Joro App Aims To Combat Users' Carbon Footprint

Sanchali Pal, Joro Founder & CEO joins Kristin Myers and Alexis Christoforous to discuss how the Joro app tracks each users carbon footpring in real-time.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, this year's theme for Earth Day is Restore Our Earth. And our next guest is trying to do just that with her mobile app. Sanchali Pal, founder and CEO of Joro, a mobile app that helps people take action on climate change, starting with their own carbon footprints. Sanchali, good to have you here on the show. So tell us how this works. How can your app actually help make us better citizens of the world?

SANCHALI PAL: Great, thank you. Great to be here on Earth Day. So the Joro app helps you take climate action starting with how you spend money. A lot of people don't understand that everything we buy has a carbon impact. And if you can see the impact behind your dollars, then you can do something about it. We have something that's called the net zero membership that allows you to automatically connect your credit cards and then subscribe to offset everything you buy. And then once you offset it, you can use the app to lower your footprint and lower your fee every month.

KRISTIN MYERS: So how does the offsetting process work? Let's say I log in and find that I am essentially destroying the planet with all of my purchases, how does it work on the backend that those purchases can be offset? Are there donations perhaps that are made to organizations working to help the environment? How does that process work?

SANCHALI PAL: So we've done a lot of research to see what's the best way that you can spend your dollars to actually try to reduce or remove carbon from the atmosphere. We launched something called the Joro Carbon Portfolio, which is a carefully balanced set of high impact carbon removal projects that your dollars go towards that includes things like forestry projects, soil sequestration, and even long-term carbon removal through something called bio oil injection.

So these are all forms of carbon removal projects that are usually difficult for regular people to access. Big companies like Microsoft and Google and others who have made net zero commitments use a very similar strategy, a portfolio approach of high impact carbon removal to offset their emissions. And now we're opening up that approach to regular everyday Americans.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Talk to us a little bit about your own personal funding efforts for Joro. Especially during this challenging time, a lot of startups are finding it difficult to find the venture capital money, even without a global pandemic going on. But how have things been going for you?

SANCHALI PAL: Well, I started Joro a couple years ago. And actually, a couple of years ago, I think climate wasn't as much on investors' radar as even it is today. So, surprisingly, during the pandemic, I've seen more investors paying attention to climate change than they were before. Like the pandemic, it's a crisis that's here to stay. And it's difficult to ignore. So we actually raised our first round of institutional funding last year during the pandemic. And our lead investor was Sequoia Capital.

KRISTIN MYERS: Now, Sanchali, I know that you're essentially helping folks align their values when it comes to climate change through this app. Curious to know if there's plans moving forward to help folks align their purchases with other values that they might have beyond environmental sustainability.

SANCHALI PAL: Absolutely. I mean, the dollars that we spend on things we buy, we don't realize that, as citizens, we vote when we go to the ballot box, but we also vote with our dollars as consumers. And companies pay attention to what consumers are doing. I think the plant-based eating industry is a great example of that. Plant based diets wasn't a big thing a few years ago. And in just the span over the last five years, Americans have been eating 19% less beef than they did before. And that's led to the sort of explosion of the plant-based eating market.

So while we're primarily focused on climate and helping people understand their carbon footprint, how they can take action on it, and then activate in other ways on the climate crisis, I think some of the data that we're looking at might be helpful for understanding other trends and social impact as well.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Who's using your app? Who's using Joro right now? And how do you hope to sort of broaden your audience? And how else do you plan to monetize all of this?

SANCHALI PAL: The majority of our users are millennials and Gen Z's, so ages 20 to 50, really, but primarily sort of the millennial audience, people who are thinking about how they spend their money. They probably already have a credit or debit card. They're thinking about how they're going to build their life in a more sustainable way. Maybe they went through a recent life event like a graduation, moving to a new city, having a child, that's made them think about, how am I spending my money? What am I buying?

So those are the kinds of people who are using the app today. It's free to download and free to use. So there is no barrier to using it from a cost perspective. And how we plan to monetize is both by taking a fee on those offsets for curating and managing those offsets if you choose to actually negate the impact of your purchases. And then also, looking forward, starting to think about partnerships with companies and employers to help companies and employers understand trends and what consumers want, sustainable products and services that they want, and also to help their communities achieve collective carbon reduction goals.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, Sanchali Pal, founder and CEO of the mobile app Joro, thanks for being with us today.

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