August 9th Update

Hi everyone, I’m so excited to deliver this update to you! This has been emailed to everyone who signed up, so if you did not receive it in your inbox (and you wanted to), please let us know.

Here is what we have been up to in the past month.

  • We have successfully incorporated as a Non-Profit entity in Australia! This will:
    • Guarantee not-for-profit status and its associated restrictions
    • Prevent the company from ever being sold off to a for-profit
    • Prevent itself from ever not being a charity
    • Provide a framework for the volunteers to contribute IP
    • Allow us to collect donations when that time comes

There were some of you who were vocal about our yet-to-be legal status here in the forums, so thank you for igniting that conversation and giving us the nudge we needed. And let us use this as a great example of how YOU too can have your input into You may not have the time to volunteer like our core team of volunteers, but we check these threads in the forums regularly to ensure we are on the right track and to find and implement some great ideas.

  • We have brought on a bunch of new expert volunteers (welcome!), so looking promising as ever to publicly release the platform in about 3 months!

While we are here, we want to give a BIG shout-out and round of applause to the hard-working core team of volunteers - it’s not easy juggling jobs and life as it is, so adding in into the mix is HUGELY appreciated - thanks, everyone!

If you have experience organising events and other activities, have a large couch-surfing network, or are interested in spreading the word about, we’d love to chat one-on-one with you!

We are also always looking for software engineers (backend and frontend), UI/UX designers, and others who can help build the platform. Even 5 hours a week can make a difference!

Drop an email to if you’d like to help out in any way!

  • We have a launch timeline (very general, but aiming to keep to it)…!
    • [ALPHA] - August 18th - First available release, with limited features and a rudimentary UI

    • [BETA] - in ~2 Months - This will be the version once the UI/UX design team has integrated their input into the site

    • [INITIAL RELEASE] - in ~3 Months - First usable product with all the core features you’ve come to love from other hospitality exchange platforms

Baby Alpha is not for launch purposes, but rather for you to try out and have a poke around and tell us what you think. Once we have that ready for the real world, we’ll notify you via email so you can hop on if you are interested… it’s totally cool if you’re not, and just prefer to wait for the Initial Release version!

The Alpha version will have the following: profiles, photos, messaging, requesting hosts, references, and search. This is for members, accessible only via the forum. If you decide to share with a mate, remind them to sign up first!

The success of this project depends on the whole community, so do reach out to your friends to spread the word about us!

Well, that’s all folks! We have been quite busy, but with this project coming close to fruition, the energy and excitement are undeniable!

Feel free to ask us questions or just chat about this update below! :slight_smile: We’d love to hear what you think!


Where can we check out the Non-Profit incorporation details?


Great news! And the Alpha is just 9 days away

This is super exciting news! How do we sign up for the Alpha? Or will we automatically be signed up if we already have access to the forum?


I just want to emphasize the ‘baby’ alpha thing. It’s gonna be ugly (a testing user interface rather than a designed one) and have very basic features, so be prepared for that! :joy:

Developing the features is an iterative process, so you won’t all the interesting things we’ve been discussing in the forum just yet.

If you have a look at the topic with the feature build order, the alpha will have up to ‘user photos’.


We’ll make a post on the forum and all the instructions will be there - stay tuned!

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Where can we verify the Non-Profit incorporation status?

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Shouldn’t Couchers appear on this registrar?

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Yes, once we are approved by the ACNC. We will apply soon. For now we are a not-for-profit CLG. Charity status is an extra on top of not-for-profit, and basically means we’re a not-for-profit that does “stuff the Australian Government thinks is good for humanity and should get even more tax concessions”.

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So back to my original question, where can we verify the Non-Profit incorporation status of Couchers?

In Australia, a company limited by guarantee (CLG) is a type of legal structure that one may choose in order to be a charity. CLGs are registered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Couchers, nor does not appear on the ASIC Register -

Can ANY verification be provided?

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We could use existing badges (or make new ones). Is that what you were imagining?


That’s a bit harsh! :grin: Let’s try not to read too much into people’s language on a text based forum. Also, some people feel particularly wounded or betrayed by similar sites in the past, so let’s forgive a bit of skepticism


I hear you @Adr1an, in that having trust is important to build the community we’re hoping to have. However, a kind reminder not to use personal attacks in your replies, please.

@XpXnx, thanks for insisting on details, for any others who might have wanted them.