Data is the new oil. It is collected, evaluated, repackaged and sold. Data has a price but users are usually not aware of this. We often pay for supposedly free products with our privacy.
Companies like Facebook, Google and Co. have built a lucrative business model on it. While they know everything about us, we know little or nothing about what these companies actually do with the information about us. This is not only unfair to each individual user, but also to all companies that handle data responsibly and keep it as secure as possible. They have a clear competitive disadvantage because they cannot offer their products "for free", and the bad reputation of the "data octopuses" also pulls them down.
We at polypoly want to correct this imbalance. We advocate a new way of dealing with data. That's why we want to ensure comprehensive transparency on this page, because trust is the currency that really matters to us.
How do we make our living?
Neither do we collect your data, nor do we sell them. We don't even know your data, because our network is completely decentralized, i.e. the data is stored on your device and nowhere else. Only you decide with whom you would like to share your data. Therefore, our financing and business model differs greatly from other companies.
The first financing
Two private individuals (Thorsten Dittmar and Maximilian Schnyder) and three companies (K3-Invest-GmbH, KI capital GmbH, innoQ Deutschland GmbH) invested in our foundation and thus hold shares in polypoly GmbH.
We are currently in contact with various large and medium-sized companies and institutions so that they can participate in the start-up financing. In the next step, we will apply for public funding such as EXIST. The last part of our start-up financing will be realised through an open crowdfunding campaign.
Our goal is to collect a total of 50 million euros in the first financing round. This is a very substantial sum but our project is also considerable in scope and impact.
Other start ups can raise considerable sums of money and this is never easy. Investors usually invest in young companies because they hope to sell their shares later at a higher price. The nature of the matter is that this very often fails and therefore the demand for value enhancement of successful start-ups is enormous. This is one reason for the hunger for data. That's why today's "data octopuses" came into the game.
We are not a startup in the common sense. We largely exclude the sale of shares, instead investors receive a moderate but solid return. We are a boring company with a great product. This makes us actually quite unattractive for classical start-up investors, which makes us even more pleased that we have already received investment commitments from many corporates and other business partners. But why do they do that? On the one hand, company directors are also individuals who know very well what it means to lose their privacy and on the other hand, many European companies suffer from unfair competition. So they combine the pleasant with the useful: the chance to eliminate the distortion of competition and restore people's privacy. Furthermore, we can significantly reduce the IT costs and legal risks of businesses.
The business of the GmbH
At the moment polypoly GmbH unites all our business areas.
In the GmbH, we develop our product, build relationships with companies and institutions, raise capital and operate advertising campaigns. Everything still takes place under one roof. As soon as the necessary funds have flowed and the preparations have been completed, a European cooperative society (SCE) will be founded in addition to polypoly GmbH.
From this point on, the GmbH would become a service provider. It is planned that we will support companies in the development of pods and features or carry them out on their behalf. We could also either assist in the evaluation of the data provided by users or carry it out on their behalf. Another important service would be to carry out security, process and data audits and training for companies.
The GmbH would thus become a point of contact and an interface for companies.
The business of the cooperative
While the GmbH will be a service provider for companies in the future, the cooperative is the operator of the infrastructure and a kind of certification authority for pods and features.
The highlight: Every user of a PolyPod can automatically and free of charge become a co-owner of the cooperative and thus obtain a right of co-determination. We completely exclude company shareholdings or takeovers through the cooperative model, because only one share can be held per person.
So our aim is nothing less than to build the largest European cooperative and involve all interested citizens. Participation also means financial participation. If users decide, for example, to take part in surveys or data analyses, then companies pay for it. This money flows back to the users.
This will bring citizens back on a par with businesses. Data is valuable and we are convinced that a fair exchange is indispensable. In order to help citizen in making decisions about what happens to their data, we will also provide further information and training via the cooperative. We want to prepare complex terms and data in a simple and understandable way.