From ‘hippies’ to heavy hitters: This social good platform bolstered its C-suite, raised $47M

Submittable CEO Thor Culverhouse. (Submittable Photo)

New funding: Submittable, a company that helps corporations, governments and nonprofits manage their programs focused on social good, today announced $47 million in new venture capital. The business is based in Missoula, Mont. and opened a second office in Bellevue, Wash. six months ago.

Submittable has raised a total of $66 million. The latest Series C round was led by Accel-KKR with support from existing investors.

‘Hippies’ to heavy hitters: Submittable was launched by three friends in Montana in 2010. “Our first 30 employees were Missoula hippies trying to figure it out. Now, we’re bringing in the executives,” co-founder Michael FitzGerald told the Missoula Current in 2018.

Starting that year, the company has since installed a new C-suite. Washington state-based CEO Thor Culverhouse joined in 2020 with three decades of experience in technology. Before coming to Submittable, Culverhouse was most recently CEO of Seattle fintech company Lighter Capital and CEO of cloud tech provider Skytap.

Chief Financial Officer Joe Silver and Chief Product Officer Andy Wright also came on board two years ago. Both had worked with Culverhouse — Silver at Lighter Capital and Wright at Skytap.

The most recent notable hire came last year with Sam Caplan as vice president of Social Impact. Caplan was formerly the chief information officer of the Walton Family Foundation and head of technology for the Walmart Foundation.

Submittable’s current chief revenue and chief marketing officers joined in 2018.

The company has 87 employees in Missoula, 37 in Bellevue and an additional 32 working remotely. The funding will help increase its headcount, namely in Washington state. The company is focused on its growth in marketing and product development.

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Use cases: Over its lifetime, Submittable has worked with 11,000 customers to facilitate social good initiatives.

In Washington, that includes helping MiiR, a Seattle manufacturer of stainless steel mugs, develop its CSR programs; working with the state’s Department of Commerce’s small business grants and an immigrant relief program for the Department of Social and Health Services; and assisting Artist Trust, a nonprofit supporting Washington artists.

Economic outlook: With the current economic turmoil, one might suspect that organizations would be cutting their spending for social good. Culverhouse said that’s not the case.

Government agencies use Submittable to quickly launch programs to distribute local or federal dollars in the case of disasters such as wildfires. Companies are working to differentiate themselves in order to recruit and retain workers and one way to do that is through corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.

“It’s an area that might not be fully recession proof, but it’s pretty darn close,” Culverhouse said.

And investors are increasingly focused on companies’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), in which Submittable can play a part.

“This is a very important space,” Culverhouse said. “There’s lots of capital going into it. There’s lots of attention on the broader social impact and we’re applying technology to that concept.”

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