For community-led businesses, Koos simplifies shared ownership to let business-critical communities earn and own equity-like stakes in that business without messing with the cap-table.
These stakes provide a return when certain goals are met – and allow business success to be shared by the people who deliver it. As a result both business and community can benefit measurably.
We make success a truly shared cause.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Traditionally, the future outcome of a company is only shared amongst three groups: founders, investors and employees. But companies aren’t just built by these three groups: it’s the energy of early adopters, influencers, customers and others who help you in a myriad of ways. So how do you share your future success with them as well? If you have thousands of people who help you, then share options schemes aren’t a good solution, and they involve a lot of bureaucracy.
So we have two goals. The first is to enable a business to share their success with the community – which can grow exponentially at any time – and secondly, to enable them to do it with the least bureaucracy possible. There was no solution for that in the market so that’s why we started Koos.
Giving back to the community that helped build your company is a new way of thinking – and it requires a more flexible financial alternative than share options.
Koos helps companies to legally issue promises: I give you a part of the company in the form of a promise or token, which I will buy back based on a certain formula if I am successful. It’s a financial guarantee. Success is pre-defined in advance, for example, an IPO, exit or acquisition, and you get a share of the token pool. We’re solving the issue of ‘founders amnesia’ by enabling them to reward the people that have helped them.
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What can we hope to see from Koos in the future?
Following our launch in Estonia, we are now using our recent $4 million investment, led by Plural, to launch in the UK and across Europe with a legal framework that complies with UK and EU law, with the goal of making success a truly shared cause.
We believe Koos can contribute to a more equitable distribution of business wealth and potentially lead to a time when people choose to support, and buy from, businesses that they have a stake in – brands whose success they are invested in, and who they are aligned with ethically.
In the mid-term, our goal is to deliver over €1bn in value back to communities from the businesses they support and help grow by 2025. We will do this by helping companies reflect and reward the reality of people’s contributions to their success – and empowering communities and customers to choose companies that do so.
Long-term we would like to see a time when all communities own a part of every new business and a share of the returns.