SAN DIEGO, April 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Classy, a B Corp Certified social enterprise that creates world-class fundraising software for nonprofits, announced today that it has closed a $118 million Series D funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners, a mission-driven venture capital firm, which has previously partnered with other powerhouse technology companies like Udemy, Talkspace, Plaid, Gong and OpenDoor. Existing backers, Salesforce Ventures and Hinge Capital, also participated in the round.
Classy will use this capital to accelerate customer-forward product development and double the size of its product and engineering organization over the next two years to meet rising demand. The company also plans to enter new markets, such as corporate giving, all to drive a greater impact for its 6,000+ nonprofit customers. Following the funding and a year of record growth, Classy will immediately repay its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, which it took from the federal government during the pandemic to keep its staff fully employed and to ensure it could continue to serve the social sector at full capacity during a time of increased need.
"Last year was especially challenging for nonprofits, forcing them to adapt their fundraising efforts to meet the needs of their recipients while increasingly leaning on technology solutions," said David Su, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners. "As the social sector looks to reach new audiences on digital platforms, Classy is poised to support this growing market demand. We're excited to support Classy in its continued endeavors to stimulate social impact throughout the world."
Scot Chisholm, Co-founder and CEO of Classy, will step down as CEO and transition into a full-time Executive Chairman role. He will now lead Mergers & Acquisitions and new market expansion for the company while continuing to serve on the Board of Directors. For the past decade, Chisholm's vision for the company led to its explosive growth, helping thousands of nonprofit organizations raise nearly $3 billion for their missions. Classy's full suite of world-class online fundraising tools has powered tens of millions of donations from over 190 countries. He is handing the reins to Christopher Himes, a longtime Classy Board member and the current Chief Operating Officer. Himes's background includes a six year tenure at Salesforce, including as an SVP, where he worked with best-in-class cloud computing technology, and was an Executive Fellow at the Salesforce.com Foundation. Prior to that, he served as the CFO at Fair Trade and has held numerous board positions with nonprofits including There With Care and The Trust for Public Land.
"Through our new partnership with Norwest and the investment in our product and engineering teams, Classy will continue to elevate the sector and drive more impact for our nonprofit customers," said Scot Chisholm, Co-Founder of Classy. "As a trusted advisor and partner for the past seven years, Chris and I share a joint vision for how great technology can create meaningful value for organizations and the causes that need it most. Chris has already significantly impacted our customers thanks to his invaluable background in cloud technology and his vast knowledge of the social sector, and I have no doubt this impact will continue to grow with him at the helm."
As CEO, Himes will build upon the foundation Chisholm has laid over the past decade. Classy is also reincorporating as a Public Benefit Corporation, accelerating the timeline it initially put forth after becoming B Corp Certified in December 2020 and furthering its commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Himes will continue Classy's track record of creating first-class technology to serve the social sector.
Today, nearly 20 percent of total giving on Classy's platform is done by donors who "subscribe" to nonprofits and pledge to give on a regular basis, and there's opportunity to grow this number. Himes will drive the company's focus on its industry-leading recurring giving tools and build a billion dollar recurring giving business that helps nonprofits maximize their revenue seasonally and achieve their missions year-round.
"We know that great technology equates to more revenue for nonprofits, which means they have the resources to tackle complex social challenges," said Chris Himes, incoming Classy CEO. "Our goal is to build the best technology possible for our customers and lead the industry in ROI by providing more efficient, streamlined and effective solutions that build sustainable income streams for nonprofits, so they can focus on the real issues."
David Su, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners, will join Classy's Board of Directors, bringing his expertise in software and financial technology. Depelsha McGruder is also joining the Board as its independent director. McGruder is the COO of the Ford Foundation and founder of Moms of Black Boys (M.O.B.B) United, a nonprofit dedicated to positively influencing how Black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement in society.
Classy is a Certified B Corp and social enterprise that helps nonprofit organizations maximize their impact through a suite of world-class, online fundraising tools to accelerate social impact around the world. Based in San Diego, CA and trusted by organizations of all sizes, from the fastest-growing nonprofits to some of the world's largest social organizations, nonprofits use Classy's platform to raise money, engage their communities, and advance their missions. Since 2011, Classy has powered tens of millions of donations from over 190 countries, and customers on its platform have raised $3 billion for social good. Classy also hosts the Collaborative conference and the Classy Awards to spotlight the innovative work nonprofits are implementing around the globe. For more information, visit www.classy.org or follow Classy on Twitter @Classy.
About Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest is a leading venture and growth equity investment firm managing more than $9.5 billion in capital. Since our inception, we have invested in more than 600 companies and partner with over 150 active companies currently in our venture and growth equity portfolio. The firm invests in early to late stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, enterprise, and healthcare. We offer a deep network of connections, operating experience, and a wide range of impactful services to help CEOs and founders scale their businesses. Norwest has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, with subsidiaries in India and Israel. For more information, please visit www.nvp.com. Follow Norwest on Twitter @NorwestVP