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Thursday, August 13, 2020

New eco app business attracts £580,000 of funding

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AN ABERDEEN entrepreneur has raised £580,000 from angel investors for his latest venture.

Christian Arno’s new business – eco-technology start-up Pawprint – is based around an app that helps users make choices affecting their carbon footprint.

Mr Arno, 41, said the funding – more than Pawprint set out to raise – had allowed the company to accelerate hiring plans.

Former Skyscanner growth director Douglas Cook is masterminding Pawprint’s marketing strategy, while former Wood Mackenzie vice-president Mark McCafferty is head of content. Both are building teams through a start-up accelerator programme, WeWork Labs.

Six of Edinburgh-based Pawprint’s seven-strong board are from the north-east: Mr Arno, Chris Bradbury and Ross MacNay are all from Aberdeen; Mr McCafferty hails from Banchory; Douglas Cook is from Alford; and non-executive director Sarah Ronald is from Westhill.

The angel investors include Scottish entrepreneurs such as Oli Norman, of daily deals and events website itison, and Kevin Dorren, founder and head chef of food plan business Diet Chef.

Mr Arno, who founded translation firm Lingo24 in his bedroom at his parents’ home in Mannofield, Aberdeen, in 2001, said: “The response to the Pawprint concept has been very positive. Our investors are buying into a long-term vision to help millions of people fight climate change.”

The “quality and breadth” of investors is already proving useful, he said, adding: “Their insight is helping to build the foundations of what we hope will be a globally impactful company.”

Pawprint is expected to launch in early summer.

Its users answer questions about their lifestyle and then compare their personal “pawprints” in four categories –home, diet, travel and consumer goods – with country averages, and 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 carbon footprints, they’ll be encouraged and incentivised with rewards to compete with and against their friends and colleagues.

 

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