Carbon footprint tracker CoGo seeks $20 million to fund expansion

FILE PHOTO: The CoGo app is seen in this screenshot taken October 20, 2021. CoGo/Jody Boshoff/Handout via REUTERS

SYDNEY (Reuters) - New Zealand-based carbon footprint tracking fintech CoGo Ltd will begin raising $20 million in capital to fund growth in the United States, Europe and Asia, Chief Executive Ben Gleisner said on Wednesday.

The firm, whose algorithms help consumers align their purchasing habits with targets such as reducing carbon emissions, is opening the fundraising to venture funds, companies and to its retail customers, Gleisner said.

"If you look at what's going on around the world you'll see why we think we'll be the world's first climate impact unicorn within three years," Gleisner said, referencing the tag given to startups worth at least $1 billion.

Gleisner said that, pre-funding, revenue is expected to grow to between NZ$2.5 million ($1.79 million) and NZ$5 million ($3.58 million) in fiscal 2022, and to more than N$7.5 million in 2023, from about NZ$500,000 in the year ending March 2021.

CoGo has ramped up operations over the past year as climate change concerns among consumers and investors surge and data sharing regimes develop.

It has secured partnerships with more than seven U.K. banks, including Santander and Natwest Group Plc that allow the banks to use Cogo's technology to assess customers' carbon footprint based on purchases and provide detail via an app.

The company also tracks data on U.K. and New Zealand companies that support their local economies and businesses that pay their employees a living wage.

It has raised about $10 million since it was incorporated in 2016 after five years as a charity and is launching the Series A venture capital fundraising to hire developers, behavioural scientists and scale up its operations.

The company also partnered with Commonwealth Bank of Australia to allow customers to track and offset their carbon footprint by buying carbon credits via the bank's phone app.

($1 = 1.3965 New Zealand dollars)

(Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Jane Wardell and Bernadette Baum)

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