Exclusive: Omidyar Network India to shut operations

Impact investor Omidyar Network India will be shutting down operations. The firm, which has backed companies like 1MG, Bounce, Indifi, and others, will not make any new investments in the country going ahead.

Jarshad NK

Payal Ganguly

Exclusive: Omidyar Network India to shut operations

Tuesday December 12, 2023,

3 min Read

Impact investment firm Omidyar Network Indiawhich has a dual-chequebook investment model, is exiting India after a decade of operations.

Backed by the Omidyar Group supported by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Pam Omidyar, the India specific entity will not make any new investments going ahead, though it will be closing follow-on rounds committed to date, according to a source familiar with the developments who did not wish to be identified.

Omidyar Network India was hived off from the parent entity in 2019 as an autonomous investment advisory firm, focused on India-specific investment thesis and separate investment team.

"Over the last decade, Omidyar Network India has played a critical role in building the impact investment sector, especially focussed on the Next Half Billion. We are proud of our work in this space, which is now attracting larger pools of capital from local venture capital or impact investors and domestic philanthropists than ever before. Having achieved our primary objective of catalysing impact, Omidyar Network India will not be making any further investments in India," a statement by Omidyar Network India said.

Omidyar Group has had a presence in India since 2010 and has made investments of over $500 million, of which nearly $150 million was directed to non-profit investments. Nearly 70% of the capital was directed at for-profit investments. The entity has recorded returns of $250 million over the period from its for-profit investments, with a Distributed to-Paid-in-Capital ratio of 0.7.  

"After several months of deliberation, it has been decided that Omidyar Network India will stop making new investments and will completely transition out of the market by the end of 2024. Over the next two months, the board and leadership team will assess how best to manage the organization’s portfolio while recognizing the long and trusted partnerships that the Omidyar Network India team has built," said The Omidyar Group in an internal blogpost, which was reviewed by YourStory.

Omidyar Network India is an investor in the likes of two-wheeler mobility company Bounce, SME financing company Indifi, online pharmacy company 1MG, which was acquired by Tata Digital, and others. The investor is in the process of letting its portfolio companies know of its decision.

The blog further added, "This decision was heavily informed by the significant change in context and the growth in the economic landscape that the India-based team has experienced since first making investments there in 2010. Today, there is more Indian led philanthropic and venture capital than ever before, the country has a vibrant start-up sector, and several funds now have a middle and lower-middle income focus as part of their investment strategy."

Queries sent to the company remained unanswered at the time of publishing. This is a developing story and will be updated with new information.

The story was updated with additional information and company statement.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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