Danish software company ChurchDesk raised €2M to take churches to the cloud
Church management platform ChurchDesk (Copenhagen, Denmark) have announced €2m of financing led by early-stage venture firm Mangrove Capital Partners. The startup, which helps staff and volunteers run their church more efficiently and better engage with their local community, will be using the funding to expand its product and marketing team, accelerate rollout of new product enhancements and drive expansion across Europe.
ChurchDesk is a cloudbased church management platform with an integrated set of tools that take care of ecclesiastical admin, increase transparency and improve information flow between staff, volunteers and the community. The tools include a shared intranet, digital calendar, file manager and messaging system for email and SMS, as well as a content management system (CMS) for effortless website and campaign management. Thanks to the ChurchDesk mobile app, available on iOS and Android, righteous work can be carried out while on the move.
Christian Steffensen founded the company in 2010, having seen how his mother struggled to run her church in Denmark. Steffensen now has over a thousand churches across Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, with 10,000 staff users delivering over 50k events every month through the platform. It also counts Klaus Nyengaard, previously chief executive of Just Eat, as its chairman.
“The challenges that clergy face are twofold they have dwindling congregations because they lack CRM or marketing tools and they’re poorly managed,” comments Christian Steffensen, CEO at ChurchDesk. “My mother is 62, she’s been a pastor all her life and is a theologian. She’s hardly going to reinvent the way her industry operates but she does have an iPhone and an iPad.”
Mangrove Capital Partners, an early backer of Skype and Wix.com, led the investment. Klaus Nyengaard also joined the round having previously provided seed capital together with Accelerace, the Scandinavian accelerator. “This really is an intriguing business. It’s already the dominant provider of church management systems and will shortly have an incredible network effect amongst both church workers and attendees,” comments Michael Jackson, partner at Mangrove Capital Partners. “The scope for growth here is phenomenal – it’s a €370bn market globally and has simply been overlooked.”
“The Church of England has twenty thousand churches and an enormous amount of money but it’s terrible at engaging its audience. Churches are organizing all kinds of events and activities but people are largely unaware,” continues Steffensen. “Having focused on creating a church management system, we’re now building it out so churchgoers can use it to connect with their pastors as well as other churchgoers.”
ChurchDesk ( www.churchdesk.com ) is the leading provider of church management software. Its platform allows churches to work smarter, engage more members and increase revenue. The cloudbased platform has an integrated set of tools that reduce admin, increase transparency and improve information flow between staff, volunteers and the community. ChurchDesk’s tools include a task management dashboard, event planning, messaging via email and SMS, filesharing and a user directory as well as a mobile app available on iOS and Android. It also features a CMS that can be customized using templates, pulls events automatically from the calendar and supports campaigns and event sign up.
Founded in 2010, it now has over 10,000 staff users which organize over 50,000 events every month on the platform.
About Mangrove Capital Partners
Mangrove Capital Partners ( www.mangrove.vc ) is a leading early stage venture capital firm. Its team chases bold, transformational ideas around the world, with a combined focus on Europe, Israel, India and Russia. Mangrove works with top entrepreneurial talent at the earliest stages of innovation, with the aim of being the first institutional investor: the firm has co-created projects and regularly injects funds prior to product launch, often in unproven, unusual or unfavoured technologies.
Its team brings rich and diverse experience in industry as well as technology, and its entrepreneurcentric approach ensures founders have the support, encouragement and experience they need to build disruptive, global companies.
With $750 million under management, Mangrove has the capacity to support its portfolio through multiple rounds of financing and is the largest shareholder in many of its best performing companies. Founded in 2000, Mangrove has invested in more than 70 companies, including Skype (sold to eBay), Wix.com (Nasdaq:Wix), Brands4Friends (sold to eBay), Nimbuzz (partially sold), Freedompop and KupiVIP. Mangrove has consistently featured among the top performing venture capital funds in the industry.