Wel-Tech Company Saves GOVT Millions with proprietary centralised system that streamlines community services
- Attracts $6.6 million in funding from Europe’s biggest impact fund
- We Are Digital is a tech-for-good company building the world’s first one-stop-shop platform to run welfare services more efficiently
- More than 100,000 vulnerable people helped
- Used by Home Office and Local Govt, Housing Associations and corporate businesses, saving them millions
As the UK’s leading Wel-Tech business, which helps people in need connect with local welfare services with a one-stop-shop platform, has raised $6.6m in a Series A round from Europe’s biggest impact Private Equity fund, IMPACT partners.
We Are Digital, a tech for good company, is used in a variety of ways by central Government, local housing associations and corporate businesses from Lloyds Banking Group and Santander to Vodafone and Openreach to help people find jobs, learn digital skills, understand their finances, fill out government forms and receive advice around grants or the cost of living crisis.
Unlike other, individual fragmented systems, We Are Digital has developed a centralised platform and can immediately connect a customer in need to thousands of third-sector providers managed by the company in its supply chain. One Housing Association saved £250,000 a year using the platform with the value to low-income residents and community impact being £40m.
The impact business, formed ten years ago by Matthew Adam, now employs more than 100 people and has developed a new proprietary end-to-end technology platform to disrupt a very traditional and fragmented sector.
The investment from Impact Partners, a French fund making their first UK investment, is being used to further build-out a centralised way of running local services more efficiently, modelled on the NHS 111 service but with the ability to directly book appointments and measure the success and impact of the service. The company is also planning on increasing staffing levels by 35 per cent at its HQ in Coventry this year.
It is now helping more than 25,000 people a year access community services more efficiently across digital skills, money advice, employability and local and national government services.
Rather than being pushed around departments and waiting months for appointments, users can access services more quickly, with the company triaging requests, handling bookings and integrating with the huge nationwide network of local third-sector providers it manages.
Users can choose to have a video or phone call or a face to face session in a local centre or their home. In one project, We-Are-Digital helped residents across London access debt advice 80 times faster than the previous service-model.
Matthew, Founder and CEO, said: “We are positively disrupting a huge market in welfare, one that hasn’t had much change in decades, and in a way that will benefit everyone.
“We help delivery partners reduce their administration, enabling them to help more people, save money for our clients, make local services more efficient and enable people to be seen quicker in their time of need in a way that is convenient to them. ”
“Our system connects all the dots. Rather than someone having to make several appointments over many weeks and sometimes months to get to the right person, we do that immediately by plugging them into our third-sector providers and instantly finding appointments for them.
“There are so many use cases where this platform can be used and the investment we have from Impact Partners will allow us to forge ahead. The welfare market is one of the largest in the world, often making up to 30% of a country’s GDP. We believe our platform can power any type of community service from start to finish.”
He added: “Impact-investing attention is at an all-time high as shareholders look for a return in both profit and purpose. We’re really proud to be scaling a social impact business. It makes the journey a bit harder, but much more fulfilling for me and the brilliant team I work with.”
Ralph Catto, Chair of We Are Digital, said: “We welcome Impact Partners as an investor and are confident we have added another partner to help We Are Digital continue to grow both in financial terms but also in the increasing impact it has on society. We were truly impressed with the alignment between Impact Partners and ourselves around the ethos of social transformation through a commercial approach.”
Astrid Fockens, Partner at IMPACT partners, said: “The cost of living crisis is exacerbating social inequalities in the UK and in Europe, and I am convinced that today, more than ever, social entrepreneurs like Matthew Adam have an important role to play in our society. We Are Digital’s unique model enables social welfare initiatives to scale, helps thousands of vulnerable people across various communities to get the help they need. Together, we are confident we can bring this social impact even further.”
We Are Digital were advised throughout by Clearwater Growth and Harper James solicitors. Existing investors including Si2 fund also contributed to the round. Ascension and Triple Point Ventures remain as investors. Jones Day and Mazars advised Impact Partners.