Treedom: The Power of Trees in Saving the Planet
Technology and industrialization tend to be favored over nature. The cost we are paying in return is severe and threatens to permanently harm the planet.
In a society overpowered by the business impact, all Federico Garcea and Tommaso Speroni could think about was saving the environment. Without leaving technology behind, the two innovation-savvy minds created Treedom, a company on a mission bigger than business!
Treedom ties together eager tree planters and farmers to increase tree life and oppose the environmental crisis. Treedom’s users buy a tree of their preference and thus contribute to the world rescue mission. They are later informed on where the tree has been planted and how far it’s grown. Treedom’s is not all individual buyers, as countless renowned business names also made the Treedom client list.
Read the story of Federico and Tommaso, whose everlasting mission to save the world by planting trees sounds less like a cliché- and more like the real deal!
Federico Garcea was born and brought up in Italy. He spent his childhood days surrounded by nature and nurtured by it, too. Federico had developed a lively character from an early age followed by a colorful mindset. As he got older, Federico realized that conforming was the greatest sin of all and that it applied to all areas of life, including relationships, education, and business. Tommaso Speroni was also born and raised in Italy. He was a born adventurer, or what many would call an unbridled dreamer, as well as a stubborn believer. At the age of 14, Tommaso discovered a newfound love for plants and blooms. Despite wanting to pursue a career in ecology, Tommaso opted for something more practical and decided to study economics.
Off to College, They Go
Federico studied Political and Financial Studies at the University of Florence. He got entitled to the Erasmus student exchange program and was granted the opportunity to study in Denmark and Spain for a semester. This double-trouble study scheme sharpened Federico’s mind and brought him titles like Best Alumni of 2016 from the University of Florence; Pioneers into Climate Change 2015 from the European Commission, and Young Leader in 2014 from the Italy – US State Council. Federico led an active student life and often volunteered as an environmental defender at the Robert. F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe. His rich working experience led him to find a position at a bank.
Tommaso’s education path, on the other hand, is quite rich and abundant. He was an avid learner and someone who always seeks an excuse to dive into books. He also studied a double-trouble pattern of studies. His first university was in Rome, where he studied International Relations in 2009, at Università Degli Studi ROMA TRE. Once done, he then moved on to study at Stockholm University, where he obtained a degree in International Relation; Democracy and Globalization, and International Economy.
Besides the responsibility of studying at the student exchange program, Tommaso volunteered as a consultant for an NGO company. It dealt with sustainable biofuel production and carrying out rural electrification projects. Rumor has it that the two founders worked together on projects in Africa’s rainforests.
As part of his job, Federico Garcea was working on a project with a company delivering energy to the Cameron rainforest. Although it was his job, Federico couldn’t overlook the aftermath of their project. Deforestation seemed like cutting Earth’s lungs, and many farmers who lived there had to sell their land to make ends meet.
This all happened when FarmVille was the hottest topic on social media, and a game Garcea and his girlfriend also played obsessively. As he stood no chance in beating his girlfriend’s score, Federico caught himself buying credits to buy more trees for his farm.
When Federico played FarmVille with his friend Tommaso Speroni, he told him about the way he kept his farm in shape and far better than his girlfriend’s. Tommaso had one reply to that statement - You’re an idiot!
While Federico wouldn’t dispute that, he also knew that there are millions of other idiots like him. And all of them consciously spent money buying cyber-trees, which then raised the question of just how many would spend on planting real trees.
It’s Nature’s Life at Stake
Once the idea was drawn out, Tommaso and Federico finished the first website iteration in 10 days. Soon after, they began to hire farmers located in Cameron. When they founded the company, Tommaso was a senior student and Federico had just dropped his bank position. One spring day, in May 2010, the founders established Treedom in the heart of Italian nature - Florence, Tuscany. It was the first company whose mission was to green up the planet and involve the community in the process!
Just like buying some lemon, avocado, and cherry trees in FarmVille, you can do the same with Treedom and plan real trees in real-time. On a larger scale, this movement is expected to massively contribute to the raging war against climate change. The best part about it is that anyone who plants trees can track the storyline of their tree. That is what makes Treedom both plausible and awe-inspiring.
Tackling the Hurdles
Every beginning is difficult. Until they became popular, Federico and Tommaso had to live on the edge. In the beginning, they had to promote themselves in the best possible light and raise awareness among climate justice enthusiasts. But, people initially took Treedom with a grain of salt and even doubted the company’s legitimacy and efficiency.
In response, the team behind the story had to take measures to convince their visitors that they are as real as tree planting gets. To instill an even deeper certainty among users, Treedom decided to fully document the life of each tree they planted next. Treedom’s team believes that trees are the best storytellers – and they make a valid point. When companies heard about their initiative, they immediately wanted to pitch in. H&M was amazed by Treedom’s conscious brand and advertised it happily. Following the outreach, giants like Samsung and Hyundai joined along and contributed to their own purchases.
Treedom is backed by 6 investors who primarily gave life to the company, the lead of which is Boost Heroes. The angel investor at Treedom was Carlo Volpi whilst the rest include the Rockefeller Foundation, U-Start, Rancilio Cube, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In its earliest days, only the founders worked for the company, alongside a few IT pros. But, once the story documentary aired, the team got to hire photographers, content managers, PR staffers, and social media pundits. Today, Treedom’s team has 48 employees, and 5 board members.
Treedom’s last count of funding is $6.7 million over 5 rounds.
Treedom: A Profile
Since its early days, the company has evolved quickly. Soon, Treedom began cooperating with approximately 5,000 companies and over 750,000 individual buyers. Many farmer’s jobs were saved as a result of the platform, and around 2 million trees were planted worldwide. Treedom takes the role of a middleman between farmers and tree purchasing companies, farming organizations, and NGOs, all of which helped it expand across 17 countries. A round of applause and a standing ovation for Federico and Tommaso, thanks to whom our Earth is no longer out of breath!