Last week, when we reported on how PayPal has considered acquiring crowdfunding platform GoFundMe, we noted that the startup was on a growth tear and “printing money”. Today, GoFundMe is releasing some numbers that speak to just how big that is for the company right now. GoFundMe has now passed the $3 billion mark in terms of funds raised on its platform — an impressive number in itself, but even more so if you consider that it announced passing $2 billion only five months ago, in May.
Interestingly, GoFundMe is growing funding totals without a notable increase in its user base. The company reported today that it has 25 million donors using its platform, the same number it published in May. That seems to point to repeat usage, as well as larger donations from its user base.
Larger donations are definitely happening as GoFundMe matures as a business. The company — which has built a business largely around fundraising for charitable and other causes — said that it recently raised $11 million in aid for people impacted by the Floods in Louisiana and $7.8 million for victims and families of those shot in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Leveraging social platforms like Facebook, GoFundMe has found a user base of people who are prepared to pitch in small and large amounts for people who are struggling. Tapping into the nature of viral social media, sometimes those campaigns go way beyond even what the original fundraiser ever thought would be possible. Fidencio the Paleta Man in Chicago (pictured above) was a campaign that originally aimed to raise $3,000 — but in the end it raised over 100 times that: $384,270.
At the same time, as it grows the company is also working on trying make sure it keeps incidents of fraud and other dodgy use down (there have been cases of those, too).
GoFundMe itself recently launched its own form of limited guarantee for donors and fundraisers, who respectively can claim up to $1,000 and $25,000 in the event of a campaign gone wrong. The guarantee for now is only applicable in the U.S. and Canada.
Co-founded by Andrew Ballester and Brad Damphousse in 2008 in San Diego, GoFundMe — which sits alongside others like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Tilt, all covering different kinds of crowdfunding — raised an undisclosed amount of money from a group of investors led by Accel and Technology Crossover Ventures (also including Iconiq Capital, Greylock and Meritech). A month later, it was revealed that Stripes invested in it, too.
As part of that transaction, the investors took a majority stake in the business, buying out the two founders in the process; installing an Accel venture partner, Rob Solomon, as CEO; and valuing the business at around $600 million. At the time, GoFundMe was estimated to be processing $100 million per month in funding for the campaigns using its platform, growing 300 percent year-over-year.