Design Matters: Elbi


Supermodel Natalia Vodianova and Tim Afinsky launch an app that gives back

IN A TIME WHEN there are so many people in need, giving has become a part of everyday life. Digital and social channels like GoFundMe and even Facebook are making it easier to donate with just one click. And now Elbi, an innovative mobile platform created by philanthropist and supermodel Natalia Vodianova and tech entrepreneur and angel investor Timon Afinsky, is connecting people around the globe through small actions that make a big difference, utilizing the power of social media and product rewards. Featured in 2018 as the App of the Day in Apple’s App Store in more than 80 countries, Elbi has created an international network that provides individuals a more convenient way to give and brands the opportunity to make their designs matter.

What inspired the launch of Elbi? We wanted to use technology to change the way people engage and donate to causes. We understand the power of social media and wanted to monetize the “like” action for something much more meaningful.

How does the app work? Elbi disrupts traditional philanthropy through collaborations and innovative partnerships with businesses that want to put social good at the heart of what they do. Via the Elbi app you can discover amazing causes, engage with charitable content through powerful storytelling, donate to the cause using Apple Pay and be connected to the Elbi philanthropic community.

How does the integration of the e-tail LoveShop boutique integrate with the app? The LoveShop has been curated in partnership with one of the world’s most influential stylists, Jenke Ahmed Tailly, who has styled the likes of Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Michelle Obama. Elbi is the only platform that rewards donations via our LoveCoin initiative. $1 equals 1 LoveCoin, so the idea is that every time a user donates to a cause, they build a balance. Over time, they’re able to redeem amazing items from some of the world’s best brands such as Supreme, Off-White and Louis Vuitton. This is our way of thanking users for donating, and by rewarding them we hope to incentivize them to keep coming back.

How can interior design brands work with Elbi? We’re always evolving our LoveShop offers and are keen to reward users with new and exciting brands that want to put social good at the heart of what they do. We recently completed a successful feature with Maison De Mode, a hybrid luxury ethical fashion retailer that fuses concept brick-and-mortar experiences and specializes in unique ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, accessories and home goods. Given the success of this partnership, we aim to reach out to other lifestyle and interior design brands to build out what the LoveShop can offer. Our global reach also serves as a great platform for brands to market and launch new collections.

What’s next for the platform? Our plan is to expand upon all that we’ve achieved in 2018. India will be a huge focus for our efforts this year. We’ll be launching a cross-platform version of Elbi, which will target an Indian-specific demographic. We’ll also be hosting the next Let’s Talk global summit in October and we’re planning to take our LoveShop beyond our app, making it more accessible to a bigger audience with the aim of generating as much money as we can for the charities and causes we support.

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