Sharetribe, the Finnish software provider, has raised a significant investment as their unusual equity crowdfunding campaign smashed the minimum target of €500k within the first 48 hours – and went on to raise €1.1M+ from a record-breaking 42 countries worldwide.
The campaign was unusual because, unlike most tech startups, Sharetribe is not working towards an exit. Instead, the company was seeking an investment to build a financially sustainable business that will be around for the long term. The equity release was structured so that voting shares are held only by active team members and can never be sold outside the team. Investors will get their pre-agreed and capped returns from the company’s profits over the next 10 years.
“The level of international interest was unprecedented”, says Lasse Mäkela, CEO of Invesdor, the investment platform. “With investors from more than 40 countries, Sharetribe is our most international campaign to date, by a long shot.”
Sharetribe’s equity crowdfunding was an opportunity to not only generate a solid return on investment, but to support the growth and democratisation of the sharing economy.
“The success of the whole campaign has been incredible and humbling. We see this as proof that a better sharing economy is needed all across the world”, says JuhoMakkonen, CEO of Sharetribe. “This funding will help us reach our goal of making platform technology accessible to everyone.”
Sharetribe raises €1.1M+ as new kind of company structure inspires investors from 42 countries worldwide
Sharetribe’s technology helps entrepreneurs and organizations to create their own sharing economy platforms, a bit like Airbnb or Uber, for 5-10% of the cost compared to building one from scratch. The company has a social mission – to democratise the sharing economy.
“The sharing economy promises many great benefits to the society, like efficient use of resources, connected communities, and more work opportunities for everyone. However, today it also has many problems. Global giants like Uber, Deliveroo and Airbnb extract a relatively large cut from each transaction, and this money will go to the hands of very few people. At the same time people working through these platforms are often struggling financially, without the usual benefits of the employees. We want to help build a better, fairer sharing economy, that brings our society all its benefits without the downsides. After we make the technology powering sharing economy platforms accessible to everyone, people treated poorly by the giant platforms can simply bypass them and build their own platforms instead”, says Makkonen.
Because of Sharetribe’s “steward-ownership” structure, it can guarantee its users that it will never become one of the extractive giants. According to Makkonen: “Thanks to all the investors who participated in this campaign, we will never be in a situation where we’d have to choose maximizing our profits at the expense of our mission. Because of our structure, we will always be able to put our mission first.”