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The growing ‘tech for good’ space is proving it’s possible to create innovative tech that’s both profitable and beneficial for society. 

One startup working to shine a light on charitable causes is Percent, an online platform on a mission to power purpose into businesses worldwide. 

In 2017, Percent released their app, enabling users to raise money for the causes they care about through choosing to spend with local businesses. Percent launched across 23 cities in the UK, partnering with retailers including Deliveroo, Franco Manca and Wagamamas. 

More recently, Percent have turned their focus to the launch of their new global donation API that facilitates safe and easy giving to a wide variety of vetted and validated non-profits.

We spoke to Evie Ridyard, Percent’s Content and Marketing Manager about how Pleo has helped her team stay on top of spending as an investment-funded startup. 

What’s the journey that brought you to Percent?

I joined Percent in their very early stages as a startup. I was drawn to their mission of building good into every transaction worldwide and loved the concept of creating a purpose-driven ecosystem that connects people with local businesses and causes. 

We focus on helping companies build purpose into their user-facing products. So, users can donate to causes they care about through engaging with their products. 

What kind of role has Pleo played at Percent?

We’re an investment funded startup and growing pretty quickly, so we need to be lean when it comes to costs and have the means to monitor spending quickly and easily.

Pleo has really helped with transparency when it comes to team spending, allowing us to keep an eye on costs whilst also giving team members their own autonomy. 

How did the Percent team use Pleo?

In 2019, we ran an internship programme whereby we hired eight interns to help launch our app across eight cities in the UK. The team were tasked with the job of signing up restaurants to our app which enabled local people to raise money for local causes by spending with local businesses.

Pleo played a critical role in ensuring our internship scheme ran smoothly. Each employee was given a card with a spending limit available for costs such as Airbnb accommodation, daily food and drink allowance and travel.

The Pleo cards were also crucial for our process of onboarding restaurants. We used the cards to run a test spend at every new Percent retailer in order to ensure we were able to track Percent user spends in-store, and therefore donate the right amount of funds to local causes — we ended up signing over 1,000 retailers!

So Pleo was a crucial tool for you and your team?

Yes, definitely! Pleo played a key role in enabling us to expand our app across the country and to enrol more and more retailers into our growing ecosystem.

Our management team could keep a close eye on spending whilst also trusting our new team with responsibility. 

You mentioned the importance of transparency, how did Pleo build trust within your team?

Pleo has given our team great autonomy, agency and responsibility, enabling everyone to do their job efficiently without any scrutiny from management.

It was crucial to give our team freedom and trust whilst being able to have full visibility and insight into their spending. 

What excites you about the future of work?

Companies like Pleo are really cool as they eliminate difficult pain points for new businesses. 

Any product that can help businesses, particularly those working in impact, work more efficiently and resourcefully gets our vote!

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