Financial Finesse Ventures, an El Segundo, California-based venture capital firm, has taken a stake in Rayze, founded by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Carl Nassib.
Launched in October, Financial Fitness Ventures, according to a news release, was set up to invest specifically in socially responsible fintech companies, and Rayze is its first portfolio company.
Rayze is a charitable giving platform that connects volunteers and potential donors to nonprofit groups seeking support. It uses social media capabilities to make it easy to find charitable giving options and to bridge the gap between like-minded people and organizations. The firm says it will use the Series A funding and incubation support from Financial Finesse Ventures to scale its user base and find innovative ways to increase both donations and volunteering.
“We are thrilled to partner with Rayze as our first portfolio company,” Financial Finesse Ventures CEO Liz Davidson states in the release. “What Carl is doing is truly revolutionary. Rayze is the first social media platform to focus on charitable giving, prioritizing character over clout. We were drawn to the concept for its potential to significantly increase charitable giving, as well as the impact we believe it will have on users’ mental health — something social media has grappled with for a very long time.”
Nassib was inspired to launch Rayze during a volunteer experience with some of his teammates at a juvenile detention center. He says he wondered why there were so many barriers to overcome for people who wanted to give their time to such opportunities.
Rayze is designed to tackle that problem, and it features QR code technology that will allow users at fundraising events to donate instantly and seamlessly, thereby rendering obsolete the practice of pledging donations and the subsequent pledge-collection practice.
“Financial Finesse Ventures has been such a huge source of support already, helping us to incubate new concepts and technology behind Rayze,” states Nassib, who also serves as the firm’s CEO, in the release. “We have a shared mindset of finding ways to both do well and do good without sacrificing one for the other.”