Ebay Founder Plans to be India’s Biggest Social Investor

Friday, January 7, 2011

The philanthropic fund started by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of Ebay Inc, plans to be the biggest investor in projects targeting India’s 900 million poor, living on less than $2 a day.

“The rate at which we’re investing, we will probably be the leading firm in that space at the bottom of the pyramid,” said Jayant Sinha, managing director of Omidyar Network’s India operations.

Ranked second on Barron’s list of the world’s 25 best philanthropists last month, the fund has committed $383 million in grants and investments since 2004. It plans to invest $200 million in India by 2015, according to Sinha.

Omidyar may announce as many as five new investments or grants in India over the next three months, said Matt Bannick, a California-based managing partner at the fund.

The fund’s portfolio includes d.light design, which sells solar-powered lights in Indian and African rural areas, with no access to grid power.

Source: Business Standard (link opens in a new window)