NeedsList, an online platform that matches products and services to communities in need worldwide, has closed their $1 million round just in time for their multisector campaign for World Refugee Week (June 17-23), which is highlighting the ways in which the private sector and individual citizens can stand with refugees worldwide.
“The timing for this funding couldn’t be better –these resources will allow us to expand on our model that has already directed over one million dollars of resources to communities supporting people displaced by conflict and climate change in twenty countries,” said Natasha Freidus, co-founder and CEO of NeedsList. “Investment will go directly into our technological infrastructure to build out predictive analytics to meet needs at scale.”
New investors Amplio Ventures and Marigold Capital join the Omidyar Network, Next Wave Impact, Silicon Valley Social Ventures and the Kuo Sharper Fund in a shared vision for NeedList, who this month also won first place in the North American finals for Visa’s Everywhere Initiative.
“The team at Amplio Ventures has been fans of NeedList since first learning about the innovative platform for transforming humanitarian aid,” said Dalton T. Sirmans, general partner of Atlanta-based Amplio Ventures. “NeedsList addresses both the primary and continuing need for aid and relief that exists within the refugee community. Better still, the team is building the tech behind the NeedsList model so that others that require immediate assistance can have their specific needs met more efficiently and effectively.”
The scrappy startup, which bootstrapped for its first two years, is deploying resources in partnership with the Refugee Investment Network to kick off a weeklong campaign during World Refugee Week, which will highlight the multiple ways that companies are stepping up to stand with refugees during this time of unprecedented crisis.
NeedsList partners with private sector partners ranging from TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site who is purchasing and loading SD cards with asylum rights information — to Latham and Watkins, a law firm who offered NeedsList pro bono legal support to close their round. Other companies, such as Kagan Accounting, are hiring refugees while IKEA North York has generously donated mattresses to local refugee-supporting nonprofits. Additional partners include representatives of academia: MIT’s ReACT program; philanthropy, The Shapiro Foundation, and startup social enterprises Five One Labs, Leaf Global Fintech, 734 Coffee, and Talent Beyond Boundaries.
“NeedsList has the potential to transform an outdated and inefficient crisis relief system to meet and exceed the over $11B resource gap in urgent needs for displaced communities,” said Tali Golan, Director of Social Impact at Needham-based TripAdvisor. ”As one of Needslist’s first corporate partners, we have been their champions from the start and are thrilled that they have hit this milestone. We look forward to continuing to collaborate along their journey in our shared aim of responding to the real-time needs of those displaced.”
The public is invited to join the NeedsList campaign at www.needslist.co/wrw19.
NeedsList is a real-time needs registry for disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
Our platform aggregates needs from vetted nonprofits, matching them with corporate resources to increase the speed, efficiency, and transparency of crisis response. For more information, visit www.needslist.co.