Here’s what you need to know about Omidyar’s $300m fintech fund Flourish

Philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network has spun out its financial inclusion initiative unit to launch Flourish, an evergreen venture fund that will back impact fintech startups.

In a statement last Thursday (7 March), Flourish said it will back entrepreneurs with innovations that “help capture economic opportunity and achieve financial health”.

The evergreen fund is backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife
Pam. Flourish said it had launched with a global team of 18 professionals and has $300-million to invest over the next five years.

Flourish will be managed by partners Tilman Ehrbeck, Arjuna Costa and Emmalyn Shaw

Flourish will be managed by partners Tilman Ehrbeck, Arjuna Costa and Emmalyn Shaw. The Omidyar Group venture has offices in Silicon Valley, Washington DC and London, while it will cover India through a partnership with Omidyar Network India.

Some of the organisations Flourish will work with in Africa include the Regtech for Regulators Accelerator (R2A) — which has an office in Nairobi, and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (Afi), whose Africa regional office opened its doors in Abidjan, Ivory Coast last month.

The venture firm’s portfolio currently includes more than 40 fintech companies with solutions ranging from insurtech, asset optimisation, and digital banks.

Shaw said Flourish backs entrepreneurs with “winning business models” that “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,” she added.

In addition, Flourish said it will continue to support though leaders in financial service, as well as “forward-thinking” regulators and policymakers.

In a statement on Medium last Wednesday (6 March), Omidyar Network managing partner Mike Kubzansky explained that the launch of Flourish was part of the organisation’s strategy to address global challenges as “nimbly and decisively” as possible.

The strategy involves launching some of its long-standing initiatives as independent organisations.

Kubzansky pointed out the process to spin out its various units began last year with the launch of early stage tech venture capital firm Spero and Luminate (formerly Omidyar’s governance and citizen engagement initiative).

Featured image: QuinceMedia via Pixabay

Daniel Mpala
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