Change.org got its start in 2007 as a social network for non-profits and for project-based giving. For years, growth was slow for the fledgling social action platform, but, over the last year, that changed dramatically. Change.org has grown from six million users in early 2012 to more than 35 million users today, and, as a result, has become one of the largest and fastest growing of its kind.
In fact, this growth has led the company to take on its first round of outside financing in its six-year history, a sizable $15 million investment led by the Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam. The firm, which has also backed platforms like Meetup and micro-lending giant Kiva.org, will be taking a minority (and non-controlling) stake in Change.org, even without the promise of a traditional liquidity event — as the company has expressly stated that it will not sell or IPO.
Other investors in the round, which brings the startup’s total capital to around $20 million thanks to previous angel investments, includes Uprising, a new “mission-aligned” San Francisco-based fund, among others.