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Tufts University, BS
Computer Science

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Pierre Omidyar

Pierre launched eBay on Labor Day 1995 as an experiment in how a level playing field would affect the efficiency of a marketplace. Today, more than one million people rely on eBay as their primary or secondary source of income, and more than 200 million people trust strangers with every transaction, finding common ground where none seemed to exist before.

After eBay became a public company in 1998, Pierre and his wife, Pam, co-founded the Omidyar Foundation to fund nonprofits. Yet they found that their vision required a broader, more flexible tool set than the foundation could offer. At the same time, eBay’s tremendous social impact as a for-profit company was demonstrating that business could also be an effective tool for making the world a better place. In response, they broadened their scope in 2004 and formed a new entity, Omidyar Network, to make investments as well as grants. To date, Omidyar Network has engaged in a number of areas that leverage market-based, collaborative approaches in order to unleash human potential on a global scale.

As an extension of Omidyar Network’s activities in micro finance, in 2005, Pierre and Pam Omidyar gave $100 million to Tufts to create the Omidyar-Tufts Micro finance Fund. Their endowment gift, the single largest in the history of Tufts, is aimed at accelerating growth in the micro finance sector and is being invested solely in micro finance initiatives.

Prior to founding eBay, Pierre co-founded Ink Development Corp., later renamed eShop and acquired by Microsoft. After graduating from Tufts with a B.S. in computer science, he joined Claris, a subsidiary of Apple Computer, as a consumer software engineer. Today, Pierre serves as a trustee of Tufts University, Punahou School and Santa Fe Institute, a director of Meet up, and chairman of eBay Inc.

Recent Milestones

Investments

Company Date Round Size Participants
First Look Media 12/2013Venture Round$50M1
Change.org 5/2013Series A$15M2

Videos

Above:

Pierre Omidyar discusses Seesmic Investment - June 2008

Added: 6/20/08

Sources

  1. Pierre Omidyar Invests $50 Million in First Look Media (inc.com) [edit]
  2. With $15M From Omidyar And 35M+ Users, Change.org Wants To Prove Socially-Minded Startups Can Attract Big Numbers (techcrunch.com) [edit]

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