The deal follows the successful rollout of an initiative launched earlier this year, in which The Co-operative Bank pledged to provide lifetime subsidized access to Zellar for all of its UK-based SME customers. The Co-operative Bank’s investment is in exchange for a two per cent share of Zellar, based on a market valuation of £33m.
Based in London, Zellar was founded to help SMEs measure, plan, activate, report and share their sustainability journey and reduce costs. It captures every sustainable action a company takes and reflects it in a single score that shows both the company and the outside world its sustainability progress.
As the only leading UK bank with a customer-focused ethics policy, The Co-operative Bank is committed to inspiring others to develop a goal-oriented sustainability strategy and supports customers who want to do change the way their businesses operate.
As part of the agreement, The Co-operative Bank will continue to promote Zellar to its SME clientele. He will also work closely with the company to help develop products and services that reward and encourage sustainable business – in line with Zellar’s rating framework. The Co-operative Bank will also sit on Zellar’s steering committee.
Zellar plans to use this investment to support a number of platform developments already underway. Zellar is currently focused on creating richer, deeper, and more meaningful experiences within the platform, heavily customizing sustainability journeys across 64 initial industries.
Gary Styles, Founder and CEO of Zellar, commented: “As the leading UK bank with the highest ESG score according to independent analysis, The Co-operative Bank is a perfect investor for Zellar. We share so many common values. We both believe passionately in breaking down the greenwashing and driving meaningful environmental change, and helping local businesses and their wider communities take action. The tremendous interest shown by The Co-operative Bank’s customers following our launch program in June this year is a true confirmation of the synergies between our two companies. This investment will help us deliver an even better and more meaningful experience to our mutual customers and beyond.
Styles continued, “It’s an exciting time for Zellar. Not only is our SME base growing rapidly through partnerships with The Co-operative Bank, SSE Energy Solutions and a growing number of local authorities. But we also have a number of groundbreaking pilot projects underway with national businesses – as well as institutions such as school academies and faith-based institutions – all of which have a shared challenge and responsibility to understand and foster local sustainability on several UK sites.
Catherine Douglas, Managing Director of The Co-operative Bank comments: “Zellar has been instrumental in helping us realize our vision to trigger and drive action on climate change among SMEs. We are excited to follow the success of our grant program by continuing to work and invest in Zellar. This will not only help improve the experience of our SME customers on the Zellar platform, but also that of thousands of other businesses across the UK. »
The Co-operative Bank becomes the first external investor in Zellar and marks the opening of a seed investment round, in which the company is seeking an additional £2.4m to further develop the product in 2023.