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In recent years, an alternative concept to capitalist-oriented digital platforms has emerged: platform cooperatives. Platform cooperatives are jointly owned and democratically controlled platforms that promise a more social alternative to platform capitalism. However, platform cooperatives and their challenges and success potentials have received little attention in research. To this end, we conduct a multiple case study and shed more light on the challenges and success potentials that result from the characteristics of platform cooperatives. The results show that the greatest challenges include their complex governance and above all, their lack of funding. To leverage their success potential, platform cooperatives should extend regionality and further sharpen their cooperative identity and social profile. They should also pursue a differentiation strategy and find ways to keep democratic governance manageable. Ultimately, they would benefit from new financing instruments. Our results contribute to research on digital platforms and platform cooperatives.



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