‘Anti-Facebook’ Ello Raises $5.5M, Vows an Ad-Free Future

Dubbed an "anti-Facebook" since its launch with 90 users this past August, Ello has quickly gained widespread publicity and a fast-growing number of adherents. Thursday -- armed with $5.5 million in new funding, and driven by a binding manifesto declaring it will never make money by selling ads or user data -- the Vermont-based startup was preparing to take its anti-Facebook ethos to even greater heights.

Ello announced Thursday that it had converted to a state of Delaware Public Benefit Corporation. As a benefit corporation, which in some states is a legally binding business structure, Ello commits itself to having a material, positive impact on society and the environment, and to make decisions based not only on the potential impact on shareholders and investors but on employees, the community and the environment as well.

Ello's first major round of funding (it garnered a seed investment of $435,000 this past March), also announced Thursday, was led by Foundry Group, Techstar's Bullet Time Ventures and FreshTracks Capital. The investors joined Ello CEO and co-founder Paul Budnitz in signing onto the company's new charter declaring its ad-free and public-benefit-driven future.

Facebook Revolt Brings Ello Boost

Ello's development got a large and unexpected boost in late September following news that Facebook had sent out numerous messages to drag-queen users that they either had to use their legal names -- as opposed to monikers like "Sister Roma" or "Lil Miss Hot Mess" -- or risk having their accounts disabled. That revelation sparked a considerable outcry from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, and saw a large number of Facebook users move their social media profiles over to Ello in response.

Facebook eventually apologized to its drag-queen users and stated it would allow profiles under the "authentic name they use in real life," rather than...

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‘Anti-Facebook’ Ello Raises $5.5M, Vows an Ad-Free Future

Dubbed an "anti-Facebook" since its launch with 90 users this past August, Ello has quickly gained widespread publicity and a fast-growing number of adherents. Thursday -- armed with $5.5 million in new funding, and driven by a binding manifesto declaring it will never make money by selling ads or user data -- the Vermont-based startup was preparing to take its anti-Facebook ethos to even greater heights.

Ello announced Thursday that it had converted to a state of Delaware Public Benefit Corporation. As a benefit corporation, which in some states is a legally binding business structure, Ello commits itself to having a material, positive impact on society and the environment, and to make decisions based not only on the potential impact on shareholders and investors but on employees, the community and the environment as well.

Ello's first major round of funding (it garnered a seed investment of $435,000 this past March), also announced Thursday, was led by Foundry Group, Techstar's Bullet Time Ventures and FreshTracks Capital. The investors joined Ello CEO and co-founder Paul Budnitz in signing onto the company's new charter declaring its ad-free and public-benefit-driven future.

Facebook Revolt Brings Ello Boost

Ello's development got a large and unexpected boost in late September following news that Facebook had sent out numerous messages to drag-queen users that they either had to use their legal names -- as opposed to monikers like "Sister Roma" or "Lil Miss Hot Mess" -- or risk having their accounts disabled. That revelation sparked a considerable outcry from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, and saw a large number of Facebook users move their social media profiles over to Ello in response.

Facebook eventually apologized to its drag-queen users and stated it would allow profiles under the "authentic name they use in real life," rather than...

Comments are closed.