Ethelo is a “software with a service” platform that helps organizations harness the wisdom of groups to solve difficult problems and make decisions. Ethelo works with large public and private clients, including the Government of Canada and Vancity Credit Union (Canada’s largest credit union) as well as consulting firms and civic organizations. It has been used for business optimization, customer insight, employee engagement, corporate strategy, policy development and community planning.
Ethelo has doubled its revenue every year for the past 4 years, earning approximately $480k in 2016. Its flexible, patent-pending technology was described by a Canadian Government assessment panel as "an exceptional advance on the state of the art”and “a new benchmark of state of the art that is clearly ahead of competitors.” In November 2014, Ethelo won Investors Choice Awards for “Best Technology” and “Most Likely to Go Public”, selected by the Vancouver Angel Forum.
The Ethelo platform is provided through a Software-with-a-Service model with tiered pricing based on usage, group size and organization type. Additional professional services are provided either by Ethelo or by certified consultants for the setup and customization of the platform.
Borrowing from social sciences, mathematics, decision theory, and experiential design, Ethelo provides decision makers with the tools for highly effective client or constituent engagement. As a decision support tool, Ethelo avoids the simplistic and polarizing dynamic of majority votes. Instead it uses sophisticated data aggregation to search the plurality of all possible scenarios to identify practical, strongly supported decisions with broadly acceptable tradeoffs.
Put simply, Ethelo harnesses crowd wisdom to solve real challenges.
Ethelo’s broad target market are organizations who seek to gain insights about and from their customers, stakeholders, staff and members in matters of business optimization, employee engagement, strategy and policy, and public consultations. Ethelo also provides its software to independent consultants who provide a valuable reseller and expert service layer as well as providing a channel to clients.
Ethelo’s potential market is worth over $500 billion, and includes decision-making by governments, private companies and civic organizations. It is a market that is growing rapidly, as the reach of the internet expands, and as more organizations bring their higher-level functions online.
In time we will release Ethelo as a Software-as-a-Service solution, providing turnkey products that can be used without consultant assistance. This will make Ethelo accessible for the hundreds of millions of SMEs worldwide. We will also publish an Application Programming Interface, enabling third-party applications to take advantage of Ethelo’s unique capacity to find strongly supported decisions.
Ethelo provides its online platform to customers as a "managed service" which includes a combination of licensing and consulting fees. Earned revenue to date has been comprised of approximately 2/3 license fees, and 1/3 professional services. Our strategic objective is to maximize the ratio of licensing versus consulting fees, which is the reason for (a) targeted sales strategy aimed at consultant resellers (b) plans for release of Ethelo as a Software as a Service product and (c) plans for the release of Ethelo as an Application Programming Interface.
Ethelo’s clients include the Government of Canada, the BC Capital Regional District, Vancity Credit Union, Vancouver Coastal Health, Portland Hotel Society, and Leadnow. Ethelo is also a technology supplier to consulting firms that provide public engagement, communications, and facilitation services. Additionally, Ethelo has a dedicated nonprofit channel partner called Ethelo Democracy which is focused on providing Ethelo to public interest organizations.
Use of Proceeds
|Description of intended use of available funds listed in order of priority||Assuming 50% of maximum offering||Assuming maximum offering|
|General & Administrative||$61,000||$62,000|
|Sales & Marketing||$120,000||$285,000|
Ethelo plans to grow dramatically over the next several years and will be reinvesting its operating cash flow in to the continued growth of the company. Once operations have reached an optimal level, management will consider the best exit strategy for its shareholders. This may include a strategic merger or acquisition, or an initial public offering.
Q: How is Ethelo different than other online tools like surveys and grading scales?
A: Ethelo is unique in its ability to identify actionable outcomes in complex, multi-factored decisions requiring broad stakeholder support. Unlike surveys, which collect data for later analysis by decision-makers, Ethelo incorporates decision factors at the beginning of a consultation, identifying a range possible scenarios. Ethelo then provides a transparent process for participants to collectively evaluate and rank those scenarios in real-time. Ethelo’s powerful algorithm is able to evaluate millions of actionable scenarios to find solutions that will not only maximize satisfaction, but also minimize the resistance that would arise from an unfair distribution of support and opposition. Ethelo is able to provide stakeholders with a transparent, fair decision process that generates practical solutions to complex, real-world problems in real-time.
Q: What does 'Ethelo' mean?
A: Ethelo means “intention” or “willpower” in ancient Greek. This is the name chosen by inventor John Richardson to connote the algorithm’s underlying goal of maximizing the intentional energy of a group behind an outcome. Ethelo treats a participant’s general intention around a problem as a quantity like energy that can be modelled and measured across different potential scenarios. This quantitative description allows the aggregation of individual intention into a shared collective intention which can be measured and ranked across those scenarios. In this way, an “optimal” scenario can be identified which will maximize the intentional energy of a group for execution. Unlike normal voting, in which a specific scenario is put to a vote seeking a certain threshold of support, Ethelo seeks through all possible scenarios to find the one most strongly supported.
Q: How does Ethelo create fairer decisions?
A: As social creatures, we have an innate drive for fairness, but fairness is hard to scale through traditional decision processes. Ethelo is able to allocate influence among participants very precisely as it evaluates scenarios, avoiding the polarizing dynamic of majority votes in which a single “winning” faction makes a decision. Rather than simply counting up the level of support, Ethelo is also able to measure the “fairness” of a distribution of support for a scenario. Ethelo is able to distinguish scenarios that divide a group into winners and losers, from scenarios which group members experience similar levels of satisfaction. Equality of satisfaction is not always important; for example in expert decision-making where there is a right and wrong answer. But many problems require stakeholder decisions that do not have a “right” answer. When fairness is important, Ethelo’s ability to identify scenarios that leave everyone feeling a winner can make the difference between success or failure.
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