Digital Engagement/Participation, FinTech for public needsOpen Collective promotes financial transparency and collaboration while enabling organisations to work across borders
ABOUT OPEN COLLECTIVE
US & Canada, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania, Africa
Digital Engagement/Participation, FinTech for public needs
- Founded in 2015
- Total funding: $3 million
- Revenue growth from 2020 to 2021: 500%
- Investors include General Catalyst, Bloomberg Beta, Ricardo Gorodisch (President of youth-focused charity Foundation Kaleidos)
- No HQ; fully remote
- 11-50 FTEs
However, there are still practical issues hindering the transition to a more digital existence. People still need to pay their rent, be employed, pay taxes; companies need to have legal structures, oversight, and pay taxes of their own. Open Collective aims to bridge the gap between the virtual world and legacy financial structures. Their financial management platform reduces the friction inherent to collaboration by making it easier to collect and spend money, including across borders, while promoting transparency. But the real innovation in Open Collective is in connecting ‘fiscal hosts,’ umbrella organisations that can hold third-party funds, and the community organisations that need a place to hold their funds.
Open Collective has developed a platform containing tools to help organisations – from local nonprofits and caused-based collectives to civic hackers and open source associations – collect, spend, and manage money. Groups can receive contributions, manage their expenses, and share their budget, and converse on community discussion forums. They can also generate monthly reports containing information about their goals, contributors, and expenses.
The code powering Open Collective is open source, and third-party developers regularly contribute through its GitHub page. Open Collective itself is also open: its financial documents, metrics, and growth plans are shared with the public. And organisations’ profiles on the platform are designed to be transparent, clearly displaying their financial information like inflows and outflows. This promotes accountability and collective financial oversight.
Open Collective plans to move towards an “Exit to Community,” whereby the company is owned and governed by their stakeholders. They are rapidly scaling globally throughout the anglosphere and EU, which should enable this exit.
Decentralised organisations working across borders – from groups of international tech hackers and builders to nonprofits and community organisers – and the companies and individuals who would like to support them. Organisations such as Google and the Ford Foundation use Open Collective to identify and contribute to collectives and initiatives that align with their goals.