Ecomio founding team (from left to right): Sarah Benarey, Mario Blatter and Katharina Riederer.

Nudging is a method for changing behavior. Nudging has a positive effect on a person's behavior without imposing any prohibitions or rules. The Munich-based startup Ecomio also uses this strategy from behavioral economics. Ecomio has developed software that can be integrated into a company's existing travel booking system. The algorithm calculates greener alternatives and shows how much CO2 emissions and what costs can be saved through climate-friendly travel.

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Lower costs, lower CO2 emissions

According to the company, the “green” option is actually the cheaper option for 90 percent of business trips. Companies can then pay the difference directly to their employees or convert it into their own points program. This more environmentally friendly alternative to existing bonus programs is intended to help companies achieve their own climate goals more quickly. Customers include the HR and management consultancy Kienbaum, the management consultancy Roland Berger, the business travel booking platform Cytric and SAP Concur.

As part of seed financing, Ecomio has now received a “low seven-figure” amount, as it says. The round was led by IBB Ventures, Identity VC and Hansi Hansmann's Hans(wo)men Group. N&V Capital, Partners in Clime and the founder of the digital consultancy Nunatak Robert Jacobi also participated in the seed round. The following existing investors have also contributed: co-founder of Runtastic Alfred Luger, private equity and venture capital expert Volker Rofalski, business travel expert Patrick Diemer, Amorelie founder Lea-Sophie Cramer and the founder of the AI ​​consultancy Merantix, Nicole Büttner. The fresh capital will be used to drive expansion outside of Germany and to introduce further applications for hotels and rental cars.

Support from ETH Zurich

Katharina Riederer (CEO), Mario Blatter (CTO) and Sarah Benarey (CCO) are behind Ecomio. Riederer came up with the idea for Ecomio while she was still working as a management consultant at Roland Berger, as she told Gründerszene. As long as she stayed within the travel guidelines, the costs and carbon footprint of her business trips were of secondary importance. Hence the idea for Ecomio as an environmentally friendly bonus program alternative. She started with Ecomio in August 2020 and a few months later she brought her fellow student Blatter and Benarey on board. Initially, the three financed their work with 90,000 euros in funding from ETH Zurich. Both Riederer and Blatter studied at the Swiss university.

Check out the pitch deck that Ecomio used to convince investors. You can find more pitch decks here.



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