Omidyar Network combines risk capital, social impact

Omidyar Network combines risk capital, social impact

Has invested $160 mn across 60 Indian firms

Omidyar Network combines risk capital, social impact

Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s personal wealth which started operations in 2004, will invest $350 million in India by 2020 and is not looking for any exit right now.

In an interaction with Deccan Herald on the sidelines of a function to release the report ‘Frontier Capital: Early Stage Investing for Financial Returns and Social Impact in Emerging Markets’, Omidyar Network Managing Partner Matt Bannik said the venture is excited by the growing opportunities in India. “We started our operations in India by 2010 and have till now invested $160 million in around 60 companies. We are excited by the opportunities and plan to invest $350 million by 2020 in five segments,” he said.

Bannik said the organisation is looking at investing in companies which will harness the power of the market to create opportunities for people to improve their lives. “Backed by our Human Capital team and Intellectual Capital team, we would like to help scale innovative organisations to catalyse economic and social change,” he said.

Omidyar Network currently invests in portfolios like consumer internet and mobile, education, financial inclusion, governance and citizen engagement, and property rights, with 55 per cent for profit and 45 per cent earmarked for non-profits.

“We would like to invest in early stage companies so that we can make impact on its values, sustainability, and scalability. Besides funds, we also provide these companies with intellectual support, help with networking, build human capital, capture learning and insights, etc.,” he said.

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