The little Queensland company using technology to ‘Phil’ the gap for giving

Tue, 16/02/2021 - 12:00

When put to good use, philanthropy and technology each has the power to transform the lives of countless communities.

So, what happens when you combine the two? Little Phil.

Developed on the Gold Coast, this fundraising platform connects donors, beneficiaries and charities in a more transparent and engaging way.

Little Phil provides a platform that leverages social sharing and applies technology to enable

transparency, efficiency and accountability, not otherwise possible.

This means people can easily find a cause they care about and give an amount they're comfortable with, which they then track, and watch reach the intended destination, so they experience the real joy of giving – a “Little Phil Good Moment”.

Thanks to a grant from the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund, Little Phil will soon provide even more charities with affordable fundraising software, helping to save jobs and services that may be lost if they were unable to seamlessly and effortlessly access the tools and services required for digital fundraising.

We caught up Little Phil CEO, Josh Murchie to learn how the Ignite Ideas Fund will help them scale up their innovation.

What inspired you to start your business?

A culmination of events occurred while studying a Masters of IT at Griffith University.

At the time, I was heavily involved in volunteering (Australian National Student Volunteer of the Year 2018) and also running the Entrepreneurs club. At around the same time I saw a report on ACA showing how third-party marketing companies blatantly parade around in charity branded shirts and take advantage of the generosity of donors.

Guilt tripping people and telling them lies about how much money goes to the charity and the cause, when in reality up to 83% or more was being lost to the marketing company.

I love to give back and I could see the same in my peers, but I despise being taken advantage of, stopped in shopping centres, on the street or being hassled by telesales people while I'm cooking dinner.

This inspired me to form what is today known as Little Phil.

What milestones and/or achievements are you most proud of?

Little Phil’s top 10 milestones and achievements are:

  1. Launching our first Ethereum based smart-contracts and Beta iOS application.
  2. Securing first Charity Partners including Greenpeace.
  3. Securing Family Office Investor in Singapore.
  4. Launching our Web Platform Beta on all devices.
  5. Developing the White-label and Corporate Giving Ecosystem.
  6. Being Austrade Fintech Delegates Singapore in 2019.
  7. Earning a fellowship with Griffith University’s Yunus Centre.
  8. Achieving an Innovation Award at the 2019 Fundraising Institute of Australia.
  9. Achieving an Amazon Sponsored Startup.
  10. Becoming a Featured Startup at the Largest Tech conferences across the world including:
  11. RISE Festival, Hong Kong.
  12. Collision Conference, Canada.
  13. WebSummit, Portugal.

What are your business goals over the next 12-24 months?

We are working diligently to help unlock donors and donation dollars from the next generation, as well as businesses and brands using our innovative technology.

We want to help bring in at least $10 million to Australian not-for-profit organisations and help them become more digital ready and sustainable long-term.

We are looking to go global once our Australian operations are refined and we have already prepared for this with the ability to accept more than 135 currencies, as well as the ability to scale our technology – meaning we will be entering new markets in weeks to months, rather than months to years.

How will you use your Ignite Ideas funding?

We plan on using our funding to engage sales and marketing professionals and to grow:

  • Charities using the platform (20+).
  • Number of Campaigns (50+).
  • Donor Database (5,000+).
  • Donation Volume ($500k).
  • Revenue ($500k).
  • Prepare for Growth Investment (Existing Networks in Australia & Asia) ($3-5m investment round).

How will this funding assist your business to grow and/or create jobs?

The funding will help position the company for an upcoming investment round to further scale from our existing international investor networks. The support of the Queensland Government helps greatly and will bring further confidence to investors with networks that can support the long-term scale and growth of Little Phil.

Apart from the jobs directly related to the project, the funding will help us to secure additional

funding for NFPs and upskill their teams’ digital capabilities. This will lead to more jobs being saved when government stimulus dries up. Additional jobs will also be created as we secure additional growth investment capital and begin to scale.

Why would you recommend applying for Advance Queensland programs such as the Ignite Ideas Fund?

The Advance Queensland initiative is fantastic as it empowers early stage innovation companies to grow and scale, right here in Queensland. The Ignite Ideas Fund is one of the best initiatives as many companies can find it challenging to secure capital at this stage (i.e. MVP/V1 to entering new markets).

What other support have you received from Advance Queensland or the Queensland Government?

We have also received $5000 support from the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport for a Small Business Entrepreneur Grant to help us develop initial marketing material. This relatively small investment helped us secure $500,000 in investment funding.

Why is it important to support Queensland businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs?

Queensland is probably the best place to live in the world. The only thing that is holding it back is access to advanced technology related jobs and funding for ventures outside of the traditional property development, mining and agriculture sectors.

Our proximity to Asia and direct flights to major global finance centres such as Singapore, Hong Kong and China, make it a great place to access foreign direct investment.

Access to early-stage capital is one of the most difficult pieces of the puzzle for budding entrepreneurs in Queensland, so many are lured overseas by well-funded accelerators, incubators, investors and even government incentives.

If Queensland wants to have success stories that create large numbers of jobs and investment, such as Atlassian, Afterpay and Canva, then it is crucial to support Queensland businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs to receive adequate support with programs such as those offered by Advance Queensland.

What’s your advice for other entrepreneurs and businesses starting out on their innovation journey?

It’s not a walk in the park. If you cannot handle stress and uncertainty, then this is probably not the best path to take. Not everybody is cut out to be an entrepreneur, but if you are serious about pursuing your innovation dreams, it is possible.

Otherwise I would say some of the most important things to consider are networking, events, online videos and training. There are plenty of startup, innovation and entrepreneurship events around and the best thing to do is to get involved. Partake in startup weekends and hackathons, reach out to people that inspire you on LinkedIn, and try to get a coffee and chat. The Advance Queensland initiative is also a great resource for news and events.

Last updated 19 Feb, 2021
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