Amsterdam-based social enterprise Share Council, a FinTech startup focused on “closing the capital wealth gap by making every SME employee co-owner”, announced on Tuesday that it is proud to have raised over €1M in funding from The Sharing Group (known from MyWheels & Mijndomein) and a network of strategic angel investors. Share Council is build on the premise of “everyone a co-owner”, hence the last 100k of stock is now publicly coming available, see sharecouncil.co/invest
Share Council wants to use the capital to expand the team and improve the platform for 100% DIY. Further, the Dutch company intends to use the funds to extend its API which will be facilitating share trading on third party platforms as bookkeeping and HR as Exact, Twinfield, Buddee, Nmbrs, and more.
Share Council is through its API already easily integrated with some of the clients websites to make it easier for any employee (or even customer) to co-own the business.
“Everyone co-owner really appeals to us and fits well with our ‘Good Sharing’ philosophy. We are therefore pleased that we can support Share Council in their mission with our investment”, according to Joost van Rooij, CMO at The Sharing Group.
How was Share Council born?
Typically, small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) stay away from employee co-ownership because it is a daunting, expensive and cumbersome task to implement and maintain.
Share Councils’ CEO Quintus Willemse ran into this problem in 2015 when he wanted to make every employee co-owner of his startup Foryard (platform development for social enterprises).
“It was absurd that I either had to agree on a 10k proposal from an accountancy and notary firm (for 5 employees) or exercise a full evening study to be able to simply sell part of my company to employees” says Willemse.
Propelled by the findings that in Europe 64% of the capital is in hands of 10% of the population and that co-ownership could fix this, a new mission and platform was born!
Share Council: What you need to know
The Dutch social fintech startup Share Council has developed an online platform that makes it truly easy to implement co-ownership in any form and overcome as well a major business as social issue.
Founded in 2017 by Quintus Willemse (CEO) and joined by Hero de Smeth (CTO), Stevie Long (CFO) and Ebbi Elfrink (Customer Success), Share Council is an employee participation platform for SMEs.
The platform helps SMEs more efficiently by arranging and streamlining all the processes and administration regarding employee participation and stakeholder participation in general. It fosters co-ownership and the state of belonging.
“We help companies to turn individuals into teams with a sense of belonging by giving everyone access to the one source of truth,” says Ebbi Elferink.
According to Willemse, the platform is growing because of a social undercurrent of growing opposition towards wealth inequality and the difficulty companies have to overcome crises like the COVID pandemic, war and now even a recession.
“The current turbulent times mean a big change for SMEs since it’s harder to keep your good employees, there’s a limited offer of talent in the market, and the demand for more equality is rising. The is a new social norm of co-ownership coming up, which is good for every business because it also immediately lowers sick leave, lowers employee turnover, and increases economic stability for SME businesses.” Willemse says.
Currently, the company works with clients including Lightyear, Tony Chocolonely, bunq, MyWheels, Mijndomein, The Seaweed Company, Seepje, Breeze and many others.