Patreon VC back nightmare


Oh no I like and use Patreon to send and receive and it turns out they took a lot of VC funding and as we know this is bad news these days…


Thrive capital as well. Oh boy.
If anyone wants to make a sustainable Patreon alternative now is the time.


Might that be liberapay?

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The primary reason for Patreon’s success is that they had VC funding in order to make a big launch and pay a decent-sized team to get going. Now, they could have potentially gotten other funding and could have been structured as a co-op and/or other ethical measures, but they had mediocre terms and such from the beginning. None of this is new. They took VC money before you had ever heard of them, before they even launched.

My organization,, started before Patreon even, back in 2013, but we’re still struggling to get fully-launched. It’s much harder since we’ve been almost all volunteer basis, no investors (we’re non-profit and structuring as a co-op) and we’re not just another duplicate of standard funding models, we’re doing the hard work of actually developing a new, better model that serves the values of free/libre/open public goods.

Note that Patreon’s model is not new. There were sustainable funding options before they existed. The primary innovation they offered was their pay-per-release thing which isn’t a good fit for many cases anyway. The other thing Patreon does is be a paywall service in terms of running a program that gives patrons exclusive access to things that often could and should be public really.

Anyway, we did all the research on all the services in this space. So if you are curious about what’s out there already, here it is: (linked to the sustaining-funding section, the page covers other models too).

So, the premise that Patreon is somehow special or that there aren’t already alternatives is nonsense.

But there’s nothing like yet, and we believe that our crowdmatching model is what’s really needed in this space.


I’m a fan of liberapy, and BTCPay Server (a self-hosted payment service) is also worth checking out:

" BTCPay Server is a free and open-source cryptocurrency payment processor which allows you to receive payments in Bitcoin and altcoins directly, with no fees, transaction cost or a middleman.

BTCPay is a non-custodial invoicing system which eliminates the involvement of a third-party. Payments with BTCPay go directly to your wallet, which increases the privacy and security. Your private keys are never uploaded to the server. There is no address re-use since each invoice generates a new address deriving from your xpubkey.

The software is built in C# and conforms to the invoice API of BitPay. It allows for your website to be easily migrated from BitPay and configured as a self-hosted payment processor.

You can run BTCPay as a self-hosted solution on your own server, or use a third-party host.

The self-hosted solution allows you not only to attach an unlimited number of stores and use the Lightning Network but also become the payment processor for others.

Thanks to the apps built on top of it, you can use BTCPay to receive donations, start a crowdfunding campaign or have an in-store Point of Sale."


Librepatron is a self-hosted alternative to Patreon built on top of BTCPay Server.

"Patreon is a popular service that allows content creators to receive contributions from supporters on a recurring basis. Unfortunately, Patreon is also a dedicated enemy of the concept of free speech as an important civic virtue. Patreon is known to arbitarily ban its creators for “thought crime.”

Unfortunately most Patreon alternatives to date do not implement all of Patreon’s main features, namely:

  • Automatic monthly billing via email
  • Support for both Bitcoin/Lightning (BTCPay Server) and credit cards (Square)
  • Main page to entice new subscribers
  • Google Analytics
  • Protected page to post updates (viewable by subscribers only)
  • Automatic bulk emailing of updates to subscribers
  • Managing billing and subscription expiration
  • Allowing subscriber comments (turned off on this sample site, but allowed when you install your own!)

While still in alpha status, LibrePatron implements all of these features.

If you’re a creator reading this unconcerned with free speech issues, Patreon still takes a percentage of your earnings, which can be avoided by using LibrePatron."

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That’s not a desirable thing!


You don’t have to use Google analytics if you don’t want to. It’s open source software.


Sure, the google analytics front end is open source whether you’re using the google blessed Javascript libraries or their cocoaPods on iOS, but you have zero, zip, no control of that information you’ve chosen to log once it hits the backend-servers. You can’t even ask to see what google has done with your data. Oh sure, they provide a nice UI for google analytics users to run reports and stats on the data you’ve logged, but once it hits their servers it’s THEIRS, NOT YOURS. It’s just more behavioral surplus for google.
Open source software doesn’t mean it does not contirbute to evil and unethical practices.



Right, I’m not saying you should use Google analytics because their front-end code is open source. I’m saying that the Librepatron software is open source. So, if you want to self-host Librepatron, you can easily turn off Google Analytics.


Does “turning it off” mean it is removed or just hidden from view?


It’s open source software so, as the host, you can just turn it off (so it’s not active, but the code is still there), or remove the Google Analytics code altogether.