Atlanta-Based Fintech Startup Closes $1.1M to Enable Greater Generosity for Donors and Nonprofits
The venture behind Charityvest, a new zero-fee giving platform, raises capital round to scale its growth. The platform uses donor-advised funds to make giving easy for donors and is free for nonprofits.
ATLANTA, May 13, 2020 (Newswire.com) - Vennfi, the financial technology company for tax-exempt payments, announced that it closed a pre-seed funding round of $1.1M, composed of a diverse set of seasoned private investors. It will use the investment to expand the platform's capabilities and increase its growth.
The company's flagship platform Charityvest offers individuals and businesses free tax-deductible charitable giving funds. Users can donate cash or stock to their fund, make donations to any of the 1.4M nonprofits in the U.S., and keep track of all of their giving activity with a single consolidated tax receipt. The experience has been called "Venmo for charitable giving." Since launching in December 2019, Charityvest has facilitated giving to over 300 nonprofits and received nearly $2M in charitable contributions from donors.
Charityvest uses donor-advised funds (DAFs), which have traditionally been marketed to wealthy donors. The platform has dramatically reduced the complexity and cost of DAFs and can offer its funds with no fees or minimums.
Unique aspects of Charityvest are that 100% of donated funds go to charities, and any organization can receive funds with no setup or contract.
Charityvest's mission is to enable generosity through technology. It aims to foster habits of intentional giving among donors, which has been shown in numerous studies to increase positive psychological effects and decrease anxiety and depression.
In addition to providing charitable giving funds to individuals or families, the company plans to grow by providing businesses the ability to sponsor tax-advantaged charitable giving funds for employees and provide churches with a free digital solution to collect donations from members.
The venture was first envisioned by Stephen Kump at Yale University in 2016 where he was an MBA student at the time. "My wife and I made a commitment to give a percentage of our income away and we wanted a donor-advised fund to manage it, but the fees and experience of traditional funds didn't make sense for us or our friends," said Kump, the venture's CEO. Instead of collecting fees, Charityvest invests aggregated account balances in low-risk investment vehicles, like a bank. It can create positive economics this way due to its efficient, scalable technology.
Stephen is joined by co-founders Jon Koon, CTO, and Ashby Foltz, COO, who have added experience in consumer software development and financial technology products, respectively.
Two family offices were the largest investors in the funding round, each of them founded by successful technology entrepreneurs. One of them is His Fund, founded by former Convergint Technologies entrepreneur Greg Lernihan. "We believe Charityvest will shift the economics of giving and we're excited to come alongside this team to execute on this vision," said Tom Lernihan, who manages the venture portfolio for His Fund.
Vennfi (Charityvest) Media Relations