Northstar Ventures invest £600k in charity fundraising platform

Newcastle-based fundraising platform GoRaise is eyeing international expansion after being backed by a £600,000 investment from Northstar Ventures and an angel investor.

GoRaise is an online charity cashback platform which provides fundraising opportunities for individuals and organisations. It utilises commissions to reward consumers with a donation to their chosen cause every time they shop online.

GoRaise was founded in 2015 by Gary Thompson, shortly before being accepted onto the Ignite Accelerator programme. Despite it being an early stage start-up, the company has already attracted retailers such as Ebay and John Lewis to its platform.

Gary said: “The capital of Northstar’s investment will be deployed to raise awareness of the platform and to ensure that the product continues to be an incredibly simple and frictionless process for all users. We also have some exciting products in the pipeline to help the business community and event challengers (such as marathon runners) to raise money.

We’re currently on the lookout for new hires to fill roles in marketing, web development and community management. GoRaise will also be rolled out in the USA, Australia, France and Germany.”

GoRaise distinguishes itself from competitors by providing fundraising opportunities for personal challengers in addition to established charities and causes. People with individual campaigns can register their event and invite friends to support it; each time a supporter shops online with a participating retailer, a donation is made to that event.

Richard Charnley, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, said: “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 have a global and social impact.

“Given GoRaise’s overlap with Northstar’s own core values, we are looking forward to working with the team to make it an even bigger success.”

The £600,000 investment will be used for marketing, new hires and product improvements.