Sustainability fintech Helios aims to reduce users’ carbon footprints
Helios, a new fintech firm focused on sustainability and transparency, has emerged in France offering to allow users to offset their carbon footprint.
Founded earlier this year, the service aims to offer “an ecological bank account”.
“Our money placed […] in a current account, a savings account or even life insurance and is used to massively finance fossil fuels and polluting industries,” the firm writes on its website.
It adds that people’s savings and spending power can “shape the world”.
Helios will charge a monthly subscription of €6. It says that it has no plans for a premium account service and has “no hidden fees”.
The subscription fee covers a Visa bank card, account maintenance, unlimited withdrawals, and transfers to accounts in the Eurozone.
Helios has lodged an application with French regulators to become a banking and payment services intermediary (IOBSP).
Users can use their card to track their personal carbon footprint, calculated at the point of transaction. The bank will also suggest ways to lower a footprint, including using local producers.
Helios calculates the footprint of each purchase based on greenhouse gas emission data from companies.
The firm plans to make its first accounts and card available in “fall 2020”. Helios says that in the meantime it is mobilising “volunteers, associates, and experts interested in the project” to aid development.
Behind Helios are co-founders Maeva Courtois, Julia Ménayas, and Andrei Tanascu.
Courtois spent two years as head of sustainable investment research at equities firm Exane before founding Helios. Prior to that, she worked as an analyst at Oddo BHF.
Ménayas worked at venture capital firm alven for 22 months, and has also worked at Boston Consultancy Group and Knife Capital as an analyst.
Tanascu has spent four years as an Android developer. His most recent work involved development for recipe recommendation company Yummly.
Prior to this he spent time teaching Android development for beginners at MobileAcademy. Tanascu spent 10 months working on the developing of the mobile banking app for Raiffeisen Bank Romania.