Ello.co, an ad-free social network, raised $5.5m in Series A round of funding.
The round was led by Foundry Group, Techstars’ Bullet Time Ventures, and FreshTracks Capital.
Created by seven artists and designers and led by Paul Budnitz, CEO, Ello is an ad-free social network where people can connect with people they love, “without being bombarded by boosted posts, data mining and ad salesman“. It uses an app-store model for revenue, in which users may opt to pay for special features, enhancements, products and apps.
People can use a real or anonymous identity.
The company is a State of Delaware Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), stating within the legal charter that:
– 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.