With the planet collapsing and democracy under constant attack from all sides – you know, in general – one or two members of the global population have foolishly wondered whether the private sector wants to move forward? I mean, shooting billionaires in space as well. At the same time, even! Fortunately, many businesses want to do better. But there are one or two obstacles. Incorporating a “purpose” into your digital offering, such as donating to a nonprofit at the end of a moving documentary, is harder than it looks. Businesses do not have the ability to build in donation software; They cannot consistently verify and audit for good reason; And the processing of donations is fraught with legal complexities, compliance and regulatory risks. What is the plan?
Pennies is an organization that bills itself as the digital equivalent of the traditional charity collection box. However, maybe what we need is … drum rolls … an API?
Step forward percentage. Founded in 2017, Percent provides an API that allows firms to allow clients to donate to good causes, for example matching donations made when making a payment, or completing a financial transaction.
It has now closed a $5M venture round led by Morpheus Ventures, allowing it to expand into the US, as well as its current presence in the UK and Australia. The UK’s Nationwide Building Society – which is also an early investor and customer of the product – is a co-investor in this round.
The company says that its API-First platform takes care of auditing and compliance processes to prevent fraud and money laundering, as well as parses the tax-efficient distribution of funds in 200 countries around the world. It says 7 million non-profit causes have been added to the platform and it has screened potential recipients of donations.
Percent founder and CEO Henry Ludlam said: “Centre was founded to be a global API-first infrastructure. It will be the foundation for a better, better future of capitalism in which social and environmental good is inherent in every financial transaction.”
In an interview I asked him if the pandemic had accelerated the opportunity: “Because of Covid, we now have brands that are really desperate to purpose in their business in a way that they weren’t just 18 months ago. Was doing. It really has been an amazing change. We just saw a big change in what consumers expect from businesses. Consumers expect businesses to build purpose into what they do now. “
He said that the product can also be made – surprise! – Streaming services: “Say you’ve seen a documentary. And at the end of the documentary, you feel especially inspired, like you saw David Attenborough or something like that. After that you really see the charity at the end of it and So using our API, it will generate a list of nonprofits, so right there and then the customer can donate. We are also working with a crypto platform where you You can also complete your transactions and donate to any non-profit organization. There are really great things we are working on that are coming out soon.”
Kristian Blaszynski, Managing Partner, Morpheus Ventures, said: “With the events of the past several years, it has become more apparent that aligning brands with purpose is driving consumer behavior and spending. However, today, the process of donating to non-profits is incredibly archaic, manual and inefficient… Cent’s API-first platform removes all these complexities and automates the processes, aligning businesses closer to their stakeholders. and allows you to focus on your core. Business.”
Percent may well push on an open door. Kantar Research says that only 22% of people can name a brand they think is doing a good job of addressing issues like climate change, plastic waste and water pollution. On the other hand, 95% of businesses Thought That “purpose” is at the heart of what they do. The disparity could not be more acute.
What percentage is the bar for charity? We’re about to find out.