London-based fintech startup Toucan raises $1.06M to help small charities in Europe
As the Omnicron variant continues to spread around the world, the UK government has once again tightened its COVID restrictions, which further dealt a devastating blow to small charities at a pivotal time of year. That’s why one fintech startup has come to the rescue of small charities to help them raise more funding and also keep a majority of the money raised.
Toucan is a London-based fintech startup that aims to modernize charitable giving with its app and bridges a widening gap between donors and the causes they care about. By joining the Toucan community and supporting a world in which giving is second nature, donors can make an immediate and positive impact on the causes that matter the most to them.
Through its charity donation app, users can build a personal portfolio of up to three charities and split a single monthly donation between them. Donors can support the same charities long-term or switch each month to develop a fully flexible and unique approach to giving.
To further grow its app, Toucan recently raised £800k ($1.06 million) from 13 investors. The fund exceeded its seed funding target of £500k as investors flocked to be part of a digital revolution in the charitable giving sector. With the new funding, Toucan’s app – currently in the beta phase – is launching at a time of urgent societal change, when people are increasingly eager to help tackle the world’s most pressing issues.
In a statement, Toucan CEO Matt Crate said: “We founded Toucan with the vision of creating a world in which giving is second nature. We have developed an intuitive app that uses modern technology to be a force for good, bridging the gap between donors and the causes that matter most to them. We want people to join us on our journey and to show the world what they stand for.”
The early seeds of Toucan were sown in February 2021 after a lightbulb moment for Crate, a financial services specialist who runs his own charity, as he walked past a supermarket donation box. Looking at hand-written signage and plastic tokens, Crate realized small charities deserved a more sophisticated, digital solution. A small team worked tirelessly to mold and develop the idea.
Crate reached out to John Barrett, former Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition, and brought him on board as Chief Operating Officer, while Melody Truong joined the nest as Chief Product Officer, bringing expertise in mobile app design and user experience.
With experienced entrepreneur David King joining as Chief Financial Officer, the business started raising capital with an initial target of £500,000. By May 2021, the company had raised £800,000 on the power of
the Toucan concept and the strength of the team behind it.
Its 13 investors demonstrate breadth and quality and comprise two experienced tech investors, a wealth management CEO, three entrepreneurs, two millennial retail experts as well as people with deep connections to charities.
Chief Financial Officer, David King said: “The idea of enabling a digital-native generation to build and grow their altruistic identities resonated with Toucan’s initial investors. They recognized just how far the charity sector has been left behind by the digital revolution.” Now is the perfect time to bring disruption to the charitable giving sector. Charities are regrouping after a prolonged period of challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and in an age where people want to play an active role in contributing to the world’s societal issues.
The Summer 2021 ‘Small charities responding to COVID-19’ report, produced by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, outlined several areas of concern for charities emerging from the effects of the pandemic. Long-term funding and digital transformation were two issues in need of most urgent action, both of which have been identified by Toucan as key areas where its solution can offer immediate help.
Chief Operations Officer, John Barrett said: “We need to make it as easy as possible for donors to connect with charities they care about, and those who they may not yet know. We are particularly keen to give a platform to smaller charities who have such a massive impact in our communities around the UK.”
The 2021 Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index revealed in June that the UK had tumbled down its generosity ranking, falling outside of the world’s top-20 for the first time. Toucan hopes, by attracting new donors, including a particular push towards the millennial and younger generations, can contribute to a reversal of this trend. The beta version of the Toucan app is now available to download from the App Store or Google Play.
Toucan’s vision is to redefine charitable giving for the modern, digital age. Toucan is aiming to make giving fun, flexible and accessible to all by modernizing the giving experience. By creating a community of Toucaneers, the company wants to build a world where giving is second nature. Developed by a team of fintech and charity specialists, Toucan has put the needs of charities and the good intentions of donors at the heart of its ground-breaking product.