Vail Valley-based Hackernoon in new partnership with micropayment firm | VailDaily.com
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Vail Valley-based Hackernoon in new partnership with micropayment firm

From left, Linh, Norah and David Smooke of Edwards-based Hackernoon.

Since it began, Hackernoon has been a place to share information about a wide range of tech topics. Now, site contributors may see a reward for their work.

Hackernoon founders David and Linh Smooke moved to Edwards a few years ago and quickly raised roughly $1.1 million through crowdfunding. The company’s community now includes more than 12,000 contributing writers and more than 4 million readers per month.

Most of those writers are professionals who contribute to Hackernoon for no pay. Most of those contributors are already working in the business.

Writers on Hackernoon don’t count on writing for their primary income, David Smooke said. Contributions are more about “proving expertise” in their fields, he said.

Now, with a $1 million strategic investment from Coil, a micropayments firm, those writers may get a little cash for their contributions.

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Users can subscribe to Coil for as little as $5 per month. That payment is distributed to sites the user visits based on how much time that user spends on those sites. Cash that doesn’t go to creators is donated to charity.

Since the recent announcement of the partnership with Coil, more than 500 Hackernoon contributors have signed up to accept micropayments via the system.

“We were thinking about ways to reward writers — our relationship with writers is very important,” Linh Smooke said.

David Smooke noted that every penny of a Coil subscription goes either to a creator or to charity.

The success of Hackernoon is about more than just the company, though. The Smookes believe their company can be an example for other entrepreneurs who don’t want to be in big cities.

“Building a startup in the Vail Valley is something people should be doing more,” David Smooke said.

With tech companies doing more remote work, resources are available from just about anywhere.

“This is a great place to build a company,” he said, adding that he’s excited to see the Vail Valley Partnership’s efforts to provide health care coverage to members.

“You can be here, and have benefits,” David Smooke said.

“We’re really happy to be here,” he added. “And living here doesn’t rule you out from getting investment from big tech partners — Coil was interested in a company in an 8,000-person town in Colorado.”

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com.


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