Coko’s motto is “We Build, You Publish” – we exist to benefit the publishing community by building modern, open source tools that enable the publishing of critical knowledge better, faster, cheaper.
Our economic model is simple. Organisations pay us to build and extend open source software for them, and we use the surplus to build open source software for the community. It is a kind of Robin Hood production model if you will.
But we are not just about tools. We also care about the people that build and use these tools— the Coko Community—which is why we also lead initiatives like the Open Publishing Awards and the Open Publishing Fest. These two events have been successful and joyful for those that participated. At the Fest, we’ve had performances (a special thank you to our friends from the Philippines – the Divine Divas!) from all over the world and more than 300 presentations. Many of these presentations were extremely well attended and we welcomed everyone including folks that build competitive technologies to join in and promote what they are doing. The Awards were also fantastic with more than 400 nominations and 20 amazing award-winning projects selected by our esteemed panel of judges (a special thanks to chairman Cameron Neylon).
With community in mind, it is also important to note our work with the Women in Tech India collective (WiTc). We launched the DEWI Academy with WiTc last year with the aim of training women in rural India to learn how to build software. In addition, we co-founded the Coalition for Open Access Publishing Infrastructures in Africa in 2020 with WACREN, and EIFL.
But of course, Coko’s primary focus is building opensource technology for the publishing community. Since 2019, we have grown the number of community technologies we build and support from 4 (Editoria, PubSweet, xSweet and Wax) to 11 – with Pagedjs, Kotahi, ScienceBeam, Libero Editor, Flax, Wax 2, and CokoDocs all joining the Coko portfolio.
We have also grown the number of bespoke platforms (open source platforms that organisations pay Coko to build) including major projects for NCBI, the Open Education Network, and HHMI.
In total, this means we have grown our common community code base from around 800,000 lines of code a few years ago to approximately 2 million lines of reusable open source code today.
To reach such productivity levels we had to grow our team. In 2019, we had less than a dozen people on our team, we now have over 40.
And to grow our team we needed to grow our revenue. Coko has seen accelerated revenue growth rising from $650,000 USD three years ago to a projected $2 million USD in 2022.
What might not be as apparent, but something we are very proud of, is that we have also changed the balance of our revenue model. In 2019, our revenue comprised approximately 90% funding, 10% earned income. Today we have completely flipped the balance of revenue to 90% earned income, and 10% funding, a significant achievement for a not-for-profit like Coko.
This model is very powerful because it allows us to spend the unrestricted surplus on building products for the Coko Community. So if you are an organisation needing development services, drop us a line! You will be helping your organisation and, at the same time, the publishing community as a whole.
Last, but certainly not least, Coko has recently welcomed a lot of organisations to our community including NLnet, Crossref, OASPA, Amnet, Livriz, and others while also continuing to work with, and be supported by, long-term friends and partners such as eLife and Hindawi….”