A county Londonderry mobile communications firm has used a £148,000 investment to develop technology helping charities across the UK and Ireland to raise funds via text messages.
InstaGiv in Portstewart now offers a range of products that enable charities to take advantage of recent UK legislation allowing VAT-free donations to be texted using mobile phones.
The company was founded in 2009 by Michael Carlin, who previously worked in financial services in the UK, US, India and Hong Kong.
The company has received assistance from Invest NI of £10,480 and plans to recruit two staff members at management level by the end of next year.
Mr Carlin, the firm’s managing director, said texting has become an important communications tool.
“Increasingly texting is being used by companies and organisations to market their services. Television fundraising campaigns have also been encouraging |text donations.
“I decided to set up InstaGiv because I saw an opportunity in the decision by the UK government to allow charities to use texting services as a way to raise funds without having VAT deducted at source. Desk research also indicated that mobile fund- raising could amount to £100m over the next five years.
“My services will also enable charities to harness the potential for fundraising through social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.”
Des Gartland, manager of Invest NI’s north west regional office, said that InstaGiv is an “interesting business model with immense potential”.
“The company has proven its technology-led service by running two successful fundraising campaigns for the Simon Community and Chest, Heart and Stroke.”