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Ecosia

Ecosia

Web search engine that uses profits to plant trees

Ecosia is an Internet search engine based in Germany which donates much of its profit to plant trees in different parts of the world. The search engine uses results from Microsoft’s Bing search engine and then applies its own algorithm for sorting results. Ecosia is a CO2-negative, positive impact, and privacy-friendly search engine company. In February of 2019, the company donated 80% of its profit to plant trees. The company makes its profit from advertising and merchandise, however, doesn’t track users to present personalized results to ensure user privacy.

Product

Ecosia is a web-based Internet search engine with applications for iOS and Android. The company launched on December 7th 2009, the same day as the UN climate talks in Copenhagen. Ecosia ships as a default search engine for Brave, Pale Moon, Waterfox, Vivaldi, and Firefox (German version only). Ecosia including Duckduckgo and Qwant are a few of many search engines using Microsoft’s Bing as a source.

Features

Ecosia features web, image, maps, news, and videos as default search filters. The results can be further sorted with time and filtered by region. It lets the user save specific settings as a region, language, and safe search options through cookies on a user’s browser. The search engine can be used to search another Internet search engines with a specific keyword followed by a hash (#) sign called search tags.

Current list of search tags as of April 2019 include:

Search Tag
Search Operation

#g

Google

#gt

Google Translate

#tr

Google Translate

#wolframalpha

Wolfram Alpha

#a

Amazon

...

Business Model

The company uses advertising revenue from clicks generated to sponsored links shown in its search results as its primary source of income. It also sells merchandise like shirts, hoodies, and jumpers on its online store. Ecosia doesn’t take any profit from merchandise sales and is sourced into its tree plantation fund. The company publishes a monthly financial report to provide transparency about their operations detailing profits, investments, and operational costs.

Privacy

Ecosia operates under European Union jurisdiction which mandates higher user privacy. Ecosia offers encrypted searches and does not create user profiles to personalize results. The search logs are not kept indefinitely and are not sold to advertisers or third-party partners.

History

Christian Kroll founded the company in 2009

Timeline

April 5, 2021
Ecosia launches first ever Out-of-Home and TV advertising campaign to let new users know they can plant trees with their searches.
September 1, 2009
Ecosia raises a $21,471 seed round.

Funding Rounds

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

News

Search on Google News
Search on Bing News
Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Grace Dean
May 23, 2021
Business Insider
Ecosia said it has planted nearly 125 million trees to date but that its eco funds fall in the summer as fewer people spend time online.
April 1, 2021
WebWire
, , , , • Ecosia's 'Weird Search Requests' campaign will be live in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, , • Its concept expands on award-winning brand video created by students at Germany's Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, , • The campaign has been developed together with JCDecaux's Nurture Programme - which helps start-ups and scale-ups across Europe to scale their brand - and Sky Media in the UK, , • With more than 120 million trees already funded by users' searches globally, Ecosia expec...
Natasha Lomas
March 8, 2021
TechCrunch
It's been over a year since Google begun auctioning slots for a search engine 'choice' screen on Android in Europe, following a major antitrust intervention by the European Commission back in 2018. But despite hitting Google with a record-breaking fine over two years ago almost nothing has changed. The tech giant's search marketshare remains undented [...]
Natasha Lomas
March 8, 2021
TechCrunch
It's been over a year since Google begun auctioning slots for a search engine 'choice' screen on Android in Europe, following a major antitrust intervention by the European Commission back in 2018. But despite hitting Google with a record-breaking fine over two years ago almost nothing has changed. The tech giant's search marketshare remains undented [...]
Annie Musgrove
February 25, 2021
Tech.eu
TreeCard, a London startup that plants trees financed by customers' everyday spending, has raised a $5.12 million seed round led by EQT Ventures, with participation from Seedcamp and Episode 1. TreeCard is a Mastercard (made of wood) that links with current bank accounts, making it easy for users to integrate into their usual spending habits. [...]
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References

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