Interview with Jules Buker, who is the founder of Treeapp, a mobile app enabling anyone to plant a tree for free, everyday.
What is your own background briefly?
I’m French & Turkish. Before Treeapp, I founded 2 businesses in the service and legaltech space. I also worked for Crowdcube, the leading equity crowdfunding platform: during my time there, I assisted many founders and startups in the CleanTech space raise capital which is where I realised first hand the power of purpose driven businesses.
Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?
The experience & the learnings I gained from building two ventures in the past, have been invaluable when starting Treeapp. Together with my co-founders, we were able to quickly ideate, design & develop the platform while at the same time building strong partnerships with sustainable brands.
Knowing the importance of the team, we focused very early on getting the right people to carry out this project. The different relationships I built in the last few years within the London startup ecosystem have been (and still are!) instrumental for Treeapp’s growth.
Treeapp IS NOW LIVE in the UK and Ireland! Have you had a chance to plant yet? ?
If yes, retweet this post so others can #GetPlanting too!
If no, then what are you waiting for!? Our app is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. #earthday #treeapp #getplanting pic.twitter.com/gBJYimUWIw
— Treeapp (@treeapp_uk) April 22, 2020
How was the last 12 months? What were your big wins?
The past 12 months have been absolutely amazing! A year ago Treeapp was just an idea… Today, we have a team of 14 driven people, over 15 brand partners and a wonderful app available in the UK & Ireland.
We’re excited to already count 1000+ users in just 2 weeks after launch who share the same values as us and use Treeapp to plant a tree every day in less than a minute.
What would you have done differently?
We took a lot of time to start the development of the app, mainly because we weren’t sure when was the right moment to get started. We wanted to test everything, get early feedback to ensure we were going to build the right product, etc. But at one point you just need to start and jump right into it!
1 min pitch for what you are doing now?
Treeapp is a mobile app enabling anyone to plant a tree for free everyday in less than a minute. The trees are funded by eco-conscious organisations who advertise their products and services on our platform. The planting is performed by our global NGO partners, who make sure every single tree they plant benefits endemic species and local communities.
Why did you get involved with this project?
I met my two co-founders at London Business School while we were completing our Master’s degrees and we all had the same interest in building a purpose-led venture.
In 2019, Turkey set a record by planting 11 million trees in one day, but a few months later 90% of these sapling had died. This was a horrific set back, so I started looking for better ways to plant trees.
The three of us set out on a mission to enable anyone to have an impact everyday, for free. We quickly realised that even though we wanted to act for the environment by planting trees, we didn’t have the time, money or know-how to do it. Treeapp was born out of the desire to make it accessible to anybody to have an impact, everyday, for free.
How does it work / how does the online action that people take enable a tree to actually physically be planted?
The concept is easy & simple:
Pick your favourite tree-planting project across the world through our app
Discover an eco-conscious brand by checking out 3 messages or questions
This daily eco-conscious sponsor will then fund the planting of your tree
Our NGO partners will ensure that this tree is planted for you!
You can offset your carbon footprint and track your positive impact directly on the app.
In order to make all of this happen, we spent a lot of time working with experts in reforestation & ecology to select the best NGO partners worldwide. We work hand in hand with them to ensure that a tree is planted every time a user funds a tree, in the location of their choosing, within 90 days.
Where are the trees planted?
Right now, you can plant trees in 6 countries across 7 different reforestation projects: Scotland, Australia, Madagascar, Kenya, Haiti, Mozambique, Nepal & Indonesia.
If it all goes well what would a good 2020 look like?
In 2020, our goal is to rally as many people as we can to Treeapp and enable them to have an impact, everyday. We’d like to get to 10k users by the end of the year and over 30 brand partners. We are in the process of fundraising to carry on building a great team to deliver an even better experience for our community of users and partners.
How can people find out more about you personally & your work?
You can find out more about Treeapp on our website thetreeapp.org.
Feel free to reach out directly on my LinkedIn if you’d like to get in touch: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julesbuker/
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
Our mission at Treeapp is to plant 1 million trees every single day by 2022. That will be a great start into making our planet just a bit greener and contribute to global reforestation.
We set out on this journey to enable anyone to plant a tree and have an impact. What we want to achieve through our app is not just to offset our users’ carbon footprint: it is for them to discover great, sustainable brands that will change the way we consume and our behaviour towards the environment.
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