Tallinn-based KOOS, a SaaS platform that enables businesses to grow with their community by turning stakeholders into co-owners, announced on Thursday, September 29 that it has raised $4 million (about 4 million euros) as part of its a round of seed funding.
KOOS says it will use the funds to launch its platform in the UK and across Europe as more companies look to elevate the role of stakeholders to drive business growth.
Previously, the company raised a pre-seed round of $600,000 from various high profile Estonian founders.
Investors in this round
The round was led by top investors from Plural Platform with participation from LocalGlobe, Tiny.vc and Matt Clifford.
Plural’s investment also comes with backing from founders-turned-investors Taavet Hinrikus, former CEO of Wise, and Sten Tamkivi, co-founder of Teleport, who will both take on active advisory roles to accelerate the deployment of the KOOS platform. .
The investors join a host of other tech founders backing KOOS, including Markus Villig, founder of Bolt, and Kaarel Kotkas, founder and CEO of Verrif. KOOS is built with the support of leading emerging technology law firm Ellex, adopting a recognized legal framework compliant with EU and UK laws.
Sten Tamkivi, advisor and co-founder of Plural Platform, says: “Plural wants to invest to help create a more equal society. We believe that broader community ownership leads to more meritocratic systems so that wealth can be distributed based on actual contributions. KOOS has developed a way to track support from all stakeholders in a community or business, without having to donate equity. We anticipate that the platform KOOS is building will become an essential part of many startups, funds, and communities, including charities and NGOs.
A community incentive platform
KOOS, which means “together” and “alongside” in Estonian, was created to serve organizations that are committed to giving genuine interest to their contributors. The KOOS Stakeholder Incentive Platform offers a new way to reward and motivate everyone who contributes to the growth and success of a business.
The company was founded in 2021 by a serial entrepreneur and former Estonian government CIO, Taavi Kotka.
A business can provide their community with a cause to support them by using KOOS’ equity-type development plans by offering them more equitable incentives without giving a single action. These incentives are granted only when the company achieves the established business goal. As a result, KOOS programs are positive ROI by design for the company running them, and by fairly paying the people who have contributed to the company’s success, they drive the economy of stakeholders.
Founder Taavi Kotka says, “At KOOS, we believe technology can be used to help build a more equitable society. To be successful, you need to deliver great value to all of your stakeholders and we’ve developed a digital tool that allows businesses to engage and reward their community, expanding the circle of people who have access to incentives like equity which in turn increases the group of people who will champion the business and want it to succeed. We offer companies a new way to achieve their business goals more efficiently, while simultaneously improving their performance for financial and social impact. »
Since its introduction to the market just four months ago, 27 early adopter paying customers run 35 programs – which include startups, NGOs, SMEs and large enterprises. The KOOS SaaS pricing model includes an onboarding fee, a monthly retainer, and 1% of all rewards (tokens) created by programs on the KOOS platform.
How KOOS works:
- Set a business goal: Describe a specific goal you want to accomplish with the help of your community.
- Commit when the business goal is reached: confirm the percentage of profits that will be distributed to community contributors.
- Keep track of important actions: Offer rewards to everyone who helps you achieve your business goal. The more activities and tokens you have, the more valuable your organization will be in the future.
- Pay: After you reach your company’s goal, keep your word and repay your donors. Payments and legal aspects are handled by KOOS.
Watch our interview with Paul Down, Head of Sales at Intigriti.