Many people want their spending to support social causes. Beam Impact is one such company that enables customers to accomplish it. Recently it has raised $13.3 million in Series A funding led by Index Ventures. The company’s B2B2C model connects consumers with brands that are supporting social causes. It also allows them to donate a portion of their purchases to a non-profit of their choice, at no cost to them. Beam is partnered with 100 brands, including Instacart, Parade, IKEA, Roots Canada, and more.
History of Beam Impact and working model
The company was founded in 2017 by Beam CEO Viveka Hulyalkar, a former McKinsey consultant, and CTO Alex Sadhu, a former Tinder iOS engineer. The pair founded Beam to connect people wanting to make an impact with brands that can do it.
Beam can be accessed in two ways. One via iOS and Android apps and the second through its e-commerce brand integration with its partners. On the Beam app, you can browse brands present on the platform and pick one that you’re interested in purchasing.
Once ready for the purchase, you can choose a non-profit organization of your choice to donate to. You can choose from causes related to education, public policy, climate change, and more. From there, the brand you’re purchasing from will donate 1% of your total purchase to the nonprofit you’ve selected. When you make a purchase, you can track your social impact. For instance, you may see that you’re 30% of the way to funding the removal of 30 pounds of plastic from the ocean.
The company’s nonprofit partners include Black Girls do STEM, Feeding South Florida, Women’s Refugee Commission, Center for Black Women’s Wellness, Last Prisoner Project, Rainforest Trust, Animal Haven, One Tree Planted, First Nations Nutrition Program, Stop AAPI Hate, Child Mind Institute and more. Beam is partnered with more than 500 nonprofits.
Beam doesn’t take a cut from donations or purchases and instead gets paid by the brands in its network. The brands pay Beam for the volume of usage they’re seeing via a tiered subscription model. Hulyalkar explained that the model is designed to ensure that the brands are always seeing positive ROI, relative to the combined cost of what they’re paying Beam and the cost of donations.
Details and Plans with the funding
Beam plans to use the money to increase its headcount of six employees by 8x, among other things. The company has already doubled its headcount since it closed the raise.
The funding round included participation from earlier investors Ulu Ventures and HearstLab as well as strategic angels, like the cofounders of Attentive, Brian Long and Andrew Jones, and the head of product at Everlane, Ruchika Julapalli. The company’s Series A funding brings Beam’s total raise to date to $15.4 million.