Grapevine, the collaborative giving platform that’s connecting people to grow the greater good through Giving Circles, announced that they have raised $1.67m in equity financing with an additional $180,000 in grants, making this total seed round $1.85m. The round was led by PJC with new participating investors Ulu Ventures, WTI, Social Good Fund, and Focus Impact Partners, joining existing investors in this round such as Notation, Ground Squirrel Ventures, and Overton Venture Capital.
Alex Wilson & Pat Duffy, (Co-Founders at The Giving Block) and Geng Wang, (CEO and Cofounder, Civic Champs) joined existing pre-seed angel investors and operators such as David Heath (Founder of Bombas); Lynn Taliento (Senior Advisor and Founder of Social Impact Practice, McKinsey & Company); Alex Chung, (founder and CEO of GIPHY); Claire Diaz-Ortiz (Founder of Twitter Social Impact Team); Jay B. Love (Co-Founder and Former CEO of Bloomerang and Active Angel Investor); Steve Schlafman, (Founder of Schlaf & Co.); Paul Sawaya (Co-Founder of Elsewhere and Human Interest); and Gaingels.
Grapevine is the only platform dedicated to Giving Circles – where everyday people come together to connect, pool their donations and decide collectively what nonprofits to support on a recurring basis. This means more people getting involved in making a difference and more money going to smaller, more local, and more diverse causes.
Anyone can easily join or start their own Giving Circle on Grapevine in minutes. Through their platform, Grapevine helps like minded people to connect through the common goal of giving back, by making it easy for them to find and join one of hundreds of Giving Circles across the country supporting specific communities or broader cause areas. Grapevine also helps anyone who wants to start their own Giving Circle by making it easy to set up their group page, invite members and start collecting donations on Grapevine in minutes. Whether you’re a small group of friends, a block of close-knit neighbors, or a team of professionals rallying around a cause, Grapevine is your philanthropic home for group giving.
“At Grapevine, our goal is simple: connect the people, and grow the good,” says Emily Rasmussen, Founder & CEO of Grapevine. “Working with communities early on to help them unlock economic opportunity became the catalyst to building technology that would democratize access to finance from people around the world. This ultimately led to Grapevine, a more purposeful, community-based giving experience, that would go beyond the transactional crowdfunding campaign. We’re thrilled about our seed funding because every dollar invested in Grapevine, returns nearly 10 times in donations to nonprofits.”
Grapevine is currently supporting over 800 Giving Circles in every state across the country, with 55,000+ total members, resulting in $25M in donations to date and is on track to move $100 million in donations from Giving Circles on its platform by 2025. Grapevine is also building out its Community Partners for Good program that engages distribution and donation matching partners to increase the impact of this widespread social movement for good. Grapevine has partnered with the likes of AARP on a Create The Good Giving Circle Guide, Idealist, Philanthropy Together, Giving Compass, Charity Navigator, and Global Impact to democratize and disrupt the traditional philanthropy donation model and bring in more diverse perspectives so that more dollars are provided to underrepresented and diverse communities.
“At PJC, we believe in empowering founders to create a better future, and Grapevine fits that bill,” says Matt Hayes, General Partner at PJC. “Real change requires risk and unconventional thinking. What Grapevine is doing is reshaping philanthropy through innovative technology and how we go about doing good with and for others.”
Recently, Grapevine launched Grapevine For Companies – a highly engaging, high impact model designed to cultivate company culture in the workplace by growing the greater good, together. The goal is to create community and connections, while doing good with your company that can reverberate out through the community. Some current participants include GIPHY and Evertrue.
The new funding will be going towards the expansion of the Grapevine team and the product. Most recently, they have hired a new Customer Support & Success Manager and expanded their network of experts to bring Grapevine to the next level with leading thinkers in the technology and philanthropic space.