Ello, the new social network that whose mandate is to never display ads or sell user data, just completed a round of venture funding where they raised $5.5 million.
Re/code originally reported this news, which they received from Ello CEO Paul Budnitz. According to Budnitz, the funding will be put towards building the back-end infrastructure to better support Ello’s rapidly growing user base.
Ello has gained hundreds of thousands of users in only a matter of weeks. Ello is invite only, and At its peak the social network was receiving up to 50,000 invite requests per hour. Ello even had to freeze signups at times because they weren’t able to handle all the traffic.
That’s exactly the kind of problem the company hopes to solve with this new funding. The deal was reportedly put together very quickly, as a result of the company’s growth exceeding expectations.
Ello is now home to over one million users, but there are three million people said to be waiting for an invite to join the network.
The network is growing so quickly in part due to its unique manifesto. So intent to fulfill their promise of delivering an ad-free social network, Ello co-founders have converted the company into a public benefit corporation in Deleware.
What that technically means is they’re still in business to make money, but the company’s priority is to provide a “benefit to society” while maximizing profits for its shareholders.
Ello’s investors are all said to be committed to Ello’s mission as well, even having signed their commitment in writing. “ “We’ve basically enshrined, in the most powerful legal way possible,” Bunditz says.
Ello’s mandate can be read in full below: