Elsewhere online
November 05, 2015

Venture-Capital-Backed Start-Ups Factor Altruism Into Next Steps

Laureate Education, the nation's largest for-profit university operator, is seeking status as a public-benefit corporation in conjunction with a $1 billion initial public offering it filed last month, reports The New York Times.

Laureate is the latest in a line of high-profile start-ups seeking alternatives to sale or a traditional stock offering — the most common routes for venture-capital-backed firms — and embracing novel corporate structures that allow them to pursue good works as well as shareholder returns.

Professing its aim to have a "positive effect for society and students by offering diverse education programs both online and at campuses around the globe," Laureate said it would also seek certification as a B Corporation, which requires it to meet stringent social and environmental standards. In a similar vein, crafts marketplace Etsy retained its B Corporation status in going public this year, and crowdfunding firm Kickstarter recently announced it will remain private and become a public-benefit corporation.