A TECH company that helps brands including Coca-Cola and Unilever invest in good causes is recruiting new team members in Scotland after doubling turnover to £2 million last year.

The new hires will see Edinburgh-based Good-Loop grow its headcount in Scotland by 50 per cent, from six to nine.

The ethical start-up, which has raised £1.6m in funding since it was set up in 2016, also expects to raise further funds this year and launch a new consumer-facing product.

“Our new product will enable people to proactively raise money for charity from their normal web-browsing,” said Good-Loop co-founder and chief executive Amy Williams.

“We're testing and polishing now – we'll be releasing it in a couple of months with a few charities as launch partners.”

Good-Loop’s existing product lets consumers choose a charity to donate to for free when they watch an advert online. Half of the advertiser’s money goes to the charity chosen by the user, and the other half is used in part to pay for the advertising space.

The system has so far raised £1m for charities, including homeless shelters, beach clean-ups and human rights campaigners, Good-Loop announced in August. The company’s target is to reach £5m donated to good causes by 2022.

“Already during the crisis, Nestle has used the Good-Loop platform to support the NHS and Boots worked with the company to tackle hygiene poverty in the UK,” Ms Williams said.

Previous projects have included adverts for clothing brand H&M helping conservation group WWF plant more than 25,000 trees. Coca-Cola adverts also triggered more than £40,000 in donations to help train football coaches and open up sports access to facilities in various communities.

“Good-Loop grew 100% year on year in 2020, despite the fact that the UK ad industry saw revenue drop at least 5% as a result of COVID,” Ms Williams said. “In fact, in the midst of the pandemic last year, Twitter reported that 77% of their users feel more positively about brands who are actively supporting society at this time. This presents a massive opportunity for Good-Loop.”

The three new recruits in Scotland will work in data science, advertising technology and software development roles.

“In our experience, developer talent in Scotland is unparalleled elsewhere in the UK,” Ms Williams said.

Good-Loop also employs eight people in London.

On fund raising, Ms Williams said: “We've raised £1.6m to date in seed funding and will be looking to undertake a further raise during 2021, but the details aren’t yet firm.”

She compared the planned new product to Ecosia, a Berlin-based search engine that donates 80% or more of its profits to non-profit organisations involved in reforestation and has planted 118 million trees.

“[Our new product] isn't a search engine though,” Ms Williams said. “It's a different area, but with the potential to do just as much good.”

The Good-Loop team, which includes co-founder and chief technology officer Daniel Winterstein, was now looking to take the business to the next level, she added.

“This time last year, pre-pandemic, our aim was to break into the US, the world's largest advertising market and therefore a key target for us for growth. We ticked that box, brokering partnerships with several brands advertising there, including BNP Paribas subsidiary, Bank of the West. We now want to build on this initial growth in the US, whilst also continuing to secure more repeat business from existing clients in the UK and Europe, as well as introducing the platform to new clients.”