Omidyar Network, an impact investment firm, has announced the launch of a new venture, Flourish.
According to a statement, the new firm is focused on backing entrepreneurs whose innovations are helping people across the globe to capture economic opportunity and achieve financial health.
It said the firm launched with a global team of 18 professionals and an existing $200m portfolio across US and emerging markets, as well as an additional $300m at its disposal over the next five years.
Flourish is an evergreen fund backed by Pam and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, according to the statement.
“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.
He added, “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.”
According to the statement, Flourish’s global portfolio includes more than 40 fintech companies helping low- and middle-income households and small businesses to improve their financial standing, and the firm is pushing new frontiers with its investments.
“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.
He said to reshape economic systems and create an opportunity for vulnerable people around the world, there was a need to invest in innovative technologies that give them more control over their financial lives.
“We back entrepreneurs with winning business models to responsibly harness the power of technology to improve their customers’ lives,” said another managing partner, Emmalyn Shaw.
“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.”
The statement said Flourish, a sector-change oriented firm, would 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,” it added.
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