Omidyar Network Spins Out New $100 Million Venture Fund Called Spero Ventures
Thursday, March 22, 2018
By Alex Konrad
Shripriya Mahesh was a week from presenting to the board at Omidyar Network about the future of their startup investments last year when she got the news in August of 2017: she had breast cancer.
Mahesh was supposed to be pitching Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, her plan to spin out the Network’s for-profit investments into a new venture fund centered on well-being, human connections and the future of work.
Instead, facing the prospect of a potentially shorter life, Mahesh found herself reassessing her own priorities. They coalesced around three things: her health after the diagnosis, her family, friends and children, and her remaining time at work. Mahesh was heartened. “They were the same three things as the fund,” she says. “That was so validating.”
Today, doctors say that following chemotherapy and surgery, Mahesh has no traces of cancer left. And her idea for a fund is becoming a reality as a new $100 million venture capital fund spun out of Omidyar Network.
Called Spero Ventures, the fund counts Omidyar as its sole limited partner and will include 13 for-profit investments made by Mahesh and her colleagues while they were part of Omidyar Network. Mahesh and her fellow partner Rob Veres, as well as employees Ha Nguyen, Sara Eshelman and Christina Li have already made two investments on their own, in Fathom and Markov.