onHand, the world’s first on-demand volunteering app, makes employee volunteering as easy as ordering a takeaway. Named ‘Uber for Volunteering’ by IBM Watson, the company is on a mission to make it simple for businesses to engage employees whilst also giving back to communities.
Today the startup announces a new £1M raise led by Northstar Ventures and launches its latest partnership with Trainline, the leading independent rail and coach travel platform globally. The raise is backed by Dhiraj Mukherjee, co-founder of Shazam, UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Healthy Ageing Challenge and is supported by existing investors. Funds secured aim to fuel an extended period of growth enabling employees everywhere to feel great by doing good in their community.
With 240% client growth already in 2021 for onHand, Trainline is the latest to launch the app to engage and support their team’s wellbeing in the new working world. Opportunities to help are based on Trainliners’ location or done remotely, in teams or individually. These are typically micro to fit around busy schedules and easy to complete in under an hour. The app helps keep team members physically active and doing good, with measurable impact on engagement and wellbeing. Together, Trainline and onHand are exploring opportunities to support causes focused on environmental sustainability and diversity within the technology industry.
onHand CEO, Sanjay Lobo, says, “According to Deloitte, 77% of employees say volunteering is “essential” to employee wellbeing. The problem is only 38% agree their employer supports their volunteering needs with engaging solutions. In the last year, Deloitte also found an “unprecedented” rise in employee loyalty for organisations that meet their employees’ need for purpose. That’s a trend that will only increase: the companies that will win in the future are those focused on responsible business and the shift to profit with purpose. We’re making that transition simple for all forward-thinking businesses, fulfilling multiple employee wellbeing needs at the same time”.
Jody Ford, CEO at Trainline comments: We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with onHand – through the onHand app, volunteering is more accessible to our team, providing them with greater choice and flexibility. In the same way that the Trainline app makes booking and managing train travel easier, it makes complete sense to us to leverage mobile technology to make the process of volunteering simple. It’s well understood that giving back promotes a sense of wellbeing, so I’m really pleased we’re able to make it easier for our people to support causes which are important to each of them.”
Set up in collaboration with 6 of the UK’s largest charities, the award-winning app looks to combat some of society’s biggest challenges by matching employees with activities such as food waste and homelessness, befriending phone calls to tackle loneliness, simple tasks to support the elderly like shop drops, youth mentoring in BAME communities and eco clean up missions across the UK.
Dominic Endicott from NorthStar Ventures notes:
“NorthStar believes that the next innovation wave is about impact at scale. In the UK alone there are up to 20 Million potential volunteers, 10 Million care recipients and millions more young people, homeless and eco projects urgently needing support. onHand is the first cloud platform to enable volunteers and those needing support to be matched via an app, using geolocation, security checks, and machine learning to deliver the best experience to both sides at scale. Employers know that volunteering improves the satisfaction and ultimately the productivity of their employees, and thus are key partners in onHand’s rapid UK expansion. We are excited to become an early investor in onHand’s journey”.
Shazam co-founder, Dhiraj Mukherjee, comments, “onHand’s mobile-first approach solves employee engagement and location-based matching in a way no other solution can. There’s a growing batch of UK businesses leading the world in Tech for Good and, with a focus on the greatest societal issues of our times, onHand is set to join their ranks”.
onHand aims to use the funds to further invest in its tech, expand its reach across the U.K and introduce further volunteering opportunities for employees to support with youth mentoring, older adult help, homelessness and environmental projects.