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GoFundMe acquires CrowdRise to expand to fundraising for charities

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GoFundMe has made a name for itself as a go-to platform for individuals looking to raise money for good causes — a business that has been a big success, raising $3 billion since 2010 from 25 million+ donors across over 2 million campaigns.

Now, the company is expanding: GoFundMe has acquired CrowdRise, a fundraising platform for charities and other non-profits, as well as fundraising events, including the Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Ironman and Tough Mudder; as well as the American Cancer Society, Red Cross, UNICEF and Free the Children.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed but we are attempting to find out. CrowdRise had raised around $25 million in funding, according to CrunchBase, although PitchBook notes a further $5 million round and more in the previous rounds, putting the total raised at $31.5 million. PitchBook tells us that CrowdRise’s valuation at its last funding was $91 million, as a guide of sorts.

The acquisition comes at a period of consolidation of sorts in the crowdfunding space. Last year, Kickstarter acquired Drip to move into support for the music community, and we have heard that Tilt (the YC-backed funding platform formerly known as Crowdtilt) has also been approached for an acquisition. We also heard last year that GoFundMe had also been approached, by PayPal.

GoFundMe’s deal today is directly aimed at growing the funnel of transactions focused on good causes that are collected and processed by GoFundMe, which pulled in $100 million per month and grew at a rate of 300 percent year-over-year in 2016. (GoFundMe takes 5% per each transaction on its platform.)

“There is a perfect synergy between GoFundMe’s brand of person to person social fundraising and CrowdRise’s expertise in fundraising for charities through peer-to-peer, race events and corporate campaigns,” said GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon in a statement. “GoFundMe aims to be the giving layer of the Internet. By joining forces with CrowdRise, we can offer both people and organizations the right fundraising strategy for any sort of cause they care passionately about.”

Before today, CrowdRise was a competitor of sorts to GoFundMe: it worked with individuals as well as groups. Now, those individuals will be redirected to GoFundMe, while CrowdRise will keep its branding and continue to focus on fundraising for larger organizations.

CrowdRise was co-founded by the actor Edward Norton, producer Shauna Robertson, and Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe in 2009 while trying to raise money for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. They created a bespoke platform to do so, and realised that it could be used by others, too. It’s been a success in its own right, with over 1 million members and 20,000 charities on the platform, with non-profit campaigns raising over $500 million.

GoFundMe declined to comment on how many people from CrowdRise are joining GoFundMe, but the whole team will be joining as part of the acquisition.

“Our entire team at CrowdRise is incredibly excited to be a part of the GoFundMe revolution because we authentically share their vision,” said Robert Wolfe, CEO of CrowdRise, in a statement.  “We really believe that this combination is going to comprehensively rewrite the way the people take care of each other and act on their desires to make the world a better place.  The scale of what we can do together is truly awesome.”

“From our first conversations, I knew CrowdRise and GoFundMe would be a natural combination,” said Norton in a separate statement. “We share the same conviction that there needs to be a platform specific to people’s passion to support causes just as much as there are platforms for their social lives, their business lives, and anything else. GoFundMe has built one of the most powerful tools for social good ever and we are so psyched to join forces with them.”

“I think it’s a really smart combination, pairing GoFundMe, the leader in charitable crowdfunding, with CrowdRise, the leader in providing philanthropic crowdfunding tools to charities, events, and corporations,” investor Fred Wilson told TechCrunch. “I believe that putting CrowdRise tools on top of GoFundMe’s network is going to supercharge what CrowdRise customers, present and future, can do in terms of fundraising.”