Grant-making Omidyar Network sets up office in London

Organisation was set up by founder of eBay to fund technology that promotes transparency and accountability

Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network
A grant-making organisation set up by the founder of the online auction website eBay has opened a new global office in London.

The Omidyar Network was set up in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam.

The organisation concentrates its funding on technology that promotes transparency and accountability and on organisations that promote economic development worldwide. It has given out funding worth almost £290m to for-profit companies and not-for-profit organisations.

Speaking at a technology and philanthropy conference in London yesterday, organised by the Indigo Trust and the Institute for Philanthropy, Stephen King, investment partner at the Omidyar Network, announced the opening of its new office in Shoreditch, east London.

The office will be the philanthropic investment firm’s headquarters for its work in Europe. It will also be the global centre for its Government Transparency initiative, which invests in organisations that use technology to give people access to the information and tools they require to hold governments to account.

King said he hoped the new office would enable the organisation, which has offices in California and Mumbai, to expand its global reach.

"The vibrancy and promise of the Shoreditch area, we feel, are particularly appropriate for the Omidyar Network," he said. "Our belief in the innovative use of technology to help organisations scale their business models and solutions is reflected in the creative, entrepreneurial spirit of the area."

A spokesman for the Omidyar Network told Third Sector it did not have an application process, but instead found interesting projects to support through networking.

He said the foundation did not have a set budget for grants to UK-based organisations, but it was looking for "great opportunities". He said that if organisations felt they were suitable candidates for funding, they should contact the network through its website.

"There’s a lot happening the UK right now around government transparency and in the consumer internet and mobile space," he said.

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