Omidyar Network to Invest $55M in Internet + Mobile Tech for Gov Transparency and Economic Empowerment

03 Economy, Mobile, Open Government

September 21, 2010, NEW YORK CITY — Omidyar Network today announced it will dedicate $55 million to fund technology investments that provide people around the world with information, tools and services that improve their quality of life. The philanthropic investment firm pledged $30 million to progress government transparency and $25 million in support of mobile innovation benefitting people in emerging markets. The announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York City.

“We are at the cusp of understanding technology’s potential for creating positive change in the world,” said Matt Bannick, managing partner, Omidyar Network. “Through these commitments, Omidyar Network will support technologies that provide citizens with information and insight about their government, and fund mobile platforms that reach new markets with life-changing services.”

Each of Omidyar Network’s CGI commitments will be fulfilled over the next three years, and include both for-profit investments and nonprofit grants.

  • Technology for Transparency: Omidyar Network will invest $30 million to advance government transparency both domestically and abroad. To fulfill the commitment, Omidyar Network will identify and support organizations that use technology to provide access to information and tools necessary for citizens to participate in the governing process and shape outcomes important to them. This effort was created on the belief that open access to information and transparent systems increase the public’s knowledge of government activities, leading to a more informed and engaged society that can hold its officials accountable. This new commitment expands Omidyar Network’s government transparency work, which to date has provided support to organizations such as the Sunlight Foundation, mySociety, and Global Integrity.
  • Opportunity through Mobile: Omidyar Network’s second CGI commitment sets aside $25 million to harness the power of mobile technology in emerging markets. Omidyar Network will back innovative entrepreneurs who use mobile platforms to connect people with vital resources in areas such as financial services and banking, health care, agriculture, commerce, and education. Across these sectors, Omidyar Network will invest in mobile technologies that break new ground in improving access to services, reaching underserved populations, and driving large-scale social impact. This new commitment builds on Omidyar Network’s experience supporting mobile initiatives at organizations such as FrontlineSMS, Ushahidi, and Opportunity International.

www.omidyar.com