This is the third post in a series around social good, start-up companies to watch. Be sure to check them all out!
Group deal sites are ubiquitous. I won’t lie, I receive emails from over half a dozen in the DC metro area. New Network for Good partner Karmio, is a cool site that incorporates some elements of group discounters, but adds a social good edge.
Founder Sibté Hassan created a triangle formation where consumer, vendor, and charities create deals of their own. I chatted with Hassan about his business model, and how he'll deal with karmio's business model being likened to those group discount sites.
It all starts with the vendor. "Vendors sign up with karmio and create their own deals," says Hassan. "We open the platform so that companies can incorporate charity into their deals. We vet both the vendors and the charities, to ensure they’re doing what they say they’re doing, and that they’re in good standing with their customers."
Vendors are in the driver's seat. "Vendors set the dates of their coupons, and there’s no threshold that needs to be met in order for the deal to be on. The vendor also chooses their own charity. That said, if the discount is low, [we would encourage them to] give more towards the charity," Hassan explains.
Discounts are set by the vendor, and not by Karmio, making them appropriate and sustainable for the participating business.
Don't use the G word. Challenges include working with vendors that are already wary of group deal sites—so starting to describe Karmio as the next Groupon for Good wouldn’t be ideal. The discounts with Karmio aren’t steep—5% here, $10 off there—and they create an expectation with consumers that they’ll pay more for services, which, in turn, Sibte remarks, will increase frequenting customers.
It’s also a great platform for nonprofit fundraising. You can connect with the New York company here.