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Bidr raises another $100,000 after AOL co-founder Case’s earlier investment

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By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com
Published Oct. 1, 2015

Charleston-based Bidr raised $200,000 in a recent funding round, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows.

Half of the round came in May, from winning first place in AOL co-founder Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest pitch competition; the other half came from undisclosed investors. Bidr founder Sam Staley said the company decided to delay Case’s investment and roll it into one funding round.

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Bidr also walked away from Dig South in May with $10,500. The company won the Wild Pitch competition, securing $7,500, and then Dig South attendees donated an additional $3,000 to the company by shouting out amounts from their seats.

The Bidr platform helps nonprofits, schools and companies grow their fundraising event or campaign revenues by taking the process from paper to text messaging.

Staley said the additional funding will help the Charleston-based tech firm grow its staff. The six-person firm recently hired former S.C. first lady and Wall Street executive Jenny Sanford, as well as Stephanie Pratt. Staley said the company is now looking to hire a developer and sales representative.

Additional financing will also help grow its new venture Text.Gives. The text-to-donate platform, which launched in August, enables people to donate to nonprofits or campaigns via text.

A nonprofit or supporter of a cause can choose a keyword and launch a site through Text.Gives. Donors can then text the keyword, input an amount and make a donation.

Traditionally, nonprofits are required to negotiate individual contracts with each cellphone provider, and donations are generally limited to $10 per text. Marketing chief Mindy Taylor said the platform does not go through cellphone carriers, which eliminates negotiations and donation limits.

The idea for the platform was sparked when Bidr launched a free text-to-donate option for the families of the Charleston church shooting victims.

“We’ve gained tons of traction over the past year and are excited to be expanding the team and adding new sets of talent that are really going to help push our platform forward,” Staley said in a news release.

Bidr graduated last year from Cohort 2 of the Harbor Accelerator, a 12-week program run by The Harbor Entrepreneur Center.

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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