’s CTO Luke, offers people a bespoke portfolio tailored to their carbon footprint. The team has developed the first investment algorithm that ties your personal impact to your investments.
Chris Webb, CEO and co-founder, sat down with us to tell us more about GreenGrowth, their team, what sets them apart and plans for the future.
You established GreenGrowth in 2020, what did your career look like before that?
While the company was created in 2020, we didn’t launch until mid-2021 when I found my co-founders, Marc and Luke.
Before GreenGrowth I worked as an Environmental Manager and Consultant. I was heavily involved in the sustainability sector, mainly within construction and engineering. For example, I worked on major engineering projects like the newly launched Elizabeth Line in London. It was rewarding to make a real difference and reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impacts of such massive projects.
What is GreenGrowth and what problem does it solve?
Trying to invest sustainably is complicated, ask anyone who’s in the industry and they’ll tell you that. You’ve got ESG Scores (which nobody can decide on by the way), Paris Aligned investments, Net Zero Funds and everything in between.
If you’re a regular person trying to ‘make your money make change’ as we like to call it, it’s an absolute minefield out there!
GreenGrowth is a sustainable investing app, and our mission is to empower consumers to invest and spend for a more sustainable world. Our goal is to make sustainable investing as transparent and easy-to-understand as possible, showing our users in simple terms, where their money is invested and the impact it’s having on the environment around us.
Also, there aren’t many options. People can’t make it personal to them and their day-to-day impact. Whether we like it or not, we all have an impact on the planet, from our direct and indirect carbon emissions, to the plastic waste we produce, just to name a few. Sustainable investing absolutely does not excuse these behaviours, but we’ve developed the first investment algorithm that ties your personal impact to your investments.
GreenGrowth offers the choice of a portfolio that is tailored to your environmental footprint, investing your money heavily in the areas you have the greatest carbon footprint.
What does the GreenGrowth team look like?
Well firstly, and I know it sounds cheesy, but I couldn’t have asked for better co-founders. There’s currently just 3 of us in GreenGrowth (yes we achieved all this with just 3 and I’m unashamedly proud) and we were born in the midst of the pandemic.
Marc is our sustainable investments ‘guru’ and brings a wealth of experience as both a professional financial economist and an asset investment manager. One thing that constantly impresses me about Marc is that even after a hugely successful career with some of the biggest wealth managers and family officers out there, he’s happy to fight it out with us in the trenches of building a start-up from the ground up.
Every great team needs a great technical wizard and Luke is ours. Luke held several leadership positions at fintech start-ups and I’ve never met someone with such an incredible eye for detail. Fuelled by hobnobs and skinny latte’s, he has single handedly built the GreenGrowth app as it is today, an absolutely outstanding feat that I would challenge any other CTO to!
What does your competitive landscape look like and how does GreenGrowth differentiate itself?
Anyone in the finance or fintech space knows that the next decade will see the biggest transition into sustainability. As a result there are businesses that have rightly seen it as an untapped opportunity, but we are seeing organisations settle out into their well defined niches.
At GreenGrowth we’ve found our own for a number of reasons:
- We’re the first and only investment platform offering investors a personalised portfolio based on their carbon footprint
- Our descending pricing structure is unique in that it rewards loyalty in a way not seen on other sustainable investments platforms. The longer a customer stays with us, the less they will pay in fees, making us very competitive over the long term.
- Users can choose to invest in line with their carbon footprint as above and in environmental issues that are most important to them.
- Users can construct their own portfolio by selecting environmental themes from Clean Energy to Sustainable Agriculture, that they would like to invest in, and what percentage they would like each theme to be of their total portfolio.
- We show users the environmental impact of their personal investments in the most detailed and granular way possible, of any investments platform.
What is the big vision for GreenGrowth?
To be the home of Green Personal Finance.
I see us achieving this vision using a two pronged approach:
- To build the most feature rich and easy to use finance app in the world
- To become thought leaders in the space of sustainable finance, to contribute to the debate and lead us out of this muddy world of unreliable and incompatible ESG metrics.
At a more granular level we aim to be operating within multiple geographies within 5 years. Without giving away too many surprises, we’re planning to offer a range of exciting financial products including our own GreenGrowth Funds and Private Equity investments.
What do you love to do in your free time?
I’m very passionate about fitness; humans were designed to move and it’s good for our bodies and our brains. If I ever come up against a roadblock in business, a good workout usually helps clear it! I mostly do CrossFit but I’m currently training for my first Triathlon in June.
If you weren’t building Green Growth, what do you think you’d be doing?
Definitely something sustainability or climate change related.
We all know by now, climate change is the biggest challenge facing EVERYONE on earth but it’s insidious… It’s slow, gradual and almost invisible so it doesn’t get the urgent action it requires. But I guarantee it will affect, or has already affected every one of us.
As a result, the most important, impactful and life-saving businesses of the next 100 years will be those that solve the innumerable issues that arise from climate change, whether it be flooding, food and water shortages, drought and forest fires, rising temperatures or biodiversity decline. How could you NOT want to be part of the solution for that?
Powerful and inspiring words from Chris. GreenGrowth is committed to a mission beyond just themselves. We’re excited to see how they’ll combine sustainability and finance on their quest to build the best finance app… in the world!
Want to be a part of their story? Check out their campaign here.