September 15, 2011, LONDON and REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Omidyar Network announced today the opening of a global office in the Shoreditch area of London. The office will serve as the philanthropic investment firm’s headquarters for its work in Europe, as well as serve as the global hub for its Government Transparency initiative. Stephen King, investment partner at Omidyar Network, will lead the London office and the global Government Transparency practice. King made the announcement at “The Power of Information: New Technologies for Philanthropy and Development” conference in London.
Omidyar Network was created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam in 2004. Omidyar Network makes impact investments and grants to the most innovative companies and organizations across five initiative areas. Through its Government Transparency initiative, Omidyar Network invests in organizations that use technology and media platforms to provide access to information and tools necessary for citizens to participate in the governing process and hold governments to account. Over the last two years, the firm has invested over $40M in transparency efforts across the globe, including organizations such as mySociety in the United Kingdom, Ushahidi in Kenya, Janaagraha in India and the Sunlight Foundation in the United States.
King also announced Omidyar Network will begin to expand the geographic focus of its Government Transparency practice to include: Poland, Turkey and Ukraine in Europe; Brazil and Mexico in Latin America; Egypt in the Middle East; and Indonesia and the Philippines in Southeast Asia. The initiative will continue to focus efforts in the United States, India, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa in sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom.
“Today marks an important milestone for Omidyar Network. The opening of our London office broadens our reach in helping create opportunity for individuals through investments in market-based solutions,” said King. “A greater concentration of efforts in this region of the world will enable us to work more closely with portfolio partners, create new collaborations and explore new investment opportunities. The vibrancy and promise of the Shoreditch area, we feel, are particularly appropriate for Omidyar Network. Our belief in the innovative use of technology to help organizations scale their business models and solutions is reflected in the creative, entrepreneurial spirit of the area.”
Joining King in London is Vineet Bewtra, who will serve as a director, investments. Bewtra has a rich investment background, including stints as an investment manager at The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and managing director at Dresdner Kleinwort. He also worked at Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank and Chemical Investment Bank. Additional staffing appointments will be made in the near future.
King also announced support of six new organizations focused on Government Transparency with grants up to $3M [See release: Omidyar Network Supports Technology-Centered Organizations Seeking to Empower Citizens Across Six Countries].
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed nearly $450 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, entrepreneurship, property rights, transparency and accountability, consumer Internet and mobile. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.