Let me start out by quoting Amy Klement, Vice President at Omidyar Network (ON) elaborating on their blended use of ‘grants’ and ‘impact investments’.
“We think that both are absolutely needed. Grant-based philanthropy has had tremendous positive impact by overcoming market-based failures that aren’t addressed by government. Grants can also help spur the creation of new markets where the risk profile discourages traditional investors, as we’ve seen in microfinance.
For-profit investments are able to leverage the power of markets, which is important because there is significantly more for-profit capital in the world than philanthropic capital. Ultimately, for-profit institutions are able to scale, self sustain, and provide proven value to customers – which is demonstrated by customers’ willingness to pay.”
WOW Amy, I simply could not have nailed this multifaceted and challenging topic more precise (I might quote you on this elsewhere in the future)!!
But why do I want 10 minutes of Amy’s attention span, well, ON would be THE ideal investor for MYC4 because of several reasons (for those who are not familiar with ON and have yet not ‘cracked the code’ of the picture/logo in this post, the short story goes: Pierre Omidyar is the Founder of eBay):
- I really like the way Amy addresses the questions in the interview here (I guess her answers/references are shared throughout ON)
- I have heard from several people that have been or are engaged with ON that when you have ON ‘in your house’ they are truly committed!
- ON injects high level competences to gear their grant and/or investment
- ON possesses state of the art knowledge of P2P platforms, online money, development, etc. (note: ON and eBay/PayPal is completely separated)
- They look for scale; “How can ON impact millions of lives” is one of their criteria. Uhhh, we truly love BHAGs like this – actually, MYC4 estimate to impact +600,000 by 2013 with the speed we are moving with now (and the numbers are even conservatively set)! Imagine having ON on board, what the numbers then would look like then!!!!
Next year we are going to raise a larger round of capital and we have come to the conclusion that in order to scale MYC4 by a factor 50-100, we need two sets of strong partners; one being a financial partner, the other being a technology partner.
I guess, there is no need to elaborate who, as a ‘Champions League technology partner’, I would love to invite in to the ownership structure of MYC4…. I mean, eBay has served as vital vital vital inspiration in building MYC4; linking people that will never meet, but who have a need to ‘meet’.
(Psst! We are raising a small round of capital right now, so contact me if you think this could be of interest, and no, in this round you don’t have to compare yourself or your organization with players like eBay – write to me at tim (at) myc4.com now and I will provide you with additional information).
And oh, Amy please tell Pierre that he is welcome when we meet sometime early next year… where ever, when ever 😉