US expansion planned for FinTech automating charity donations

Posted on December 18, 2020 by Alistair Hardaker

The food delivery sub-sector is one of only a handful enjoying a bumper year in 2020, and a London start-up seizing that increased spend is celebrating its own share of the success.

London-base Percent offers an API-based platform which allows businesses to integrate giving to good causes as part of the checkout process.

When customers spend at partnered brands, including the likes of Deliveroo, KFC and Dominos, a percentage of the bill is donated to a charity of their choice automatically.

Users simply link their card to Percent and spend as normal.

Anywhere from 1% to 5% of the customer’s spend goes toward one of the many causes listed on the platform, which includes charities such as The Big Issue, Barnardos, and Action Against Hunger as well as smaller projects.

Revenue comes from the retailers, who are invoiced quarterly for the donations raised, which includes a 5% charge.

Backed by Nationwide Ventures, Ascension Ventures and The Atlassian Foundation the majority of Percent’s partners historically have been retail and food based, the firm’s co-founder Henry Ludlam told BusinessCloud.

Ludlam said the firm now plans to continue to support its retail partners as they emerge from the pandemic, giving them a “purposeful-edge” over competitors while “making the world a better place”.

“Covid, climate change and all the other major environmental and social catalysts we have seen grow in the last 18 months have driven the demand for our product; every business now knows it’s a priority to build purpose into their business models and we make it easy and effective for them to do so,” he said.

But the firm is also widening its net, and expects to work with the likes of tech companies, eCommerce firms, supermarkets, banks, cryptocurrency wallets and streaming services on adding similar functionality.

“Today our mission is to build good into every financial transaction worldwide” he said.

“We are going to achieve this by powering purpose in every business across the globe.”

The company was founded in 2017 after Ludlam experienced frustration while trying to fundraise for his own non-profit sports team at university. It now has opened an office in Australia and is planning a US office early next year to expand the number of businesses it partners with to more than 100.

Lulam said the firm is closing a “significant” US funding round now to drive growth in the states.

On the decade soon to be over, Ludlam said: “We’ve seen a financial crash, growing wealth disparity, huge social injustices and the climate crisis become more tangible than ever before.

“As a result, it’s unsurprising that consumer attitudes are significantly changing as more and more people vote with their wallets by choosing to spend with the businesses whose values and actions reflect their own.”

Into the next decade, he calls the 2020s the “Decade of Purpose”, in which businesses that prioritise purpose “will be those that flourish, and those that don’t will inevitably fall behind.”

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