GWD, a UK-based startup that's aiming to build digital transition apps for "socially minded" organisations, today announced raising £750,000 in equity funds from NPIF Maven Equity Finance, a fund managed by the UK's Maven Capital Partners.
The company is allocating the funds to product pipelines that will help extend its altruistic digital offering, including its contactless donations box that's set up to receive charitable card payments via smartphone.
Maven's investment should also clear a runway for GWD to double down on customer relationships, carving a niche out for its "tech-for-good" model in the UK market.
Headquartered in Sheffield, England, GWD is also marketing self-service touch stands of the kind you'd usually see in retail stores or supermarkets.
With its version, GWD is courting social users like libraries, who can access pre-baked RFID functionality and next-wave self-service interfaces, like biometric, scanners, barcodes and digital cards.
That matters because libraries face a tough challenge in keeping their facilities relevant, in the age of e-books and other digital entertainment. These customers also need to use their public funding allocation wisely, which makes having a reliable digital touchpoint more appealing.
The GWD self-service stand is known as the "self-discovery" device. For charity fundraising, the startup is offering its contactless "Donation Station", which comes with "interactive storytelling" and a straightforward UX to help "enhance the donor experience."
Founders Marek Narkiewicz and Ben Widdows have steadily evolved the business model since setting GWD up in 2011. The company sees the investment from Maven — a big name in UK venture capital and commercialisation — as a major "vote of confidence".
Glasgow-headquartered Maven is investing through a vehicle linked to the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, an initiative formed by the UK's economic development bank, British Business Bank, in partnership with 10 local enterprise boards in northern England.
NPIF, which includes the NPIF Maven Equity Finance fund, is supported by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Fund, as well as a subsidiary of the British Business Bank. The UK government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is also involved.