it's go time

Impact-driven Houston fintech startup officially launches after successful beta

DonateStock, a Houston fintech company that simplifies the stock donation process, has officially launched. Image courtesy of DonateStock

Today is National Nonprofit Day, and there are a lot of ways to celebrate it — sign up to volunteer, donate to your favorite organization, and more. But Andrea Young is celebrating by officially launching her fintech startup.

After going through a successful beta testing phase, Houston-based DonateStock offers a tech-enabled tool that automates the stock donation process — something only 2 percent of investors are taking advantage of. In honor of the launch, DonateStock is waiving fees for nonprofits and matching all investors' donations up to $500 per donation.

"National Nonprofit Day offers the perfect opportunity for nonprofits to elevate fundraising strategies by taking advantage of DonateStock's waived fees," Young says. "Now is the time to join nonprofits across the city and nation as innovation makes donating stock easier than ever."

Young co-founded the company with Steve Latham because, having donated stock before, she saw how off-putting the slow and confusing process was. But she also saw the value of the win-win process. Donors win by avoiding capital gains tax while also getting to deduct the fair market value of the stock. Meanwhile, nonprofits win as pre-tax stock donations are often much larger than after-tax cash donations.

Steve Latham and Andrea Young co-founded DonateStock. Photos courtesy of DonateStock

"I valued the immense benefits stock donations provided me as an investor while simultaneously helping a nonprofit," Young says of her early experience with donating stock. "I enjoyed the significant tax advantages that allowed me to avoid capital gains taxes while deducting the full market value of my gifted stock. However, I found the entire process time consuming and cumbersome, which led to the end of my stock donation journey."

When the pandemic hit and nonprofits were greatly impacted, Young and Latham saw an opportunity to found DonateStock to help drive donations and guide nonprofits and donors alike through the process. During its beta testing phase, the company partnered with almost 100 nonprofits, including Atlanta's Habitat for Humanity, Houston's Legacy Community Health and New York City's A Leg To Stand On.

"Stock contributions have traditionally been a cumbersome process for our donors, requiring several steps often including physical stock certificate confirmations before completing the donation," says Chree Boydstun, the chief development officer of Legacy Community Health, in a news release. "We view stock donations as an incredible untapped source of new funding and we're excited to work with DonateStock to make the most of this opportunity."

Earlier this year, DonateStock won Capital Factory's Houston Tech Rodeo $50K Investment prize.

Trending News

Building Houston

 
 

Electric vans will now be delivering to Houston. Photo courtesy of Amazon

Amazon CEO/occasional space traveler Jeff Bezos is doing his best to supplant a certain jolly fellow from the North Pole as tops for holiday gift delivery.

His latest move: Amazon is rolling out more than 1,000 electric delivery vehicles, designed by electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian, ready to make deliveries in more than 100 cities across the U.S. On the Texas good list: Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Bezos' juggernaut began deliveries in Dallas in July, along with Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis.

These zero-emissions vans have delivered more than 5 million packages to customers in the U.S., according to Amazon. The latest boost in vehicles now includes Houston and Austin; Boston; Denver; Indianapolis; Las Vegas; Madison, Wisconsin; Newark, New Jersey; New York, Oakland, California; Pittsburgh, Portland, Oregon; Provo, Utah; and Salt Lake City.

Plans for the Amazon and Rivian partnership call for thousands of vehicles on the road by the end of the year and 100,000 vehicles by 2030.

“We’re always excited for the holiday season, but making deliveries to customers across the country with our new zero-emission vehicles for the first time makes this year unique,” said Udit Madan, vice president of Amazon Transportation, in a statement. “We’ve already delivered over 5 million packages with our vehicles produced by Rivian, and this is still just the beginning—that figure will grow exponentially as we continue to make progress toward our 100,000-vehicle goal.”

This all comes as part of Amazon's commitment to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040, as a part of its The Climate Pledge; Amazon promises to eliminate millions of metric tons of carbon per year with it s commitment to 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030, press materials note.

Additionally, Amazon announced plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next five years to further electrify and decarbonize its transportation network across Europe. This investment is meant to spark innovation and encourage more public charging infrastructure across the continent.

“Fleet electrification is essential to reaching the world’s zero-emissions goal,” said Jiten Behl, chief growth officer at Rivian, in a statement. “So, to see our ramp up in production supporting Amazon’s rollout in cities across the country is amazing. Not just for the environment, but also for our teams working hard to get tens of thousands of electric delivery vehicles on the road. They continue to be motivated by our combined mission and the great feedback about the vehicle’s performance and quality.”

A little about the vans: Drivers’ favorite features include a spacious cabin and cargo area, superior visibility with a large windshield and 360-degree cameras, and ventilated seats for fast heating and cooling — a must for Bayou City summers ... or winters, for that matter.

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Trending News