Co-Operative Platforms: Harnessing the Full Potential of Crowdfunding
Technology driven change across industries has put pressure on companies to re-evaluate their relationship between different stakeholders. Furthermore, extended role of consumers has stressed a need to deepen the proximity between the company and its’ customers. This is well illustrated by the distinguishing features and fast growth of crowdsourcing and -funding industries. What comes to crowdfunding, stock-ownership based platforms are the norm in this novel form of funding, but the dominant platform ownership models fail to harness the full potential of individuals’ will to participate and cooperate. Therefore, the industry is still looking for efficient and sustainable model that would alleviate these problems and challenges. In addition, scientific discussion haven’t considered the role of company form in organizing crowdfunding platforms. Consequently, there is a clear need to set up and spur discussion on the role and implications of co-operative company form in crowdfunding. We propose a co-operative structure for crowdfunding as a solution to these and number of other problems encountered in the industry. Accordingly, the purpose of the article is to illustrate the relevance of company form in organizing crowdfunding. This is achieved by considering the implications of co-operative form on economic and non-economic features of crowdfunding. In addition, as co-operatives are based on cooperation between individuals, we consider the potential of co-operative form in terms of frequency of interaction of the member-owners. Concludingly, we put forward propositions that illustrate the relevance of company form in organizing crowdfunding.
Keywords: crowdfunding, co-operatives, platform cooperativism