CrowdRise closes financing round led by USV

CrowdRise, an online platform supporting crowdfunding projects for charitable causes has closed a $23 million financing round led by USV. Venture capital firms Spark Capital and Index Ventures are co-investors in the round along with James Packer and Brett Ratner’s RatPac venture fund, CAA Ventures and United Talent Agency’s venture fund.

PRESS RELEASE

CrowdRise, the leading online platform supporting crowdfunding projects for charitable causes, announced today that it has closed a $23 million financing round led by USV.
Venture capital firms Spark Capital and Index Ventures are co-investors in the round along with James Packer and Brett Ratner’s RatPac venture fund, CAA Ventures and United Talent Agency’s venture fund. Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos, also participated with follow-on investment from participation in the company’s Seed financing, which counted Eric Schmidt, Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell’s Lightbank, Chris and Tim Vanderhook (Specific Media), High Line Venture Partners, Chris Sacca and Jack Dorsey among its investors.
Along with the financing, CrowdRise also announced major partnerships with the New York City Marathon, which recently launched a multi-year exclusive partnership with the platform; the Boston Marathon; the Ironman events; the Red Cross; UNICEF; the wedding site The Knot; and the Today Show.
“We started CrowdRise to create the best platform in the world for people to express and turbo-charge their efforts to make the world a better place,” explained CrowdRise co-founder and CEO Robert Wolfe. “We’ve always believed that people want and need a specific platform to anchor and support their personal charitable efforts and now, in the same way that Facebook is the platform for your social life and Linked In is the platform for your professional networking, we’re confident that CrowdRise will be the ‘go to’ platform for your life as an activist and philanthropist. We’re thrilled that some of the smartest minds in the technology investment community agree with us and couldn’t be more pleased with the investors we’ve assembled as we grow CrowdRise into a global community. Fred Wilson is one of the greatest advocates for entrepreneurs in the world and knows more about the crowdfunding space than most of the rest of us combined…so having him join our team with such enthusiasm is a huge boost and a great compliment.”
This week, CrowdRise also launches a significant platform expansion to enable people to fundraise for or donate directly to individuals, alongside its existing service of fundraising for charities and non-profit organizations. Until now, the platform has enabled its community to support causes of all kinds by helping people leverage their creativity, their activities and their social networks in support of non-profit organizations.
“For many people, the charitable impulse extends to helping friends, family or loved ones in moments of financial need or crisis. Overwhelmingly, our community has asked for a way to mount these types of fundraisers, and track their person-to-person giving right alongside their more traditional giving to organizations. Our response was to build out the platform as a home for their entire personal impact narrative. So we’re super psyched to expand our idea of what ‘CrowdRising’ means,” said Wolfe.
Fred Wilson, USV co-founder, led the investment for USV and will join CrowdRise’s Board of Directors.
* Robert Wolfe and Fred Wilson are both available for comment

About CrowdRise

CrowdRise is a crowdfunding platform for people and organizations to raise support for the causes they are passionate about. CrowdRise’s core principles are that people have unprecedented power to use the power of networks to leverage their personal capacity and that raising money for their causes and giving back should be fun. CrowdRise’s custom-built platform and game theory, as well as the company’s proven record of designing innovative crowd-funding strategies, provide individual fundraisers, charities, and events with powerful tools to raise the most money for their causes and share compelling philanthropic stories with their personal networks. The site lets anyone turn their friends into an active base of donors for any cause and lets any organization, company, or event unlock untapped leverage out of their existing platform.

CrowdRise topped Mashable’s list of “Most Innovative Crowdfunding Platforms” and was named a “Top 25 Best Global Philanthropist” by Barron’s. CrowdRise was founded by actor and activist Edward Norton, producer Shauna Robertson, and the founders of Moosejaw, Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe. Thousands of charitable organizations, events, celebrities, and everyday donors have made CrowdRise their philanthropic base for giving back.

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