NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Beam is a new iOS app that lets users donate to charity every time they eat. Co-founder and CEO Viveka Hulyalkar says they created Beam to give people a way to stay engaged and make a difference daily.
Beam partners with the brands Dos Toros, Dig Inn, Think Coffee, and Inday. Every time you visit one of the partners, the app will send you a push notification and show you a list of four supported nonprofits, co-founder and CTO Alex Salvatore says. Choose one, and the brand will donate to the charity for you.
The app launched out of beta in New York City last November. Viveka says they've seen 30 percent user growth since then.
Besides helping charities, the app also helps brands connect with millennial customers. Viveka says they've found that 71 percent of millennials will pay more for a brand they believe is more socially responsible.
Beam lets those millennials chose the nonprofits that speak to them. That can be a week of coding education for a girl or SAT tutoring in underserved communities.
Alex says Beam is completely free for the user and is a way to make a difference in your daily routine.
Beam partner Dos Toros works with two local charities in particular.
Getting Out and Staying Out is an organization out of Harlem that helps people who were previously incarcerated. Dos Toros not only donates to GOSO but hires from the program and has been honored as a GOSO Employer of the Year.
Dos Toros also supports South Bronx United, which helps disadvantaged students in the Bronx use soccer as a vehicle to get into college and achieve later in life.
In addition to supporting those nonprofits, Beam has driven more customer traffic to Dos Toros stores, marketing manager Marcus Byrd says. Half the customers Dos Toros gets through Beam are new customers, Byrd says, and 50 percent of those customers have become repeat customers, which he says, is awesome.
Right now, Alex and Viveka are closing their first round of financing to help Beam expand nationally. The funding will help them build out the Android app and reach the goal of donating $1 million within the next two years, making it easier for people to eat well while doing some good.