Ada Ventures backs workers’ rights network Organise in £570k raise
Organise, the platform empowering workers to campaign for better rights, has raised £570k in seed funding in a round led by Ada Ventures – the fund focused on overlooked markets and founders. Having grown from 90,000 to 500,000 members in the last three months, the raise will support the platform’s rapid growth.
Organise’s worker-driven network allows anyone to start a campaign for free; providing members with the tools, support and confidence needed to raise a collective voice and improve their working lives. The model combines the power of collective action with the reach and insight of modern digital campaigns. To date, Organise has enabled workers to mount successful campaigns against unjust working practices at companies including McDonald’s, Ted Baker, Amazon, Uber and Deliveroo.
With workforces increasingly atomised and roles more precarious than ever, enabling the rapid scaling up of collective action around a common issue will play an ever more vital role going forward. The technology and support provided by Organise are designed to complement Union membership and activities.
Alongside Ada Ventures, this round is also joined by: Form Ventures, who back startups tackling markets shaped by regulation and policy; RLC Ventures, a seed-stage fund who commit a portion of their profits back to charitable causes chosen by founders; and Ascension Ventures, a UK seed VC who made the investment via their Fair By Design Fund, which focuses on alleviating challenges faced by low-income households and individuals impacted by the Poverty Premium.
Check Warner from Ada Ventures will be joining the Board as an observer.
Demand for Organise has soared in recent months, with the platform playing a vital role in enabling workers to protect their rights throughout the pandemic. This has included:
- A successful campaign to extend the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme – mobilising their community to collect over 100,000 petition signatures, facilitate surveys, spearhead email campaigns, and flood the Chancellor with Tweets calling for more support.
- 21,000 Organise members petitioned the NHS to demand that all pregnant staff be given the right to work from home with full pay during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Waterstones staff from the Organise community started an open letter to their CEO, asking the book shop to financially support the Black Lives Matter movement.
With 500,000 members already part of the movement, this investment will enable the team to expand the technology and support which helps campaigns take off. This includes upgrading their digital infrastructure to cope with demand, building additional tools to support grassroots campaign action, and introducing new subscription options for those in search of enhanced support. They will also be exploring expansion into international markets.
Nat Whalley, who founded Organise in 2017, comments:
“Collective action protects rights and changes lives; our platform makes that possible for every single worker. Through Organise, members can access the support, technology, networks, and confidence they need to find a voice and make it heard.
“We’ve seen an explosion in demand over recent months and we’re proud of the impact our members have had. We cannot allow this crisis to erode hard-won rights for our workforce; we must provide the technology and tools they need to come together and affect change. This funding will allow us to keep up with demand and introduce new ways of supporting our members. Each of the investors joining us in the round shares our passion for championing the overlooked or disempowered and we’re excited to work with them as we grow.”
Check Warner, Partner at Ada Ventures comments:
“At Ada Ventures, we only invest in the boldest ideas with global ambition, and only in people who are looking to have a positive impact on the world around them. Organise is a great example of this. It’s not often that we come across companies that are tackling a societal issue with technology in a completely novel way. When it does happen, we get very interested. Organise is an unusual combination of digital trade union, surveying tool, benefits platform and social network all underpinned by technology. They are operating in a space where there are very few other solutions offered and serving a customer group that has largely been overlooked and ignored; low paid employees at large companies who lack a voice and rights that they’re legally entitled to. We’re pleased to invest in Organise to enable them to expand the reach, scope and impact of their work.”
Emma Steele, Investment Manager, Ascension Ventures, comments:
“From the outset, we were impressed by the calibre of the founding team and the grit and passion they brought to the table in solving such an important societal challenge. Their platform gives workers an effective and viral tool to have their voice heard. Being able to advocate for the needs of workers is more relevant than ever and we are already seeing the scale potential for the business. As an impact investment Organise is right on point and we are thrilled to be part of their growth journey.”
Patrick Newton, Partner, Form Ventures, adds:
“The uniquely qualified Organise team is tackling a huge and underserved market. As tech transforms the workplace, and policymakers struggle to respond, a platform like Organise simply needs to exist”.
Reece Chowdhry, CEO and Founder, RLC Ventures comments:
“From our first meeting with Nat and Bex, we were hugely excited about Organise. We are aligned with their mission to empower workers through tools that can bring about systemic change across organisations worldwide. We cannot wait to be part of the next stage of their journey.”
Notes To Editors
Organise is a 500,000 strong worker-driven online network of people who support each other at work. Organise provides the tools, support and confidence people need to improve their lives at work.
The Organise community exposed harassment at Ted Baker, won a pay rise for Superdrug staff and helped thousands of people call out bad bosses. Read more: https://organise.org.uk
For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact Rhiannon via [email protected] / 07815 325 148