For the first time in its nine-year history, Australian B Corp Who Gives A Crap has sought equity capital and has managed to raise a whopping AU$41.5 million to accelerate its mission to help two billion people around the world access safe water and clean toilets.
“Our company’s purpose is to ensure everyone has access to clean water and a toilet in our lifetime,” writes CEO and co-founder Simon Griffiths in an open letter. “We donate 50% of our profits to incredible non-profit partners to make it happen. But to reach our goal, we need to accelerate our growth and take our impact to the next level.”
The social enterprise donates half of its profits from the sale of its plastic-free toilet paper towards its mission, and to date, has donated over $10 million to impact partners across the globe that work with communities to develop sustainable sanitation solutions.
Self-funded and bootstrapped since the business launched in 2012 – on the back of a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign – Who Gives A Crap’s co-founders Griffiths along with Jehan Ratnatunga and Danny Alexander, were selective about the investors they would bring on. Their selection criteria was three-fold: investors had to support the social mission completely, had to be “in it for the long-haul” and had to bring world-class expertise or experience that the trio could learn from.
Having built a profitable mission-led business and a solid socially-conscious brand, it is little wonder the company has attracted the backing of Atlassian co-founder and tech billionaire Mike Cannon Brookes via his private investment firm Grok Ventures as well as Verlinvest (a firm that also backed popular vegan milk brand Oatly), Craftory, JamJar Investments, Airtree Ventures, and Giant Leap.
“Who Gives A Crap is an impressive Aussie underdog story,” said Mike Cannon-Brookes on behalf of Grok Ventures.
“Simon and his team have taken something so simple – toilet paper – and turned it into an impactful business, both socially and environmentally. I hope other entrepreneurs are inspired by their story of building a profitable, fast growing business that is also environmentally sustainable.”
The company sells in nearly 40 countries and has 135 employees across seven countries. The capital raised will enable Who Gives A Crap to enter new countries and markets, produce more products and scale their sustainability initiatives. “All while reaching our goal of toilets and clean water for everyone faster than we’d ever thought possible,” says Griffiths.
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