British fintech startup Kroo has raised £17.7m in a Series A funding round led by tech entrepreneur and founder of Karlani Capital Rudy Karson.

Kroo plans to use the proceeds to scale operations, develop new products, expand team, and secure a full UK banking licence as it expects to launch in early 2022.

The startup offers prepaid debit cards and apps that allow users to create a group with friends and family and pay, track and split bills.

It has also launched a tree planting referral scheme, which rewards customers by planting trees on behalf of the referrer and the referred.

Currently, Kroo’s offering is being tested via an e-money debit Mastercard and Android/iOS app.

Kroo CEO Andrea De Gottardo said: “We are building the world’s greatest social bank: a bank dedicated to its customers and to the world we live in. We’re going to do more than just work with Kroo customers to improve their relationship with money. We’re going to offer ways to actively take part in making our world a better place.”

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Karsan said: “The reason I’m excited about Kroo is that it has a concrete opportunity to dramatically change the way people feel about their bank, for good. Kroo has an exceptionally talented management team and a nimble tech stack that will enable the continuous delivery of banking features customers really care about.”