Fundraising startup Snap Raise raises $90M as it expands digital platform to aid high school teams

Snap Raise CEO Cole Morgan. (Snap Raise Photo)

Talk about reaching your fundraising goal.

Snap Raise, the Seattle-based startup that helps high school teams and clubs with digital fundraising, has closed a $90 million financing round, the parent company Snap Mobile Inc. announced on Tuesday.

CEO Cole Morgan told GeekWire that the huge cash infusion will allow Snap Raise to think bigger and expand around the opportunities related to fundraising.

“There’s a lot of different areas we can get into, but I think holistically what we really want to do is build program management software,” Morgan said. “A lot of what coaches and group leaders are tasked to do is build high school programs. But the problem is there’s no real software that enables them to.”

Snap Raise envisions a toolkit used by high school athletic teams, arts programs, clubs and other groups that will help them with managing a slate of tasks around fundraising, budgeting, team administration, e-commerce, and more. The ecosystem of software services will make it easier for coaches and other leaders to build lasting programs and weather high turnover.

There are a flurry of other software-based tools to help high school programs raise money, such as TeamSnap, VNN, RallyUp and others. And GoFundMe is a huge platform to compete against.

Morgan believes Snap Raise’s technology can also serve a greater purpose around equity.

“I think a lot of times what you see between the haves and the have-nots is a large group of people that can [provide] support,” Morgan said. “Hopefully the technology levels that playing field, to say you don’t need 25 parents all around you all the time to help elevate and build your program. There’s a suite of software solutions that allows you to wear as many hats as possible.”

Ranked No. 54 on the GeekWire 200 index of Pacific Northwest startups, Snap Raise has helped 48,000 teams, groups and clubs raise more than $430 million since 2014. The company says its online platform is differentiated by its use of “know your customer” processes that ensure secure handling of funds and financial protection for those involved.

The startup sold its Snap Advance line of business for universities and nonprofits to Israel-based Graduway in March 2020.

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The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on schools and sports slowed Snap Raise down, but according to Morgan, it allowed the startup to rethink the business and the entire sales process. Former Expedia CTO Stuart Silberg joined Snap Raise as CTO in December.

“We’ve become a lot more efficient as a company,” Morgan said. “We’ve been able to double what we did during the pandemic,” he added, saying that the company was on the verge of helping school groups raise $1 million in a single day for the first time.

The pandemic has helped business because Morgan said it was a forcing function for schools to embrace technology.

“I founded Snap eight years ago, and I’ve been personally on the front lines trying to get coaches and schools and teachers to adopt technology for many different reasons,” Morgan said. “We started to see demand from schools that we’ve never seen.”

Morgan co-founded Snap Raise in 2014 with Eddie Behringer, who left in 2019 to launch a new fintech startup called Copper Banking.

Snap Raise has raised $114.8 million to date, and now employs 158 people.

The funding round was led by Elysian Park Ventures, the private investment arm affiliated with the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers.