Technology for Social Good
MobileServe, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider is disrupting how individuals and organizations engage volunteers and community service, while empowering them to share their social impact. Their mobile and web-based platform facilitates tracking, verifying, and reporting volunteerism with an engaging process that easily allows users to share, connect, and challenge others.
As we strive to create inclusive economies we need to empower all partners serving marginalized populations. In many communities, the most active servant organizations are nonprofits, therefore we target technology solutions which will create capacity for them to provide more service. MobileServe plays a pivotal role as it mobilizes one of the largest workforces in America: Volunteers.
Each year millions of Americans volunteer their time to various organizations, which is estimated to be over 3.1 billion hours. For most organizations, the job of tracking and maintaining a relationship with these volunteers is overwhelming. The current process typically involves spreadsheets and google documents that are rarely updated and provide no substantive value to the organization.
For the 62 million people volunteering each year, the experience is fairly uneven. Most organizations use pen and paper to check-in volunteers, sign waivers, and perform background checks. The cumbersome approach leads to a disconnect with the people serving and does not allow for consistent engagement which leads to further support and eventually donation.
The MobileServe platform addresses these issues by improving the volunteer experience and creating a stronger relationship between the individual and the organization.
The nonprofit market is larger than most people think: there are 1.4 million nonprofit organizations with annual revenues of $2.2 trillion and $5.2 trillion in assets (as of 2013). Despite its size, there are not many technologies built to satisfy the unique needs of these organizations. MobileServe, along with several of our other portfolio companies, is bucking this trend.
The team behind the innovation are perfectly suited to build a product embraced by the nonprofit world. Ben Reno-Weber, CEO, has extensive experience as a nonprofit executive and Boston Consulting Group consultant. Chris Head, Chief Product Officer, is a serial entrepreneur and volunteer evangelist.
How We Helped
Access Ventures offers innovative finance solutions that helps startups like MobileServe utilize a layered capital approach to secure funding while growing. In the early stages of the company, they applied for a Kiva loan to help purchase branded materials and travel to trade shows. The success of this program led to greater demand and the need to improve the product.
As the company continued to grow, we worked with them through the next steps of applying for a Growth Loan. Access Ventures provided some debt capital to help them take advantage of the opportunity which lead to a large increase in users. Finally, the company had the demand sufficient to build out a proper sales and development team, which allowed them to explore fundraising more capital.
We have been fortunate enough to watch MobileServe quickly grow as a company and Access Ventures lead the investment round by crafting the initial equity terms, as well as supporting the team during their fundraising efforts. We have taken a position on the board and provided access to our entire network of partners and experts within the software development, philanthropy, and nonprofit areas. We are excited to see MobileServe continue to grow and help more organizations and users measure their social impact through volunteer hours.