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Funding Painted Circle

Written by Charles Odom

Founder & CEO | Painted Circle

I want to share with you the unique funding style and rationale behind Painted Circle. We've always envisioned our platform as much more than just a travel marketplace; it's a mission-driven ecosystem designed to make travel a force for good. We've embarked on a journey to create a travel platform that stays true to its mission, and this is how we've chosen to do it.

Staying True to the Mission: Self-Funding and Bootstrapping

Our mission is crystal clear: we aim to make travel a force for good by building a travel marketplace and ecosystem that doesn't extract value and resources from local communities. Instead, we provide a platform that serves as a free resource for a diverse set of partners, from businesses to nonprofits. To ensure we stay unwaveringly committed to this mission, I made the decision to self-fund and bootstrap our platform.

This choice was driven by the belief that our mission should never be compromised by the demands of external investors or the pressure to generate profits at the expense of local communities. By self-funding, we can focus on creating a platform that empowers, rather than exploits, the communities we engage with.

Empowering Partners and Communities: Referral and Affiliate System

One of the cornerstones of our platform is the referral and affiliate system. We designed it to ensure that all our partners can share in our revenue. We extend our invitation not only to B2B partners but also to nonprofits, creating a broad and inclusive ecosystem that fosters collaboration and mutual benefit.

In this way, Painted Circle doesn't act as the traditional middleman or reseller that extracts fees or commissions from its partners. Instead, we aim to be a true enabler, where success is shared by everyone in the Painted Circle community.

Your Radius Feature: Activating Travel for Good

The Painted Circle "Radius" feature is at the heart of our unique funding model. Travelers can opt pay a one-time fee to activate this feature, which unlocks discounts and other special offers at all the businesses found on Painted Circle. Rather than keeping this fee just to ourselves, we circulate much of it back to our partners and communities.

When you and other travelers activate Radius, we help in generating positive outcomes for local businesses and communities. Painted Circle becomes the bridge, connecting travelers and partners in a way that enhances travel experiences while respecting the principles of ethical and responsible tourism.

Balancing Sustainability and Growth

As a founder, I had a vision for Painted Circle that goes beyond profit margins. We wanted to remain free for those who wish to stay on the surface, while offering a membership feature that comes with a one-time fee. This membership feature provides a host of benefits, including savings for travelers, improved outcomes for businesses, and an open door for communities and nonprofits to participate in the cycle of positive change.

By balancing sustainability with growth, we aim to create a self-sustaining ecosystem where every participant benefits, and travel becomes a force for good.

Embracing Meaningful Partnerships

While we've chosen not to seek investor money, we wholeheartedly welcome meaningful partnerships where our vision aligns with others. Connecting with businesses and partners who share our passion for ethical travel allows us to amplify our mission and create a more significant impact. We believe that through partnership and collaboration we can achieve far more than we could alone.

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