Pierre Omidyar’s Investment Firm Gives Wikipedia $2 Million Grant

Posted Aug 26, 2009

Omidyar Network, the investment arm of Pierre Omidyar’s wealth has made a $2 million grant.  Pierre is the founder of eBay and his personal wealth is roughly $3.6 billion.  The Omidyar Network was started in 2004 and there was about $270 million in assets given to the investment firm.

Some of the Internet companies that the Omidyar Network invested in include Digg, Federated Media Publishing, KaBOOM, Seesmic, Linden Lab, and Wikia.  Wikia is another company that was founded by the Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Wikipedia receives about 300 million monthly unique visitors and is the 5th most visited website in the world.  However Wikipedia runs on donations and does not have any advertising.  At the end of last year, about 125,000 donors invested $6.2 million in helping keep Wikipedia alive.

Of that $6.2 million, $3 million was given by the Sloan Foundation and an anonymous friend gave $286,800. As part of the investment, Matt Halprin of Omidyar will be joining the Wikimedia Foundation board of directors.  Before working at Omidyar, Halprin was the VP of global trust and safety at eBay.