GoRaise, the shopping site that generates funds for good causes, has received further financial backing from two investors to help it expand.
The funding will help the site, set up one year ago, to roll out new features and market its opportunities to a wider audience. It is already affiliated with over 2,500 retailers, which typically offer 3-4% of the value of a sale to the customer’s chosen charity or good cause. Over 80,000 charities and causes are registered with GoRaise, but shoppers can create their own as well.
Shoppers can buy from a wide range of brands and retailers via the site using a browser plugin which generates a donation to their chosen cause.
The two investors, each of which contributed £300,000, are Astuta, the provider of growth capital and advisory services for entrepreneurs, and Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures. Based in the North East, where GoRaise is based, Northstar invests in innovative, high growth businesses and social enterprises across the North of England.
Howard Sears, chairman of Astuta said:
“GoRaise is a great example of innovation by a British entrepreneur that has the opportunity to compete in a global market. Everyone in the Astuta network is delighted we enabled the backing of such a compelling business case that will also do so much to help good causes”.
Richard Charnley, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, added:
“We’ve been speaking to GoRaise since they joined the Ignite programme early last year and during this time we’ve been impressed with Gary’s ability and undoubtable knowledge of the sector. He’s also a great example of an entrepreneur that wants to achieve a global and social impact. Given GoRaise’s overlap with Northstar’s own core values, we are looking forward to working with the team and Sebastian to make it an even bigger success.”
The site does of course have existing competitors, some of whom have been raising funds for over 10 years. GoRaise argues that it is distinguished from these by enabling people taking part in fundraising challenges such as marathons to set up a page with them and use it to boost their fundraising total.
In addition, GoRaise has ambitions to expand to the USA, Australia, Germany and France.
Founder Gary Thompson has worked in start-ups and in the digital and marketing sectors for 20 years. He previously worked as MD on similar schemes which benefited charities.
Commenting on the chance to expand further, he said:
“We will now use these investments to market and communicate the company brand and values and build our already extensive network of retailers and consumers. I’m really excited to have Astuta and Northstar on the table. They both provided great advice and were really behind the social mission of GoRaise”.
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