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Omidyar Network

Social change venture that works to bring about structural changes that will fundamentally shift the systems that govern our daily lives
Summary

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic, ethical investment firm, which consists of a foundation and an impact investment firm. Set up in 2004 by Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, Omidyar Network reports it has given more than $992 million to nonprofit organisations and for-profit companies across multiple investment areas.

The Omidyar Network operates as a social change venture, using a combination of philanthropy, impact investing, and advocacy to support initiatives that align with their mission. They focus on investing in areas such as digital identity, education, emerging technology, financial inclusion, governance, property rights, and social justice.

The organization is known for its innovative and collaborative approach to social impact, and they work closely with other organizations and stakeholders to drive positive change. They also prioritize ethics and responsible use of technology in all of their investments, ensuring that their work is aligned with their values of transparency, accountability, and inclusion.


History

Omidyar Network is a social change venture that was founded by Pierre Omidyar in 2004. Pierre Omidyar is an American entrepreneur and philanthropist who is best known for founding eBay, an online auction and shopping website, in 1995. The organization is based in Redwood City, California, and has offices in several locations across the globe, including Mumbai, London, and Washington, D.C.

The mission of the Omidyar Network is to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them to build more inclusive and equitable societies across the world. The organization aims to achieve this goal by investing in and supporting innovative initiatives that can have a transformative impact on people's lives. Their focus areas include economic inclusion, education, governance and citizen engagement, and emerging technologies.

The Omidyar Network has made significant investments in a variety of initiatives over the years. For example, they have supported organizations that promote financial inclusion and empower underserved communities to access financial services. They have also invested in programs that leverage technology to improve access to quality education and expand economic opportunities for marginalized groups.

In addition to their investments, the Omidyar Network is also involved in advocacy and policy work. They have played an active role in advocating for policies that promote greater transparency and accountability in government, as well as policies that support entrepreneurship and innovation.

The organization has also been involved in several high-profile initiatives aimed at driving social change. For example, in 2018, the Omidyar Network launched the Tech and Society Solutions Lab, which is a collaborative effort with several other organizations aimed at addressing the negative impacts of technology on society. The lab focuses on four key areas: privacy and personal data, civic engagement and governance, media and disinformation, and ethical AI.

Overall, the Omidyar Network has made a significant impact on social change initiatives across the globe. Through their investments, advocacy, and partnerships, they have helped to create a more equitable and inclusive world for the many, not just the few.


Investment criteria

The organization has a set of investment criteria that guide its decision-making process and ensure that they are supporting projects that align with its mission and values. The following are some of the investment criteria that the Omidyar Network considers:

  • Impact: The organization prioritizes investments in initiatives that have the potential to create significant positive social impact. They seek out projects that can address systemic problems and help to build more inclusive and equitable societies.
  • Innovation: The Omidyar Network looks for innovative ideas and approaches that have the potential to disrupt existing systems and create new opportunities. They seek out projects that leverage technology, data, and other tools to drive social change.
  • Scalability: The organization seeks out initiatives that have the potential to scale and have a broad impact. They look for projects that can be replicated and expanded to other regions and populations.
  • Sustainability: The Omidyar Network prioritizes investments in initiatives that have a sustainable business model and can continue to operate and create impact over the long term.
  • Alignment with values: The organization looks for projects that align with its values, including a commitment to transparency, accountability, and inclusion. They seek out initiatives that prioritize the needs and perspectives of the communities they serve.
  • Partnership potential: The Omidyar Network looks for opportunities to collaborate with other organizations and stakeholders to drive social change. They seek out projects that have the potential to build coalitions and partnerships across sectors and geographies.

Overall, the Omidyar Network's investment criteria reflect their commitment to creating positive social impact and building more inclusive and equitable societies. Their approach prioritizes innovation, scalability, sustainability, and alignment with values, and they are always looking for opportunities to collaborate and partner with others to achieve their goals.


Values
  • Social impact: The organization prioritizes investments in initiatives that have the potential to create significant positive social impact. They seek out projects that can address systemic problems and help to build more inclusive and equitable societies.
  • Innovation: The Omidyar Network values innovation and looks for innovative ideas and approaches that have the potential to disrupt existing systems and create new opportunities. They seek out projects that leverage technology, data, and other tools to drive social change.
  • Collaboration: The organization values collaboration and partnership as a way to drive social change. They believe that working together with other organizations and stakeholders can lead to more impactful and sustainable solutions.
  • Inclusion: The Omidyar Network values inclusion and seeks out projects that prioritize the needs and perspectives of underserved and marginalized communities. They believe that social change should be driven by those who are most impacted by the issues.
  • Ethics: The organization values ethics and seeks out projects that are aligned with its ethical standards. They prioritize transparency, accountability, and responsible use of data and technology.
  • Learning and adaptation: The Omidyar Network values learning and adaptation as a way to continuously improve their work. They are committed to learning from their successes and failures and adapting their strategies accordingly.

Mission

The Omidyar Network is a social change venture that has a mission to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, to build more inclusive and equitable societies for the benefit of the many, not just a few, across the globe.

The organization was founded in 2004 by Pierre and Pam Omidyar, who was inspired by the idea of using their wealth to create a positive social impact. Their vision was to create a world in which every individual has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstances.

The Omidyar Network's mission statement reflects this vision and its commitment to creating a positive social impact. By reimagining critical systems and the ideas that govern them, the organization seeks to address systemic issues and create more equitable and inclusive societies. They believe that by working together with other organizations and stakeholders, they can drive social change and build a better world for all.


Portfolio

The Omidyar Network has a diverse portfolio of investments in a variety of areas, all of which are aligned with the organization's mission to build more inclusive and equitable societies across the globe. The following are some examples of the types of initiatives that the Omidyar Network supports:

  • Digital Identity: The Omidyar Network has invested in initiatives that aim to provide individuals with secure and reliable digital identities, which can help to increase financial inclusion and access to services.
  • Education: The organization has supported a variety of education initiatives, including those that focus on improving early childhood development, increasing access to quality education, and supporting teacher training.
  • Emerging Technology: The Omidyar Network has invested in several emerging technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, all of which have the potential to drive positive social impact.
  • Financial Inclusion: The organization has invested in initiatives that aim to increase access to financial services for underserved populations, including those in developing countries.
  • Governance and Citizen Engagement: The Omidyar Network has supported initiatives that aim to improve governance and increase citizen engagement, including those that focus on transparency, accountability, and participatory democracy.
  • Property Rights: The organization has invested in initiatives that aim to strengthen property rights and land tenure systems, which can help to empower marginalized communities and reduce inequality.
  • Social Justice: The Omidyar Network has invested in initiatives that aim to promote social justice and human rights, including those that focus on criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, and gender equality.

Overall, the Omidyar Network's portfolio reflects its commitment to innovation, social impact, and equity. Their investments span a wide range of areas, all of which are aligned with their mission to build more inclusive and equitable societies across the globe.


References
Omidyar Network
Leadership team

Pam Omidyar (Founder)

Pierre Omidyar (Founder)

Type
Family Investment Office, Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Private Equity
Number of Employees
100 - 500
Headquarters
San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, West Coast
Established
2004
Social Media
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