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SOS Business and inKind

Back in lockdown: SOS Business voucher sales hit $2 million, site teams with U.S. investor inKind to inject $5 million into small businesses

Auckland, NZ. August 18, 2020

SOS Business is again supporting New Zealand’s small business community as the country faces lockdown. SOS, which has now hit $2 million in voucher sales, has teamed up with U.S. restaurant investors inKind to inject $5 million into local businesses.

SOS was set up by New Zealander of the Year nominee David Downs to help keep small businesses afloat through the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been phenomenally successful, with more than 2,400 businesses on the platform and Kiwis buying up thousands of vouchers to aid their local outlets.

As CEO David, along with co-founders Joyce Quah and Naadei Atafu, has run the platform voluntarily along with a team of volunteers. Funds raised go directly to the business owners represented. Texas-based inKind, founded by entrepreneur and former restaurateur Johann Moonesinghe, is now partnering with SOS Business to help scale it to support even more local businesses. inKind will take on the operations for the platform with David staying on in an advisory role. “

inKind was a natural fit to help grow SOS, as the two platforms have similar aspirations to support small business,” David said. “SOS was set up to help our local outlets through the pandemic and Kiwis really responded - they want to support their local restaurants, cafes and bars. Voucher sales are huge, but there was also an opportunity for SOS to have even more impact through inKind. “We liked inKind’s offering, and we were chuffed they agreed to invest such a significant sum into New Zealand. We hope having inKind on board will boost our small business community further as we work through another lockdown.”

SOS will continue to operate under the same brand, and offer its existing services. However, under inKind’s leadership SOS will offer more services and innovations including financing and marketing support. Johann, who is also CEO of inKind, added, “New Zealand has been extremely successful in its fight against COVID-19, even given the latest setback. We’ve seen how committed New Zealanders are to tackling this virus together, and also supporting their local businesses.

“SOS has been a massive help for restaurants, cafes, and other businesses Kiwis love. Our plan is to expand the SOS offering, and help support New Zealanders as they work through another lockdown, and come out the other side.” inKind, which set up a similar platform in Australia called Save Hospitality, has sold over $30 million dollars worth of gift vouchers and helped more than 500 businesses across the U.S. and Australia. It intends to inject $5 million in funding for New Zealand businesses in its first year. The money will be invested through inKind’s unique funding model, which provides businesses with upfront capital in exchange for vouchers.

inKind then onsells gift vouchers to customers through the inKind app, which acts as a loyalty platform encouraging long-term engagement with customers. “The SOS platform has grown exponentially over the past few months, and I hope that with the help of inKind, we will be able to reach new heights and help all businesses in need,” said David. “I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

About SOS Business Auckland-based SOS was set up by entrepreneur, author and government strategist David Downs in response to the COVID-19 lockdown. It was designed as a rescue scheme to help small businesses mitigate the impact of the lockdown. SOS acted as an agent for businesses on the platform, setting up a way for customers and supporters to buy vouchers in return for future services. It was run voluntarily.

About inKind Austin, Texas-based inKind was set up by entrepreneur and former restaurateur Johann Moonesinghe to offer a better financing model to small businesses. inKind offers upfront capital by buying vouchers which it then onsells as gift vouchers through its app. It also set up Save Hospitality in Australia and Serving Hospitality in Canada which, like SOS, was free of charge to vendors and designed to support small business through the pandemic.