For that, we apologize. Sincerely. Truly. From our hearts. We have been sorry.
We’re humbled by the outpouring of voices. You have got shown us the level of one’s passion for Couchsurfing, for the community, and also for the buddies you earn right right right here.
You are heard by us. Now, it is time for you to have a deep breath to explain more about whatвЂ™s taking place, and much more significantly, why. We would like you to know the problem because obviously once we do and make clear some of the most commonly expected questions surrounding the utilization of our member share system:
1) Why had been we not warned?
We recognize that perhaps maybe not to be able to login into Couchsurfing and interact with the community without first creating a economic share is really a shock and disappointing to a lot of Couchsurfing users.
The team supporting Couchsurfing is quite little and then we had extremely short amount of time to attempt to take action, any such thing, to save lots of Couchsurfing. The team ended up being (whilst still being is) working very long times and through weekends merely to have finished what we can. Also giving scores of email messages off to the community is certainly not a easy feat. During the point associated with rollout, we felt such as this ended up being the smartest choice to help keep the city we love. We have been while using the most readily useful we are able to so we are sorry we allow many of you down. Searching back, maybe maybe perhaps not informing you of these an extreme modification ended up being an error.
Moving forward, we shall focus on an activity with the Couchsurfing Ambassadors as to how we have to communicate modifications that affect the city.
2) Why did Couchsurfing begin requesting efforts?
Couchsurfing happens to be entirely dedicated to increasing our community. By all measures we’ve been effective and then we have become up to a vibrancy and size far beyond just exactly exactly what numerous could imagine. Yet, lower than 4% of our members that are active contributed to Couchsurfing by deciding to confirm their pages. This quantity dropped to almost 0per cent in March.
If the COVID-19 pandemic hit, our community engagement fallen by nearly 90% because less individuals are traveling and a lot of individuals are remaining house. This means also less individuals confirming their pages and less individuals seeing adverts and consequently less financing readily available for Couchsurfing. Offered the worldwide economic system, less organizations are marketing therefore we are seeing also less capital through the few adverts our company is showing. We attempted for 2 months to fix this problem in a few other way and possess had to finance operations with your money reserves which were restricted to start out with. In a nutshell, we’d hardly any other choice rather than check out you, the community, for your help.
3) Did Couchsurfing start thinking about other choices?
Apart from profile verification and marketing, Couchsurfing tested over 10 various capital models numerous times within the past 4 years. These included requesting contributions, allowing users to charge for web hosting, asking surfers to cover a nominal cost whenever confirming a stay, negotiated marketing sponsorships, affiliate partnerships (Couchsurfing getting compensated whenever people bought one thing we promoted), attempting to sell product, a Couchsurfing cryptocurrency/blockchain, and much more. Multiple variations of those had been tested with reduced success. The capital we produced hardly covered our expenses associated with the tests by themselves along with the ballooning success of this community (development and engagement).
We would not offer important computer data. We’d maybe perhaps not feel safe achieving this. We think this might be unethical. We failed to do that. We shall never ever do that. You can find mentions on different social networking stations of Couchsurfing attempting to sell user information. Therefore we will state this once again, we now have maybe not and certainly will perhaps not do that.
In addition to our efforts at creating funding that is additional we additionally conserve money considerably. We constantly renegotiate our agreements. The wonderful (and expensive) Couchsurfing workplace which you are able to see images and videos of on the web ended up being shuttered during the end (it took us over 4 years to have out of this lease). Similar to the Couchsurfing community, all of us is currently 100% distributed and remote all over the whole world. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, people in the team took partial pay cuts or are foregoing settlement completely.
4) But doesnвЂ™t Couchsurfing have actually huge amount of money from rich investors? Is not it well well well worth easy online loans West Virginia one billion U.S. bucks? CanвЂ™t you simply raise more income from the rich individuals because this is focused on cash and additionally they have a great deal from it?
Even though it is correct that, Couchsurfing offered areas of it self to investors (Silicon Valley endeavor capitalists) in return for money that has been reinvested in to the company, 99% of the cash had been invested by early. Those funds had been utilized to improve, scrap, and change technology which was outdated and costly to keep.
Couchsurfing ended up being no further an investment that is attractive Silicon Valley endeavor capitalists, mostly since the community had remained the concern in the place of earning profits. Prioritizing the Couchsurfing community ended up being the thing that is right do for the community, yet not the proper action to take for the company. We the stand by position this choice.
Couchsurfing had been never ever worth a billion bucks. We intend to publish another article later this week with an increase of details, but Couchsurfing happens to be an unbiased and economically self sustaining entity. None for the investors, founders, or prior team people are actively active in the ongoing company nor have actually they been (aside from two associates: we leads for mobile development and trust and security).
5) just what will you will do because of the earnings you will be making through the member contribution that is new?
Our priority that is first is make sure our month-to-month functional expenses are covered. Whenever we begin getting efforts which are above our expense base we shall start prioritizing brand new item development that may make Couchsurfing a much more meaningful and engaging community.
That which we shall never be doing is delivering some of those earnings to the investors, or to the pouches of our CEO or employees. The amount of money we make at Couchsurfing has constantly gone back to the item. You simply will not see anybody at Couchsurfing driving a Lambo or traveling in a Gulfstream jet in the real solution to the most recent EDM celebration in Las Las Vegas. This is merely maybe perhaps not an element of the Couchsurfing DNA.