Friday, April 29, 2016

A worker-owned tech startup

See this article.

"Loomio’s values have won it a devoted user base. But they’ve also meant that the usual rules for starting a tech company don’t apply. The most common method for building a big online platform is to raise a lot of money quickly, achieve ubiquity, and then sell the company in a buyout or an initial public offering in the stock market. To get that quick money early on, founders pass considerable ownership and control to investors, who then cash out when the company gets sold.

"But this won’t work for a mission-driven co-op.
Cooperatives have to remain under the control of their members, not their investors, and mission can’t take a back seat to profits. As cooperative culture spreads into the tech world—a trend some of us have called “platform cooperativism”—Loomio is part of a new wave of entrepreneurs trying to figure out how to finance a more democratic, values-centered online economy.

"In recent months, Loomio has raised nearly half a million dollars without giving up control. To understand how, I spoke with Ben Knight, one of the company’s founders."

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