A social network promising never to sell user data or incorporate advertising has secured multi-million dollar backing
Ello, which launched in August, has also become a Public Benefit Corporation, which prohibits its current and any future owners from breaking that promise.
The network plans to make money by introducing micro-payments for additional features.
Investors have pledged $5.5m (£3.4m).
“There are ‘freemium’ successes like Linked In and in gaming. Ello is taking a unique spin on this,” said Lee Bouyea, of Fresh Track Capital, one of the platform’s new backers.
“We are long-term investors. We have a company on our portfolio we invested in for nine years before they were successful. We look long term for a company to grow something of scale and value.”
Some experts have argued that people are not prepared to pay to use social media platforms.
“You don’t invite your friend to connect with you if it costs your friend money. Even in the world of digital music, you can pay for services but most people don’t,” James McQuivey, an analyst at tech research company Forrester, told the BBC recently.
SOURCE: Zoe Kleinman