Get-Neutral App Seeks Cash to Highlight Climate Harm

Get-neutral GmbH, a startup company with a mobile phone application displaying carbon footprint information about products that allows users to offset CO2 emissions, is seeking funding to grow across Europe.

The six-month-old company is looking to get 1.5 million euros ($1.9 million) by the end of this year to boost operations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg. Get-neutral will seek as much as 6 million euros in a further round of funding in the second quarter of next year.

“We have to make money and we want to grow fast,” co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Holger Rupp said in a June 8 telephone interview from Reutlingen, Germany. “We can only have an impact against climate change if we grow fast and reach the mainstream population.”

Venture capital and private equity companies put $1.15 billion into new clean energy investments last year as innovators race to find solutions to curb climate-harming emissions, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The mobile apps market may reach $27 billion by 2015, according to Constellation Research Inc., an early-start technology adviser in San Francisco.

Get-neutral, which allows users to view product emissions by scanning their bar-codes, will focus its expansion initially in the U.K., France and Scandinavia, according to Rupp, who has started four other companies.

‘Feel Good Trend’

“While people are concerned with climate protection, it’s a feel-good trend,” Ray Wang, chief executive officer of Constellation Research, said in a June 13 telephone interview from Paris. “So it’s a bet on how consumers act.”

Get-neutral’s application has 25,000 users since it was made available in January, according to a document outlining the business plan sent by e-mail to Bloomberg News.

The app generates money from advertising and the company uses part of this revenue for climate-protection projects such as solar cooking stoves in Nepal or tree-planting in Mozambique, Rupp said. The advertisements give companies a chance to highlight their sustainability projects, he said.

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