The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based crowdfunding platform, which was founded in April 2009, announced that it has legally become a public benefit corporation. Although Kickstarter will remain a for-profit entity, the legal designation ensures exactly what the company promises: that money would not interfere with the company’s objective of positive public impact. ETSY, -0.58% have edged toward it.
The service known for pooling funds from individual investors for electronic gadgets and movies has changed its name to Kickstarter PBC from Kickstarter Inc., the company said on its blog. Co-founder Perry Chen told that it will begin paying dividends to shareholders and employees in the next few years.
“We don’t ever want to sell or go public“, Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler told the New York Times. In addition, they must produce an annual benefit report that assesses their efforts in these regards. It also pledged to reduce its impact on the environment through green infrastructure and supporting environmentally friendly commuting methods.
Kickstarter is making a commitment to giving back to society.
Kickstarter was previously designated as a B Corporation. Kickstarter has been certified since November 2014.
“Kickstarter is excited to join a growing list of forward-thinking organizations – like Patagonia and This American Life – that have taken the big step to become a benefit corporation”, Kickstarter’s co-founders said in a statement.
Kickstarter – with the new PBC status – wants to guarantee that projects like the Nextbit campaign above is free from the influence of investors.
“Benefit Corporations are different”. The first state to pass legislation making it legal for a business to be a benefit corporation was Maryland in 2010.
In addition to creating a new charter, the company has committed to donating five percent of its post-tax profits towards arts education and organizations fighting inequality. Nor will it sell user data to third parties. And as one of the early adopters of this structure, it differentiates it from other crowdfunding platforms.
To be sure, pushing all of your chips to the middle of the table is bold – but it is also risky. The move to PBC further reinforces its founders’ resistance to floating the company on the stock market.
Going public or selling would “push the company to make choices that we don’t think are in the best interest of the company”, the pair added. Not Much.