Social software start-up Classy raises $118 mln from Norwest, other investors

April 20 (Reuters) - Classy, a technology company which builds fundraising software for non-profit institutions, has raised $118 million in fresh capital from venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners and other investors, it said on Tuesday.

Classy also said co-founder Scot Chisholm would step down from his role as chief executive officer and become the executive chairman, and Chief Operating Officer Christopher Himes, a former senior (CRM.N) executive, will assume the role of CEO.

Existing investors of the San Diego, California-based company, including Salesforce Ventures and Hinge Capital, also participated in the funding round.

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Classy intends to use the fresh capital to enter new segments, such as corporate donors, as part of its broader strategy to match more high-profile donors with non-profit companies, Scot Chisholm told Reuters.

"It's been about 10 years, and maybe a couple months, since Classy was founded as a technology company. But the story started several years before that, really, at a personal level," said Chisholm.

The idea for the company was inspired after Chisholm and his friends helped raise funds for the American Cancer Society in San Diego. A few years later, in 2011, Classy was formally launched as a technology venture with a focus on the online space, which makes it easier for non-profit companies to connect with donors.

Classy primarily focuses on two initiatives - firstly, to help non-profits improve their rates of converting more visitors to donors, and secondly, to retain more donors, Chisholm said.

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Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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