This post is by Iris Dorbian from PE Hub Blog: Venture Capital Deals
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Social change platform Change.org has closed $25 million in Series C funding. The investors in this round included Omidyar Network, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington, Bill Gates, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Change.org, the world’s leading platform for social change with over 80 million users, today announced that it has raised $25 million from leaders in the technology, business, and media sectors. They join mission-aligned investment firm Omidyar Network, founded by eBay’s Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, which led the company’s previous investment round and significantly increased its investment in this Series C round.
The purpose of the investment round is to scale the company and its impact with the support of mission-aligned investors who have deep experience building and leading global enterprises, including founders of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yahoo!.
“We are building the largest network of people taking social action ever assembled, giving us the opportunity to transform civic participation globally,” said Change.org founder and CEO Ben Rattray. “To achieve this potential, we’ve brought together a remarkable group of investors with experience at the intersection of business, technology and social change to help advise us in this next stage of our growth.”
Change.org has seen rapid growth since its last investment round in mid-2013, growing from 35 million to more than 80 million users in 196 countries, with campaigns now winning nearly once an hour. Winning campaigns on Change.org give voice to thousands of issues — from getting people access to life-saving diabetes drugs in Argentina, to helping stop acid attacks on women in India, to persuading police to wear body cameras in the U.S. The company has also expanded its staff to support citizen movements in 20 of the world’s largest democracies and hired top executives from leading technology companies, including Google, Yahoo!, Twitter and Netflix.
With this Series C investment, Change.org plans to significantly expand its engineering team to build the best technology in the world to scale its support for social change globally.
Specifically, the company will focus on:
● Mobile: Mobile development to enable people to take immediate action based on their location or real-time news;
● Political: Building tools to enable elected officials at all levels of government to directly engage with the rapidly increasing number of citizens that are petitioning them for change;
● Global: Supporting the ability of anyone, anywhere to create change through improved localization and translation globally.
“Change.org has proven that ordinary people have extraordinary power, with over 30 million people around the globe participating in at least one winning campaign,” said Jennifer Dulski, president & COO of Change.org. “With this new investment, we’ll be entering the next phase of scaling the product, making it easy for people to take immediate action based on their location and the causes they care about, and directly engage with the businesses and governments that serve them. Our goal is to massively amplify the power people have to affect change in their communities and around the world.”
The size of this investment is a sign of the continued growth and success of the new startup economy focused on social good. Change.org is a Certified B Corporation, a new class of companies dedicated to positive impact, which has grown from 51 companies in 2007 to 1,163 companies in 2014, and includes an increasing number of tech companies.
“We believe that companies can be an enormous force for good and address some of the world’s biggest problems,” said Rattray. “We’re excited to be part of a new movement showing it is possible for companies to succeed in business and have widespread social impact.”
Investors participating in this Series C round include:
● Ali and Hadi Partovi (co-founders, Code.org)
● Arianna Huffington (founder, Huffington Post)
● Ariel Poler (chairman, Textmarks)
● Ashton Kutcher & Guy Oseary (A-GRade Investments)
● Bill Gates
● Bryan Johnson (founder, Braintree & OS Fund)
● Dan Rosensweig (CEO, Chegg)
● Diane Tang (fellow, Google)
● Evan Williams (co-founder, Twitter & Obvious Ventures)
● Gideon Yu (former CFO, Facebook & YouTube)
● James Currier (co-founder, Tickle & Ooga Labs)
● Jeff Weiner (CEO, Linkedin)
● Jeffrey Walker (ret. co-founder & managing partner, JPMorgan Partners)
● Jerry Yang (co-founder, Yahoo! & AME Cloud Ventures)
● Joe Lonsdale (co-founder, Palantir)
● Jonathan Sackler (Chairman, Kokino LLC)
● The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
● Katie Stanton (vice president of global media, Twitter)
● Lorna Borenstein (founder & CEO, Grokker)
● Louis Eisenberg (Facebook)
● Michael Birch (co-founder, Bebo)
● Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler Family
● Nicolas Berggruen (Berggruen Institute)
● Omidyar Network
● Rick Segal (Managing Partner, Rethink)
● Reid Hoffman (co-founder, Linkedin)
● Richard Branson (founder, Virgin Group)
● Sam Altman (president, Y Combinator)
● Shawn Byers (MITS Fund, LLC)
● Trawalla Foundation
● Warner Philips (founder and managing partner, KW Forever Ventures)
Change.org is the world’s largest social change platform with over 80 million users in 196 countries. Every day, people around the world use our tools to transform their communities. We make it possible for anyone to start a campaign and immediately mobilize hundreds of others locally or hundreds of thousands around the world, making governments and companies more responsive and accountable.
Change.org is a Certified ‘B’ Corporation. This means we are held to high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency set by B Lab, an independent international non-profit certifying group. We are proud to have exceeded those standards, and have been named among the top 10 percent of social good companies with a positive impact on the community.