New Models for #Platformcoop Design, Part 3: Option A – the Integrated Tech/Data Cooperative
In this #platformcoop model, the technology architecture is developed, funded, and deployed within the same legal vessel as that which processes, distributes, and monetizes the throughput data. The tech platform is owned by the same stakeholders as the community creating the content (data) flowing through it. This is the prevailing model for cooperative development. Members come together to create a cooperative platform (grocery co-op, housing co-op, freelance co-op, worker co-op, co-working co-op, etc.) for their collective needs. Members come together and they develop and own the key assets that enable their community to flourish and their needs to be met.
One key difference between traditional cooperatives that operate out of brick-and-mortar and #platformcoops is that #platformcoops generally do not own or create any assets that can readily serve as collateral for a loan. While grocery cooperatives, for example, can obtain debt financing secured by a building, land, or equipment, #platformcoops develop intangible intellectual property, which can be difficult to define, value, and collateralize. Further, secured debt is collateralized against an existing and identifiable piece of tangible property, whereas early stage investors are investing in little that already exists: just a founder’s vision, energy, and capacity to carry out a plan.