Ello just pulled a potentially huge trick out of their hat. The social network startup legally vows to forever remain Ad-Free. Founders and Investors Sign Charter.
Ello.co is a new hot social network that started to get traction. Today Ello announced that the ad-free social network has converted to a State of Delaware Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), stating within the legal charter that:
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- Ello must never make money from selling ads;
- Ello must never make money from selling user data;
- In the event that Ello is ever sold, the new owners would also have to comply by these terms.
The Ello PBC Charter makes it legally impossible under US law for investors to require Ello to ever show ads, sell user data, or sell the company to any buyer who would violate any of the listed conditions.
"The Internet is turning into one giant billboard, and with essentially all social networks relying on advertising, data mining, and selling user data, it can be hard for some people to imagine a better way. At Ello, we're building it," said Paul Budnitz, CEO and co-founder of Ello. "We're fortunate to have a passionate global community that supports Ello's mission, and like-minded, socially conscious investors who understand that a company can provide a fantastic service, and be profitable, without advertising."
Ello will forever be ad-free and allow people to use a real or anonymous identity, while at the same time protecting community members by requiring them to follow common-sense rules of conduct.
Ello also completed a Series A round of funding in the amount of $5.5 million. The round was led by Foundry Group, Techstars' Bullet Time Ventures, and FreshTracks Capital.
Ello was launched on August 7, 2014 with 90 users, and is now experiencing invite requests at a rate of 45,000 per hour during peak times.
Ello will generate revenue by selling personalized features and other services at small prices through an online store inspired by the Apple App store. Ello currently has thousands of community members asking for specific paid features.
The Ello PBC Charter is effective immediately. This trastic move by Ello could be essential to win users away from Facebook. Will you switch?
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Ello is still invite only. You can put your email address for an invitation here.