Edinburgh start-up to fight climate change gains six-figure funding and high-profile investors

An Edinburgh-based eco start-up that is helping to fight climate change has raised significant six-figure funding from a group of 50 angel investors.

Friday, 28th February 2020, 7:42 am
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 7:50 am
Mark McCafferty, Christian Arno, Douglas Cook - Edinburgh-based Pawprint has raised initial funding of 580k from a group of 50 angel investors. Picture: Contributed

Investors who have professionally backed global giants including Tesla and Amazon are personally backing Pawprint, alongside high-profile Scottish entrepreneurs such as Oli Norman of Itison and Kevin Dorren of Dietchef.

The funding of £580,000, which is more than Pawprint set out to raise, has allowed the firm to accelerate hiring plans.

Former Skyscanner growth director, Douglas Cook, is masterminding the start-up’s marketing strategy, and former WoodMac vice-president, Mark McCafferty, is head of content. Both are building teams at WeWork Labs, the start-up accelerator programme of the global shared office group.

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Pawprint founder Christian Arno said: “The response to the Pawprint concept has been very positive and we now have an exceptionally high calibre and varied shareholder base.

“Our investors are buying into a long-term vision to help millions of people to fight climate change. The quality and breadth of our investors is already proving really useful. Their insight is helping to build the foundations of what we hope will be a globally impactful company.”


The business is being pitched as a “consumer behavioural change platform for eco-minded people”. Consumers 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 the four areas of home, diet, travel and consumer goods 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.

Pawprint sources its data from Mike Berners-Lee, an authority on carbon footprint at Lancaster University, and author of “How Bad Are Bananas?”.

The Pawprint app is due to be launched in the next couple of months and the team will also be offering interested parties the opportunity to get involved and invest as little as £10 in the company, at the same valuation as its angel investors through a soon-to-be-launched campaign on Crowdcube.

Arno, who is the founder of translation business Lingo24, said the plan was to have an “engaged community” of people on the ground to help give feedback and spread the word. Pawprint’s non-executive director is Tom Sermon of Virgin Pulse.