Mission-aligned ownership and financing
Sharetribe’s model ensures that its mission of democratizing the sharing economy is protected over the long-term, and enables the company to bring in the capital necessary to grow and expand its team. Sharetribe founders Juho Makkonen and Antti Virolainen started building sharing platforms in 2008. Since then they’ve grown Sharetribe into a thriving business and developed technology that enables more than 700 customers across 50 countries to build their own online marketplaces.
The sharing economy, which is expected to grow to $300 billion globally by 2025, is largely dominated by global giants like Airbnb, Etsy, Uber, and Fiverr. These online marketplaces provide effective cost-cutting solutions by skipping the middlemen while delivering convenience and quality. The failure of the sharing economy is that these global giants extract relatively large cuts from each transaction, leaving little to be distributed to the people working through these platforms. As a result, freelancers using these platforms often struggle financially, and do not receive the benefits to which traditional employees would be entitled.
Sharetribe offers an alternative. Its technology enables individuals to leverage the positive aspects of sharing marketplaces, while ensuring that the value created is distributed fairly, people have control over the conditions of their work, and resources are utilized efficiently. Its mission is to democratize the sharing economy by making platform technology accessible to everyone.
To protect this mission and ensure they would never be forced to exit or IPO, Juho and Antti transitioned Sharetribe to steward-ownership in 2018. Their Golden Share model ensures the steering wheel of the company will always remain in the hands of the people directly involved in its operation and mission. It also enables the company to take on new investments, and allows founders and early employees to share in the upside of the company’s success.