Well, this is cool. Ello has raised some capital and in doing so they’ve filed as a “Public Benefit Corp.” and made everyone involved sign a mission statement.
Jonathan Shieber for Aol/Techcrunch:
The company filed in Delaware as a Public Benefit Corp., which Ello says makes it legally impossible under US law for investors to require Ello to show ads, sell data, or sell the company to any buyer who would violate those conditions.
I didn’t even know that was a thing.
Seth Levine, investor in Ello:
It’s important that we state this clearly, since there are bound to be people who view this financing with skepticism. Foundry Group is completely supportive of the Ello mission. We’ll either build a business that doesn’t rely on third party advertising or the selling of user data or we won’t build a business. Our belief is that there are products and features that Ello can develop that users will be willing to pay for. While the price points may be low, as part of a much larger ecosystem with millions of users, will provide an economic model for the company which supports the business and our investment.
I deleted my Ello account because I simply didn’t believe them. Especially when Andy Baio wrote about them raising money without saying they did. (Also, his follow up) I thought that their investors were going to blow up on them. I wrote:
I’m guessing that if this goes on too much longer that the investors will meet with the team — regardless of their respective positions on the cap table — and ask what in the world is going on. Both teams are saying different things.
I was wrong. And I regret being wrong about it. I’m also very glad to see these moves being made. Great job Ello team.
I still have no idea whether or not they’ll find their way as a business. App.net certainly had a model that, from the outside, looked like it could work. And it didn’t. (Though, I’m still unsure if the model didn’t work or the people didn’t make it work.) So we’ll see how it goes for Ello. But, from now on I’ll sit and watch and hope they continue doing great things. And I won’t react so quickly. I hope.
I’m @cdevroe on Ello. Again.