Andreas Pursian, Markus Gilles, and Jonas Brandau, the three co-founders of Klima, an app focused on helping consumers understand and offset their carbon emissions, first found entrepreneurial success at Hyper.
The mobile magazine publishing toolkit they developed was sold to Mic in 2017, but it was only the most recent success in a string of collaborations dating back nearly a decade.
“We had a fascination for technology and all the great things you could do to improve society,” said Gilles, Klima’s chief executive, in an interview earlier this year.
Klima, which launched this month, is in some way the culmination of those efforts.
Gilles and Pursian first met in university and later with Brandau they launched their first app, Pino, a mobile-based video op-ed page that had German Chancellor Angela Merkel as an early contributor on the platform.
The connection to politics and media continued with Hyper, their publishing platform that sold to Mic and continues with Klima. With the app, the three co-founders have taken their media savvy and applied it to getting consumers to reduce and neutralize their carbon emissions through offsets and behavioral changes.
“Offsets can remedy and buy us a lot of time while we’re rebuilding our society,” said Gilles. “We need to get to 50% emissions reductions in the next ten years which is a herculean task. We can’t afford to leave any climate solution on the table right now.”
Like other apps, Klima has identified diet as one of the major personal steps a person can take to reduce their emissions footprint. Substituting cars with biking, or electric vehicles, and buying less fast-fashion and more used clothing also has an impact.
Klima’s app includes a carbon calculator, which measures a carbon footprint and allows users to offset that with a personalized monthly subscription. The company’s app also provides lifestyle tips to reduce emissions. Finally it offers a social sharing feature so that other would-be climate warriors can join the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
“We have a special situation right now,” said Gilles. “What we are doing as founders. We know that the climate crisis is not taking a pause because of the pandemic. We have raised enough funding right now to still be there when the pandemic is over.”
The company is backed by Jens Begemenn, the founder of Wooga; Niklas Jansen, co-founder of Blinkist; Christian Reber, the founder of Pitch; and institutional investors including e.ventures, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, and 468 Capital.
To date, Klima has raised $5.8 million in financing. The company offers three types of offsets for its users. The first is natural solutions, like tree-planting projects; the second is tech-based solutions like solar power installations; and the third is social solutions, like replacing wood-burning cookstoves with electric or gas stoves for homes.
“We’ve seen great traction with the app so far,” said Gilles. The company’s app is now live in 18 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and has the largest user base of any climate offset app currently on the market, the company said.