Great examples of pioneering platform co-operatives from the UK and internationally.
Resonate: A music streaming platform
Resonate is a “stream-to-own” music platform driven by blockchain technology.
The platform is a multi-stakeholder co-operative, which means it is owned and controlled democratically by a variety of stakeholders. Multi-stakeholder co-operatives that bring together different interest groups can choose to have “constituencies” or different “classes” of members, and in Resonate’s case this means democratic control is given to artists (45%), listeners (35%) and workers (20%).
Through its model, it pays up to 2.5 times more than other streaming services.
Watch this video to hear how Resonate is working for unsigned artists, like Madame So.
What Resonate says:
We’re on a mission to remake streaming. #stream2own means artists get paid fairly, and fans can own music again. Resonate is run as a co-op because everyone should have a voice – not just corporations. Built on blockchain technology, our new ecosystem has fairness hardwired into its code. This is the future of culture. Join us and we’ll rewire music forever.”
Open Food Network: A food distribution platform
The Open Food Network platform makes it easy to create innovative, independent food businesses.
Food producers can create an online shop, collect payments, sell through other shops on the platform and access reduce rate courier services. Wholesalers can integrate with existing systems, manage buying groups and supply your produce through our national network of food hubs and shops. Communities can bring together producers in your area to create a virtual farmers’ market, building a resilient local food economy.
The OFN community has decades of experience in running innovative food enterprises with social and ecological aims. We know that good food can transform our planet and our society. We also know that making values-driven food enterprise work takes commitment, perseverance, partnerships and support. The OFN community want to help you to make values-driven food enterprises thrive!
What Open Food Network says:
We are using tech to create transformative food systems making social and ecological benefits a priority. This model allows us to create a workplace culture and business objectives that reflect the values of our members, better shape the customer experience and positively impact the sustainability of the service.”
Equal Care Co-op: A social care platform
Equal Care Co-op are building a new, co-owned social care platform that puts care givers and receivers in charge.
By incorporating as a multi-stakeholder co-operative, their digital product and accompanying service is owned by and accountable to the communities using and sustaining it. They arrived at the platform co-op model as a response to systemic inequities within the social care system, seeing it as a practical route to centering choice, power and ownership with the two most important people in care – the person giving and the person getting support.
The model involves ensuring that front-line care workers are paid as much as possible within existing market rates and Equal Care Co-op have set a target of a minimum wage of £20,000 per annum for new care workers (equivalent to 25% above general industry average), achieved via platform efficiencies and the co-operative and self-management approach.
With the support they have received to date, they are starting to run a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with a small group of care workers and receivers and have conducted feasibility analyses and user research, focusing on a pilot area of the Upper Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. However, they are now working towards an offer of withdrawable shares to raise the seed investment they need to build their technology and fund the development of community-led neighbourhood care in other areas.
What Equal Care Co-op says:
We are a new care and support co-operative starting in the Upper Calder Valley, UK. We have set up Equal Care Co-op to bring to the forefront and balance the interests of the people at the heart of the care and support relationship.”
Stocksy United: A stock photography and video platform
Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Stocksy United provides curated stock photography and video footage with almost 1000 photographer member-owners, across 63 countries.
The members license creative content and receive 50% royalties on standard license sales and 75% on extended license sales – they also receive dividends which equated to $300,000 in 2016 on $10.7m in sales.
What Stocksy United says:
Raising the bar – and the industry’s expectations – of stock photography and cinematography. Stocksy is home to a highly curated collection of royalty-free stock photography and video footage that is beautiful, distinctive, and highly usable.
We’re also a co-operative!…We believe in creative integrity, fair profit sharing, and co-ownership, with every voice being heard.”
Up & Go: A home cleaning service platform
Up & Go is a platform that offers on-demand cleaning services at guaranteed fair wages launched by four worker co-operatives, based in New York City.
The worker-owned cleaning businesses, which are all majority women owned, earn 95% of the cost of every Up & Go cleaning job. The remaining 5% supports the costs to maintain the platform.
What Up & Go says:
As cleaning professionals, we know all the secrets to giving you the home cleaning you need. That’s why we started Up & Go, offering you access to high quality cleanings at honest prices, delivered with care through fair work practices.”
TaxiApp: A taxi ordering platform
Taxiapp is the UK’s first taxi app to be a co-operative – co-owned by the drivers who each pay £5 a week to show on the app.
Customers can book and pay for black cabs via the app, in cash or by card. The taxis can even be hailed if a customers can view via the app that there’s a TaxiApp taxi in a nearby street or rank.
What TaxiApp says:
TaxiApp is combines a safe, elegant and reliable service in an iconic Licensed Taxi. Powered by Technology, driven by knowledge.”