By Fiona Rintoul

What if there were app that allowed you to put your spare change in a virtual charity tin? Well, there shortly shall be. Sustainably, a fintech for good company set up by Loral Quinn in 2017 with a product for Monzo Bank customers, is launching an app in February that allows users to micro-donate to charities of their choice by rounding up cashless transactions.

There are currently about 15 billion of these transactions a year in the UK.

“For charities, it’s all about accessing an income stream from cashless transactions,” says Ms Quinn.

Sustainably, which was inspired by the likes of Toms Shoes, where every purchase helps someone in need, also helps to open up a new demographic to charities. Targeted at a younger generation who want to donate on their own terms, it allows users to set a limit on how much they want to give each month and provides impact updates each time they donate.

Sustainably also offers “monthly happiness”, which Ms Quinn, who was previously head of digital marketing at Aberdeen Asset Management, describes as “a more handsome cousin of a direct debit”. This allows users to donate a set amount each month to a chosen cause.

“You can pause or change it whenever you like and you don’t get any unwanted communication,” she says. “It’s about hassle-free donation.”

Users can already sign up to these services online, but the forthcoming Sustainably app will take the business to a new level. Ms Quinn hopes to get £100,000 users on to the platform this year. Her target for the next five to seven years is to have £1 billion of impact flowing through the platform each year.

“I feel that is achievable,” she says.

Certainly, Edinburgh-headquartered Sustainably, which Richard Branson named his start-up of the year at the end of 2019, has received an avalanche of support since Ms Quinn joined Entrepreneurial Spark two years ago “with just an idea”. In September 2018, Gareth Williams, co-founder of Skyscanner, became the company’s first investor, and in December 2018, Warner Brothers marketing executive and angel investor Con Gornell followed suit.

Sustainably also won a We Work Creator award in 2018, which led to an investment of US$180,000 the following year. This allowed the company to grow from being just Ms Quinn and her daughter Eishel Quinn, who is Sustainably’s chief product officer, to a team of eight. Over the next 12-18 months, Ms Quinn expects that number to double.

This success has been achieved despite open banking – which Ms Quinn had expected to materialise within six months of setting up Sustainably – not yet being available. However, it is coming and will allow the company to scale internationally.

“We’re speaking to business partners in Europe and the USA,” says Ms Quinn.

The company is assisted in this by a £50,000 award that it received as a finalist in the Open Up 2020 Challenge, which is run by Nesta Challenges in partnership with Open Banking Limited. The winner, to be announced in July 2020, will receive a further investment of £150,00 to £200,000.

Currently, Sustainably partners with 13 banks in the UK and 23 charities, including Macmillan, LGBT Youth and Social Bite. It is onboarding the Homeless World Cup and Downs Syndrome Scotland, with three other major local causes coming to the platform soon. It’s also setting up a business platform that allows businesses to donate to causes their customers and employees care about.

The proof of the entire pudding shall come in February.

“Once the apps go in, we’ll be in full-on marketing mode,” says Ms Quinn.