Thriftify, an Irish start-up that allows charity shops to sell online and encourages ethical buying, has raised €500,000 to accelerate the rollout of its platform internationally.
The company is focused on expanding into Britain, a market that is 30 times larger than Ireland with more than 15,000 charity shops. Thriftify is currently carrying out a trial with one of the biggest charity retailers there, and intends to use the new financing to expand on this.
Founded in 2018 by Rónán Ó Dálaigh, Rahil Nazir, Timur Negru and Emily Beere, Thriftify already works with more than 90 per cent of Irish charity retailers, including St Vincent De Paul and the Jack & Jill Foundation.
The company’s technology platform allows charity shops and ethical retailers to easily upload large volumes of clothes, books and other items for sale online.
Since it was established, Thriftify has allowed retailers to value more than two million donations, with its platform handing many functions, including pricing, inventory and fulfilment automatically.
The fundraising round was led by Elkstone Partners and Enterprise Ireland.
Chief executive Mr Ó Dálaigh said that with Irish charity shops receiving 150 million donations a year this makes them the largest source of sustainable goods in the State. Yet with stores receiving such high volumes it could be difficult for them to sell on donations, a situation made worse by stores closing due to the pandemic.
He said most charity shops do not currently have their own online presence, but Thriftify was out to ensure that they don’t get left behind.
“Undoubtedly Covid-19 has transformed the retail space for everybody. In nine months online shopping has doubled, e-commerce has progressed five years, and it’s brought an enormous opportunity.
“When we look at the shift in consumer trends, wanting to buy locally and sustainably, being more mission-driven and environmentally aware, the opportunity for charity shops to be at the forefront of this change is huge, and we’re hopeful that with this funding we can help charity shops capture this opportunity,” said Mr Ó Dálaigh.