Seed capital for interactive fundraising tool
"Altruja has positioned itself as an innovative provider of software for fundraising campaigns via social media and handles all the payment processing," founder Nicolas Reis explains. "Non-profit organisations benefit not only from our online fundraising tool, but also have the option of collecting contributions from donors via text messaging. We also offer our customers individual social media consulting and can set up fundraising websites for them."
Nicolas Reis, Altruja's founder and CEO, previously worked for three years at The Active Network, one of the most successful providers of online registration software in the United States, and was subsequently in charge of the Sports & Charity units at amiando AG. Nicolas Reis based his idea to establish Altruja GmbH on this professional experience. Co-founder Andreas Jagdhuber previously worked for almost three years in consulting, among others at Roland Berger as well as Simon-Kucher & Partners, and is now in charge of operations and finance at Altruja. Altruja's CTO Stefan Grothkopp was for more than two and a half years responsible for programming high security software for satellite operators. At Altruja he is in charge of developing and conceptualising the product as well technical operation and administration of the platform.
The three founders share their passion for social fundraising with High-Tech Gründerfonds, which is convinced not only by this team of founders. "Altruja's software makes aid organisations' process of collecting donations substantially more efficient. Given the high cost of conventional campaigns, Altruja's software constitutes a real benefit for the customer," Dr Björn Momsen, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds points out. Mr Falk Strascheg, managing partner of Extorel and a major philanthropist himself, adds: "With Altruja, successful and transparent fundraising is no longer the preserve of large aid projects. Anyone can support their favourite fundraising project."
Possible applications of the software are manifold and range from one-off campaigns to special-occasion fundraising events, celebrity campaigns, sports team events and through to partnership models as well as corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. Altruja GmbH's collaboration with amiando AG also makes the Altruja fundraising software, integrated in the amiando AG's online booking system, available to currently more than 100,000 events involving fundraising. "We find Altruja's team and product highly convincing and are pleased, with amiando's coverage, to be supporting growth into the events market," says Felix Haas, CEO of amiando AG. Jürgen Kremheller, Investment Manager at Bayern Kapital is also convinced by both the team and the concept, adding: "What we regard as exciting is that schools, universities, sports clubs and churches will also be able to efficiently sign up new contributors using the Altruja software."
The new business has grown from having three employees to twelve in the few months since it was set up. The founders are thus looking confidently to the future: "We are very pleased, following the intense start-up phase, now to be able with a comprehensive and fantastic team to embark on the hot phase of the Christmas giving period and are sure that the word on the user friendliness and flexible application options of our software as well as our individual customer service will quickly get around among non-profit organisations."
Altruja provides social fundraising software that can easily and quickly be integrated into any website. Using this software and Web 2.0, aid organisations and other fundraising institutions like universities, associations, school, political initiatives etc. can reach new contributors and thereby exponentially increase the amount of funds they raise. Fully in line with the concept of social media, Altruja's software is based on the viral relationship marketing effect. This makes signing up new contributors significantly more cost effective and donation processing more efficient. The idea behind this innovative tool is based on the founders' practical experience in the fast-growing online donations market of the English-speaking world and was adapted for the German market.
Extorel is the family office of the Strascheg family. Characterised by independence, professionalism and a comprehensive range of services, the Extorel provides integrated advice on all investment decisions. One of the focal areas of investment is private equity and venture capital. As an entrepreneurially-minded, active investor, Extorel invests in young, innovative technology businesses with strong growth potential. Its investments in more than 25 companies cover, among others, the electronics, laser and semiconductor sectors, information and web technology as well as new media and the cleantech field. The companies in the portfolio are characterised by exceptionally committed and dynamic management teams generating innovative ideas and products.
About Bayern Kapital:
Bayern Kapital was set up in 1995 as part of the Bavarian state government's "Bavarian Future Initiative" aimed at furnishing especially new, innovative Bavarian companies with venture capital. To date, Bayern Kapital has invested about EUR 152 million in more than 185 innovative, high-tech companies. Bayern Kapital is available as a contact for businesses in the region and currently manages an overall fund volume of about EUR 214 million.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests risk capital in young, high-potential technology companies that convert promising research results in business success. The seed finance provided aims to enable start-ups to take their R&D project through to the creation of a prototype, a proof of concept or to market launch. High-Tech Gründerfonds participates in providing seed finance of EUR 500,000. In some cases the fund can invest up to two million euros per business. Investors in this public/private partnership are the German Federal Ministry for Business and Technology, the KfW Banking Group as well as the six industrial groups of BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gründerfonds has a fund volume of about 272 million euros.