Neighborly Ltd, the award-winning community investment and engagement platform has secured Series A funding from Guinness Asset Management.
Neighborly connects businesses with thousands of vetted local charities and good causes across the UK and Ireland through a technology platform that facilitates the donation of volunteer time, redistribution of surplus products and grant funding to make the maximum positive impact in local communities. Critically, the platform measures activities in real time and provides evidence of the social and environmental value delivered.
The Neighborly platform, launched in 2014, has worked with corporate partners like Aldi, M&S, Lidl, Danone, M&G Investments, Cadent and RSA Insurance, to support over 16,000 local good causes across the UK and Ireland that help an average of 350 people each per week. As the UK market leader in community investment and engagement, Neighborly has helped disburse £ 13m in microgrants, deliver 70,000 hours of employee volunteering time, redistribute 50m meals and save 80,000 tonnes of CO2.
The investment in Neighborly comes at a time when businesses are increasingly needed to deliver sustainable social value as part of their overall strategy, which has been accelerated by the impact of Covid-19 and the climate crisis. Over the last 18 months, Neighborly has seen a significant increase in demand from businesses wanting to deliver and measure social impact at a local level, as well as from local good causes wanting to make that connection.
The shift towards a more equitable stakeholder capitalism model is showing how essential building trust is to creating stable and sustainable communities, highlighting the importance of localization when it comes to businesses supporting good causes. In addition to employee and consumer pressure for action, increased interest in how businesses are translating environmental, social and governance (ESG) expectations from investors and wider stakeholders is also driving take up, with sustainability critical to long term wealth creation.
The Series A investment into one of the UK’s founding B Corporations follows three years of strong growth and will help accelerate product development, expand the team and respond to demand for international expansion. As part of the investment, Guinness Fund Manager Ashley Abrahams will join the board of directors alongside the existing team.
Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighborly, said: “We are delighted to welcome Guinness to the Neighborly team and for Ashley to join us on the board. He immediately understood the neighborly proposition and the value it delivers for businesses and local good causes alike, against the backdrop of the rapidly evolving ESG landscape. Our strong belief is that businesses must prioritize the proven power of local good causes, who are the backbone of our communities. A thriving community and resilient population of hyper-local causes is vital to the success of both society and the economy. ”
Ashley Abrahams, Fund Manager at Guinness Asset Management, said: “Guinness is extremely pleased to be supporting neighborly during this exciting time of growth, expansion, and product development. Neighborly has a unique proposition that can make a real difference to local community engagement, is ideally placed to address key components of the corporate ESG agenda and help businesses deliver long term sustainable growth that is beneficial for all stakeholders. Steve and the team have been very successful in driving the company forward over the last three years and we very much look forward to working with them as they embark on the next stage of their growth. “
Glen Waters, Head of PwC Raise | Ventures, said: “We are thrilled to have delivered an exceptional result in finding the right investor for such a first-class team and business. Neighborly has a unique proposition that can deliver measurable impact and a platform that can help tackle essential ESG challenges. Guinness Asset Management will be a great partner for neighborly and its investment will help management to continue to invest in the platform and the team, realizing the phenomenal market opportunity and growth potential. ”