eBay Founder Invests in Online Petition Platform
29 May 2013 at 11:19 am
International online petition platform, Change.org has secured a $15 million investment led by philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network, established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam.
The Omidyar Network will hold a minority stake in the company and the investment partner at Omidyar Network, Chris Bishko will join Change.org’s Board of Directors.
A mission-aligned investment fund based in San Francisco, Uprising, is also participating in the round of investment.
The Omidyar Network says it seeks to catalyse broad, positive social impact by funding both for-profit companies and Not for Profit organisations around the world.
Omidyar Network’s Managing Partner Matt Bannick said Omidyar Network was pleased to make the investment in Change.org.
“We are particularly enthused to support an organisation that so effectively uses technology to give people opportunities to connect around issues of personal importance and take actions that can significantly improve their communities,” he said.
Change.org seeks to empower people to create the change they want to see, and the site’s users boast thousands of victories.
Prominent change.org wins in Australia have included the Perth mum’s campaign to get the Australian War Memorial to recognise fallen peacekeepers; gay footballer Jason Ball’s campaign to get the AFL to tackle homophobia; and the decision by the Royal Humane Society to revoke a bravery award given to a man who brutally bashed his partner.
Change.org’s Founder and CEO Ben Rattray said the organisation was honored to receive investment from such “deeply mission-driven investors.”
“Omidyar Network’s mission of empowerment aligns perfectly with ours, and we’re thankful to their leadership in growing the impact investment sector over the past decade,” he said.
“Social enterprises can play an instrumental role in solving some of the world’s biggest problems.
“This funding will help us continue to expand our empowerment tools internationally while innovating on new products with the potential for disruptive social impact.”
Change.org has grown rapidly in the past year, climbing from 6 million users in early 2012 to more than 35 million users.
Australia has more than one million users and more than half of the users are now outside the United States.
In April, Change.org received the Webby Award for best activism website.
Change.org is a certified B corporation, meaning it is held to high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency set by B Labs, an independent certifying group.
To learn more about Change.org’s business model, click here.