Omidyar Network believes in the power of harnessing technology to create large-scale social impact. This commitment furthers this belief, focusing on mobile platforms as a key driver of individual empowerment in emerging markets. Omidyar Network has previously funded mobile platforms such as Ushahidi and Frontline:SMS, and also supports organizations that leverage mobile technology to reach clients, such as Opportunity International. This experience, which points to the potential of mobile innovation to improve lives, is the starting point for a deeper commitment to mobile technologies that can catalyze impact on a global scale.
Omidyar Network will identify and support for-profit and non-profit initiatives that, through mobile technology, unleash opportunity for large numbers of people living at the base of the pyramid. The focus will be on platforms that are customer-focused, effective, and scalable, and demonstrate models that can be replicated in other markets. Omidyar Network may also fund organizations or networks that accelerate innovation and support mobile entrepreneurs. Consideration will be given to organizations that have: demonstrated use of mobile technology as part of their long-term success, a proven or promising approach to reaching people in emerging markets with vital services, a readiness to scale, and a desire to tap Omidyar Network's technology and human capital expertise.
Omidyar Network will make investments in global platforms as well as technologies that focus on India and Sub-Saharan Africa, aiming for a 50/50 split between for-profit investments and non-profit grants. Omidyar Network will fulfill the million commitment over a period of three years, with an estimated million disbursed in the first year. As a matter of standard process, metrics will be established as a condition of the grant/investment and will be monitored on an ongoing basis. Formal reviews will be conducted annually.
Since its creation, Omidyar Network has funded companies and organizations that harness the power of technology to create large-scale social impact. This new commitment builds on that experience, with a particular focus on groundbreaking mobile platforms that reach people emerging markets.
Around 3 billion people, half the world's population, live and work in rural areas that lack access to voice and data communications (source: GSMA). The mobile phone is the fastest growing technology in these areas, providing people with the ability to access vital information and services at an affordable price. In urban areas, access to mobile technology continues to grow exponentially, creating an opportunity for innovative new models to create massive social impact. Through this commitment, Omidyar Network will provide capital to scalable mobile platforms that bring social and economic benefits to individuals and communities around the world.