Social Fundraising Platform Rally Grows With A New Round of $7.9 Million
BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, June 26 2012
The online social fundraising company Rally.org has landed a new $7.9 million round of funding from a group of brand-name investors.
Rally.org, headquartered in San Francisco, raised the new round from some of its existing seed investors such as Reid Hoffman of Greylock Partners and Mike Maples of the Floodgate Fund, but also adds Kevin Rose of Google Ventures (this is his first investment at Google Ventures,) and Craig Shapiro of Collaborative Fund.
The company also raised money online itself from Angel List. Those investors include Michael Birch, founder of Bebo and an angel investor in Charity Water, author and entrepreneurs Tim Ferriss, Eric Ries and other entrepreneurs such as Josh Spear and Scott Belsky. Political backers include Mark McKinnon, Andrew Bleeker, president of Bully Pulpit Interactive, which is President Barack Obama's digital marketing agency and the bipartisan political consulting firm Vianovo.
The money will go toward hiring more engineers and expansion in Europe, said Rally's CEO Tom Serres in an interview. The company, with 23 members of staff, already has an office in Berlin and plans on expanding first in Germany. It's in the process of building out the infrastructure needed to connect to financial institutions in the European Union. Serres said that he's been thinking about expanding into Europe since 2009 when he attended Personal Democracy Forum in Spain. He spent a month after attending the conference travelling around Europe trying to figure out the EU's financial plumbing.
Domestically, Rally.org is now being used by many political campaigns on both sides of the aisle including Governor Mitt Romney's. It's also used by individuals for everything from raising money to go to college to a pastor in Minnesota trying to save his church from foreclosure.
Serres says that more than 14,000 causes currently use the platform.