Wellbeing startup onHand secures €1.6 million to make employees feel-good with volunteering app

onHand is one of world’s first on-demand volunteering apps, making employee volunteering as easy as ordering a takeaway. Called the ‘Uber for Volunteering’, the company is on a mission to make it simple for businesses to engage employees whilst also giving back to communities.

Today the British startup announces a €1.6 million pre-A investment round led by Northstar Ventures. 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. The fresh funds secured aim to fuel an extended period of growth enabling employees everywhere to feel great, by doing good in their community.

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. Opportunities to help are based on employee location or done remotely, in teams or individually. These are typically micro to fit around busy schedules, easy to complete in under an hour and can be picked up on-demand – unlike any other volunteering solution in the world.

Sanjay Lobo, CEO, commented, “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”.

Dominic Endicott from NorthStar Ventures noted: “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, commented: “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 and introduce further volunteering opportunities for employees to further support with youth mentoring, older adult care, homelessness support and environmental projects.