A new "ethical search engine" that estimates it will generate more than £200m a year for UK charities by 2017 has been launched today.
Named Storm – after the tech start-up Storm Technologies, which conceived the platform – the search engine allows users to raise money for charity by shopping with its retail partners.
When a consumer makes a purchase from these partners – which include Waitrose, Virgin, Sports Direct, Currys, Boots and B&Q – Storm earns a commission, of which it will share about half with the charity of the consumer’s choice, a spokesman for the company told Third Sector.
Storm estimates that it will have more than 10 million users by 2017 who will each raise more than £20 for charity on average each year, generating more than £200m for charities.
The children’s charity WellChild is the only charity registered with Storm to receive donations, but the company is encouraging other charities to sign up with the platform by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no cost to charities that wish to register, the spokesman said.
Storm said that a significant number of major charities and other organisations, including Premier League football clubs, would soon be announced as partners. Each will have the option to create a white-label version of the Waterfox web browser, featuring their own organisation’s branding and with Storm as the default search engine.
Consumers, who will pay the same amount for goods as when they access the retailers’ websites directly, will be able to identify participating retailers from the "Give" icon displayed alongside their listings on the search results page.
Kevin Taylor, chief executive of Storm, said in a statement: "By sharing our revenues with charity partners, we’re building an ethical search engine that offers a real alternative for consumers, whilst also generating millions of pounds for UK charities."
The company plans to launch the search engine in 35 languages over the coming months.