eSolidar launched in 2014 as an online marketplace enabling charities to raise funds and reach new audiences through online shops, donations and special celebrity & brand auctions. Having registered 50K users, 800 charities and completed work with several brands, eSolidar now aims to bring charitable giving to businesses.
We believe businesses can play a key role in changing the world for the better by embracing the power of social innovation.
eSolidar for Businesses is a charity-focused employee engagement platform that helps companies to understand employees’ motivations and preferred causes; measure their engagement index; align the corporate social responsibility strategies with their preferences; and benchmark against other businesses.
Delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), eSolidar amplifies & measures the social impact by mixing the power of analytics, volunteering and charitable giving.
In a nutshell, eSolidar aims to transform businesses into a vehicle for positive change by engaging employees in their passions.
Many organisations are concerned about embodying their values, developing ethical codes to foster responsible behaviour from their employees. eSolidar brings those values to the heart of an organisation’s operations aiming to deliver significant contributions to proﬁt, planet, and people through employee engagement.
According to IO Sustainability, corporate social responsibility programs can increase employee en-gagement up to 7.5%, increase employee productivity by 13%, reduce employee turnover by 50%, and increase revenue by as much as 20%. We believe that those numbers can soar with a seamless, beautifully designed, powerful, and easy-to-use strategic philanthropy software.
To demonstrate these figures, we provide an online calculator where organisations can calculate the amount that they could save by using eSolidar for business.
Substantial accomplishments to date
-77K Monthly Unique Visitors in Sept 2017
-$353K Raised for Charities (6.32% average MoM growth from May - September 2017)
-53K Registered Users
-800+ Registered and validated Charities (26% from UK)
-Pilot testing with few pre-selected companies including Siemens, TAP, and Delta
The eSolidar team began working together in 2012 and raised €100K from BusyAngels to build the concept from scratch and validate it in Portugal.
In 2014, we were selected as "One of the most outstanding digital initiatives for social good of the year!" and received the "Best Business Potential 2014" award from the European Youth Awards.
In April 2015, we raised €500K from Portugal Ventures to consolidate the business model in Portugal, and start operations in the UK. We're now also based in the Impact Hub at Kings Cross, in London.
We were selected by Forbes “30 under 30 Europe” for “Social Entrepreneurship in 2016”.
In 2016 we successfully raised £200K+ in equity crowdfunding through Seedrs, as a convertible with 20% discount.
eSolidar is a fundraiser’s toolbox (or “Swiss Army Knife”). It includes both unique and more common CSR features, such as sponsorship.
Data aggregated through transactions in the marketplace – be they donations, searches, purchases or auctions – enable eSolidar to offer donors and charities more options to engage and empower individuals to choose which charitable cause to support, and how best to raise funds for them.
For now, we apply a small ‘success fee’ to each transaction. As we continue to grow our user base, we are now able to consolidate our revenue model through a SaaS model for the corporate sector. We plan to make the platform available through a monthly subscription based on the organisation’s number of employees.
Use of proceeds
Once we have acquired the funds through Seedrs, we intend to grow our SaaS solution, hire a Head of Sales, grow our development team, and become a strong player in the HR and CSR space by:
- Focusing on growth and up-scaling our B2B model. By doing this, it will enable us to scale the charitable marketplace and allow organisations to better connect and engage with charities.
- We will keep bringing organisations on-board to get more involved with charitable causes, motivate their employees and develop their CSR. For example, giving gift cards to use in charity shops or as donations, making match donations of their employees, or giving them hours/week to volunteer. It will allow us to boost our new SaaS revenue stream, reach break-even and consolidate our current business model.
In 2015 alone, US charities raised $373B, of which $18.45B was corporate giving (+3.9% from 2014). The UK raised £80B in total. Yet, between $450B-$550B a year is lost in productivity in the US from disengaged employees. Worldwide, according to Gallup (January 2016), only 13% of employees are engaged with the companies they work for, and 17.2% are actively disengaged/toxic. A toxic worker costs about $12,000 per year in low productivity, and disengagement leads to higher employee turnover (recruitment costs ~150% of an annual salary). According to Compensation Force, as of 2016 the average employee annual turnover, in all industries, is 17.8%.
We conclude that companies with low employee engagement have higher cost of capital and we believe that the main causes of disengagement are lack of employee recognition, rewards, purpose, personal development and misalignment between an organisation's’ values and employees’ passions.
Characteristics of target market
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) directly influences 78% of millennials when job hunting. 94% of employees want to use their skills for good, 75% want to be involved in their company’s giving and volunteering programmes and 93% of employees who volunteer are happy with their employer.
Businesses know this too: 86% of businesses believe that employees expect them to provide opportunities to engage in the community and 87% believe their employees expect them to support causes and issues that matter to those employees.
In the 2016 PwC Global CEO survey, 64% of CEOs said that “CSR is core to their business rather than being a stand-alone program”.
Also, employees most committed to their organisations put in 57% more effort on the job and are 87% less likely to resign than disengaged employees. 89% of executives found a positive correlation between their volunteer/giving program and employee engagement and companies that report greater employee engagement generate up to 2.5x more revenue.
We have 4 main focus growth areas for the next 18 months:
- Focus on product development, closing contracts with early adopters and evaluate market-fit while working closely with those clients through their feedback and experience;
- Increase our efforts on networking events, speaking opportunities, affiliate programs and inbound marketing targeted to CEOs, HR, Marketing departments & Employees. Also allow businesses to give charitable giftcards to their customers as loyalty incentives (this will enable us to attract more businesses);
- Build APIs and integrate with current HR software through their Apps marketplaces, like SAP SuccessFactors, Sharepoint or Zenefits, to reach thousands of potential corporate clients and improve the onboarding experience;
- Start applying data science and machine learning techniques to KPIs evolution, employee satisfaction and engagement. Compare it with the CSR performance, analyse their impact and benchmark against other businesses in the industry.
By providing tools for organisations, so that they can execute and evaluate their CSR plans and activities, we target a new market segment: impact-driven employee engagement solutions. With the entrance in this market comes old competitors like Giving Force in the UK market and CyberGrants, CauseCast, FrontStream and Benevity in the US.
Compared to these competitors, we believe that our business model and technical solution offers a broader application. eSolidar provides tools to manage the entire process of CSR – from planning and evaluating the activities and campaigns together with the employee community, to suggesting and offering a list of Charities and Social projects that can benefit from businesses CSR plans. We intend to democratise CSR by making it available as a self-service solution for any company size, including a consumer-facing marketplace, employee engagement measurement and how charitable initiatives impacts each company culture. With this approach, we hope to enable businesses to boost their levels of employee engagement, reputation and brand awareness through the natural execution and promotion of their strategic CSR.