welcome to somos!
apply to teach
marketing @ somos
co-ownership @ somos
our cohort based courses
peer-to-peer practice groups
after your course
co-ownership @ somos
how to become a co-owner in somos! 🥳
🌍 our ownership model
- about our unique ownership model
- how teachers can become co-owners in somos
- where to find more information 😊
⚙️ how will this work in practice?
we’re excited to be one of ten companies to have partnered with Ownco - a first of its kind ownership sharing platform.
the partnership allows us to enable tokenised co-ownership of somos where teachers, students, partners, employees, advisors & affiliates will be able to earn virtual shares via our options scheme.
1️⃣ the pilot programme
to begin with, we’ll be opening up the scheme to the teachers of the first 10 courses on our platform.
- teachers will earn a token:
- for every student that signs up for a course; and
- every time they receive a 8+/10 review score from a student.
- if somos is sold or goes public; and/or
- every time dividends are issued to somos shareholders.
top tip: a sign up for these purposes is complete at the point a course payment can no longer be refunded.
2️⃣ what’s next?
once we’ve tested out the initial programme, we’ll be opening up:
- a full scheme for teachers; and
- other schemes for the wider somos community.
we’ll keep you posted!
🚀 sounds great, how do i sign up?
check out this step-by step guide [coming soon]
our pilot programme is open to everyone approved to teach on somos:
- to take part, you’ll need to apply to teach with us.
- once you’re approved, you’ll be invited to sign up to the ownco platform.
- you’ll then be able to track your actions, contributions & from inside the somos app.
🤔 frequently asked questions
what is the somos ownership model?
- somos is community backed with 23 investors taking part in our pre-seed fundraising round.
- they've all bought into a business model that allocates equity ownership for the team, teachers and grassroots community organisations.
- at the pre-seed funding stage:
- 2,500 shares were put aside to allot to our five core community partners (this represented 0.5% each/2.5% total as at december 2021).
- these shares give our partners the same financial and voting rights as the founder and investors have.
- 30,000 shares were put in an initial option pool for somos employees, the wider somos community (including teachers). this represented a further 30% of the business as at december 2021.
- 1% of gmv (gross merchandising value) will be donated to our five core community partners annually (0.2% each). we've chosen a % of gmv instead of profits so that our users know that every single purchase from day 1 will result in a donation to our partners.
why is somos structured this way?
- community shareholdings:
- we want our long term future to be aligned with our community.
- if our project goes well, we want to share that success directly with grassroots organisations doing critical work protecting languages, culture and people.
- traditional csr and diversity and inclusion programmes are often very top down.
- we want to build with (rather than for) the communities we work in.
- giving our partners shares with the same financial and voting rights as our other investors makes us directly accountable to them.
- we recognise the importance of long term security and want to give teachers every incentive to make somos the best place to grow their business.
is somos a not for profit?
- no. somos is a for-profit social enterprise. unlike regular for-profit companies, somos is obliged under its governing documents to look beyond its shareholders and also consider other key stakeholders (e.g. employees, partners and the wider community) into account when making decisions. one of somos's key objectives is to have a material positive impact on society.
what’s the difference between how somos is structured and a DAO?
- firstly, what is a DAO?!
- a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) is an organization living on the blockchain - proposals can be made and voted on by the community, finances are recorded on the blockchain, and operational rules are programmed in smart contracts.
- what is somos?
- somos is a private company limited by shares. we are registered in england & wales under company number 13657044.
- what does this mean for the co-ownership scheme?
- tokens issued by somos are compliant within the legal framework for issuing virtual shares in the uk. the scheme has also been approved wholeheartedly by our existing shareholders.
- DAO’s potentially have very exciting use cases but right now they operate in legal grey areas with the uncertainty of changing regulation.
- we are…
- not sharing the entire ownership and governance for somos as a DAO would.
- starting with a significant co-ownership goal and will look to build on it as we grow the business and community.
- easier, low cost accessibility
- there is no need for our community members to have crypto wallets or learn any crypto jargon.
- for the pilot, you’ll just need an account with somos + and your email address 😊 to take part.
- any future payouts will be in cash not tokens.
why are you doing this using tokens?
- from our perspective…
- tokens are easier to distribute than other forms of ownership, especially given the global spread of the somos community.
- setting up employee share ownership programmes (known as ESOPs), revenue shares, or royalty licences:
- include complex processes and a lot of additional costs.
- are limiting. for example, somos prioritises impact sourcing when hiring and this structure allows us to create an innovative scheme that refugee employees living in limbo can be part of.
- for contributors, tokens are more liquid, easily accessible and inclusive.
what are virtual shares in somos worth?
- our virtual shares have the same valuation as our actual shares.
- this will vary over time. what is important is:
- the valuation at a liquidity event (e.g. the business being sold),
- the % ownership your shares represent at the time of a dividend payout (e.g. if you own 1% of somos and somos pays out $100 to its shareholders, you’ll receive $1).
- you can keep up to date with somos’ valuation based on our external fundraising here.
do i need to pay anything to take part in the co-ownership scheme?
- no! tokens are given in exchange for your contributions to the platform.
what are the tax implications?
- if you take part in the scheme:
- any taxes on the income you receive as a result of a payout are your responsibility to report/pay,
- you should report any payouts as you would any other type of income,
- please seek you own legal and/or tax advice.
what are the legal limitations of tokens + this scheme?
- tokens cannot be given in exchange for money, they must be in exchange for actions (work).
- this is to be compliant with securities law.
- tokens cannot be traded directly between individuals.