Innovative community-business connector Neighbourly goes for growth after £1m angel investment

July 24, 2015

Neighbourly, the innovative Bristol-based internet platform that connects community projects with companies wishing to make a difference, has raised more than £1m from angel investors.

The funds – its third round of investment – will be used to grow the firm’s engineering team and accelerate its development and international launch. It is also being used to strengthen Neighbourly’s senior leadership team with a head of operations and head of client engagement already being recruited.

At the same time, experienced tech entrepreneur David Eldridge, pictured right, has joined its board as a non-executive director. Mr Eldridge founded Bristol-based marketing software Alterian, taking it through the IPO (initial public offering) process to a fully listed UK business. Alterian was acquired by SDL, one of the world’s top three providers of software development and information management services, in 2012.

He joins Neighbourly founder Nick Davies, executive chairman Luke McKeever and investor director Chris Kelly on the board.

Neighbourly links local community causes, projects and charities with businesses looking to contribute time, resources or funding. The firm, which is based at the University of Bristol-backed SETsquared innovation hub at the Engine Shed, works with good causes of all types and sizes to publicise and gain community support.

The platform allows businesses to easily find these causes, allowing them to back those that matter to them as well as managing their contributions, generating and receiving authentic content and measuring the value of their participation at local and a national level.

Users already include corporates such as Marks & Spencer and Starbucks, as well as many small and medium-sized businesses active in their local communities.

Since its launch a year ago Neighbourly clients have pledged nearly £1.87m and more than 6,500 volunteer days and backed 218 causes.

Mr McKeever said: “The latest funding round has allowed us to add talented professionals to the leadership team, and speed up our development and international launch. In parallel we have assembled a top class board to guide the business as it grows.

“Awareness among both causes and businesses is gaining momentum. This new investment enables us to increase rapidly the number of causes and businesses benefiting from our platform.”

Mr Davies, pictured right, added: “Our new investors are all seasoned business people who recognise the strength of the Neighbourly proposition. Our purpose is to help social causes by allowing businesses to collaborate, both with local communities and with each other, while also being able to better measure the impact of their giving programmes. If we can make it easy to contribute, and better prove the value of giving, businesses will be motivated to help more.”

The investment in its engineering team will help the firm meet its international ambitions add food re-distribution and optimise the platform for mobile devices.

The new head of operations at the firm is Annette Mercer while Lloyd Buxton has joined as head of client engagement.

Annette Mercer most recently worked as a senior business analyst and product manager with major outsourcing specialist Capita and brings with her a wealth of experience in the successful management and operations of large scale technology projects.

Her previous experience includes senior roles in two software start-ups and management consultancy with Accenture.


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