Glovo’s 1st Impactathon: Nurturing Innovation, Fostering Impact

Christina Gama
Christina Gama
November 9, 2023 • 6 minutes

At Glovo, Impact is in our DNA. In the words of our CEO and Co-Founder Oscar Pierre from our 2022 Social Impact Report, “We have worked tirelessly to make sure that our efforts are not just empty words but tangible actions that show a meaningful impact on cities, people, and our environment.”

In our strategic endeavors to expand our commitments and amplify the impact of all our programs, we consistently find that the integration of tech development is crucial. Enter: The Impactathon.   

Impact that starts at the core

In October, we organized our inaugural Impactathon, a groundbreaking event designed to generate impact from the very core of our business—the app. Over the course of three inspiring days from a masia in the Pyrenees mountains, 26 dedicated multidisciplinary Glovo employees collaborated to tackle three challenges that harnessed the power of technology and innovation to bring about positive, tangible change.

Zoe Giardino, Impact & Sustainability Manager and a key event organizer, underscored the centrality of the Impact team’s strategy, stating, “As an impact team, we know that our strategy needs to be in the core of the business, and that is what we work towards everyday. When doing this, we know that the culture and involvement of Glovo employees is key for the success of leaving a positive impact and footprint behind.” Giardino champions the belief that everyone can contribute to positive change in their daily work, emphasizing the transformative role technology plays in this process. “We wanted to create engagement with the tech team, and we knew how passionate they always are about hackathons, and we said – why don’t we create a hackathon that solves some social and environmental challenges we have.”

The Impactathon revolved around three pivotal challenges, each designed to enhance Glovo’s services and contribute to the well-being of its users and the communities it serves:

Showcasing Stories

Participants worked on finding creative ways to showcase the stories of partners and couriers. This not only humanizes the Glovo experience but also strengthens the bond between users and the individuals who make the platform thrive.

Healthy Options Access

Aiming to promote healthier lifestyles, teams explored ways to give users better access to more nutritious options within the platform via improved meal tagging. This initiative aligns with our commitment to not only encourage users, but make it easier to make healthier choices in their consumption habits.

Enhancing Donation Features

The Impacathon also delved into improving the donation feature that allows us to fundraise for NGOs within the app in times of crisis. This is a vital step in leveraging our platform’s widespread user base to contribute to social causes and make a positive impact on communities around the globe.

Prepared to tackle challenges head-on, three teams engaged in addressing a range of impactful opportunities within the Glovo app.

A Seamless Donation Experience with Glovo’s Round-up for a Cause

In our ongoing pursuit of innovative solutions, the winning team at Glovo presented a simple yet effective idea—Round-up for a Cause. This concept addresses the shortcomings of the current donation bubble, offering a streamlined and efficient approach to support relief efforts.

Challenges with the Existing Donation Bubble:

  • Improve Customer UX: The current UX closely mirrors the order placement process, potentially causing confusion and lowering conversion rates for donations.
  • Non-Scalable: Manual creation of multiple stores in Admin is required to ensure the visibility of Glovo’s campaigns within the app, posing scalability challenges.
  • Technical Challenges: The absence of automation for segregating donation funds requires manual handling by our finance team for Real Time Operations (RTO) processes.

The team’s proposed solution simplifies the donation experience within the Glovo app by modifying the 3 key features with the app. This proposed feature seamlessly integrates a donation solution into the Glovo app flow, rounding up spare change to facilitate micro-donations to charitable causes without disrupting the order creation experience.

  • Opt-In Feature: Glovo users can conveniently toggle the option to enable or disable donations based on their preferences in the app’s profile section.
  • Automatic Rounding: With active donation preferences, the system automatically rounds up the total cost of an order to the nearest 0.50 cents during checkout. Customers retain the flexibility to opt out for specific orders.
  • Backend Configuration: Upon confirmation, two orders are created—one for food and one for donation. The donation order is configured at the country level, linked to Adyen for transfer to WorldCoo.

With this new configuration, if just under 5% of Glovo customers in Spain donated 0.25€ of spare change per order, the potential impact would be significant—amounting to approximately 550,000€ per year in Spain alone. Implementing this system in Spain alone could exponentially grow the amount given through the donation bubble in 2023 so far, showcasing the transformative power of Round-up for a Cause.

Participant Perspectives

The weekend wasn’t just about solving challenges; it was an opportunity for participants to interact with and learn from diverse teams at Glovo. Held in the picturesque region of Cataluña, participants found inspiration in the beauty of their surroundings, fostering a collaborative spirit that transcended traditional departmental boundaries. We believe that to make a real change, we need to  leverage diverse talents, backgrounds, and knowledge. 

“As a strategy analyst with little to no tech background, I was happy to see that I could greatly contribute to the Impactathon. I enjoy signing up for challenges but, to date, at Glovo they had only been focusing on tech, so I had never been able to really take part. It is amazing that the Impacathon brings together tech & business minds to create a positive impact at scale.”

By cultivating a collaborative environment that surpasses conventional boundaries, Glovo is not only reshaping its business model but also actively contributing to the enhancement of the communities it serves. As the Impacathon becomes a recurrent event, the potential for ongoing innovation and positive change within Glovo’s ecosystem is boundless.

In Zoe’s words, “At Glovo, our commitment extends to leaving a positive impact and footprint in all the communities where we operate. We achieve this by empowering the digitalization of SMEs, upskilling couriers, promoting sustainable packaging, and maintaining a fleet that prominently features electric vehicles. Recognizing that this is just the initial stride on a long road ahead, my hope is that we can amplify our impact through our initiatives and persist in driving impactful solutions within our app.”