Investment Approach

Omidyar Network was founded on the fundamental belief that every person has the power to make a difference. We create opportunity for people to realize that power and improve the quality of their lives. When people take the initiative to make life better for themselves, they can share the benefits with their families, become more active in their communities, and be a more positive force in society.

As a philanthropic investment firm, we support market-based approaches with the potential for large-scale, catalytic impact. Toward that end, our investing style transcends typical boundaries that separate for-profit investing and traditional philanthropy. Because we believe that each sector has a role, we make investments in for-profit companies as well as grants to nonprofit organizations. Regardless of the sector, we invest in organizations that have the potential to embody innovation, scale, and sustainability or help bring them about within their industry.

We focus our investments where we have direct experience and can have the greatest impact. In emerging markets, we create economic opportunity for the base of the pyramid through access to capital. In the developed world, we encourage individual participation in media, markets, and government. In either case, we focus on what we believe are the most significant drivers of overall well-being and quality of life.

Each of our initiatives is united by the principles of individual access, connection, and ownership. Across everything we do, we look for solutions that enable people to access credible information and resources, connect with others over shared interests, and take constructive action on the issues that matter to them. The ultimate outcome we strive for is individual participation that can catalyze economic and social advancement on a global scale.

Starting from the premise that people are basically good, Pierre created a platform that gave everyone equal access to information, opportunity, and the tools to pursue their goals.

Investment Criteria

Alignment

We look for organizations aligned with our mission of creating opportunity for people to improve their lives. We seek for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that use innovative, market-based approaches within our initiatives.

Impact

We identify organizations that intend to develop new markets or industries, influence policy or practices among existing institutions, alter public perception, or demonstrate the power of business to create social and financial returns. Ideal partners will inspire further entrepreneurial activity in their field.

Potential for Scale

We look for organizations with significant growth potential, with the ability to scale operations and develop new markets. We ask for-profits to have the potential for a highly successful business model and nonprofits a path toward operational sustainability.

Leadership

We invest in management teams with a proven track record in their field of operation and an ability to articulate a clear vision and strategy, reinforced by a viable business plan. The organization must practice exemplary governance with operational efficiency and controls, transparent practices, and disciplined financial planning.

Innovation

We seek organizations that employ creative, entrepreneurial strategies to accomplish their goals. Investees may disrupt the status quo, establish a new business paradigm, or pioneer services for untapped markets.