Global impact investment firm Omidyar Network has spun out Flourish, a new venture firm focused on fintech, with US$200 million of existing assets under management and a new commitment of US$300 million from Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.
Omidyar Network, which is one of the more active investors globally and has a sizeable portfolio in Africa, said Flourish was focused on backing entrepreneurs whose innovations are helping people across the globe to capture economic opportunity and achieve financial health.
The firm launches with a global team of 18 professionals and an existing US$200 million portfolio across US and emerging markets, as well as an additional $300 million at its disposal over the next five years.
“We believe that capital, when deployed to create individual opportunity and change sectors, can shape a more inclusive economy – where everyone does better. That is at the core of Flourish’s mission,” said Tilman Ehrbeck, one of the three managing partners leading the new venture.
“We have made remarkable progress in bringing people into the formal financial system, but that has not necessarily translated into better economic outcomes – that is the industry’s next challenge.”
The new fund will back entrepreneurs with winning business models to responsibly harness the power of technology to improve their customers’ lives.
“Our portfolio companies represent a new generation of purpose-driven innovators, who believe in market-based solutions to empower individuals, and are pushing the boundaries to deliver on that belief,” said managing partner Emmalyn Shaw.
“As an industry, we have a better understanding of people’s complex relationships with money than ever before, and technology is creating new models for enhancing earnings, protecting against risk, and building wealth,” said Arjuna Costa, managing partner at Flourish. “To reshape economic systems and create opportunity for vulnerable people around the world, we invest in innovative technologies that give them more control over their financial lives.”
As a sector-change oriented firm, Flourish will also continue to support thought leaders in financial services, as well as forward-thinking regulators and policymakers. This work will build on existing engagements with ecosystem builders, that range from CFSI and FinRegLab in the US, to Alliance for Financial Inclusion and R2A Accelerator across emerging markets.