eBay Founder Invests in SeeClickFix


The man behind eBay has made an investment into SeeClickFix, the New Haven company that gives local residents an outlet to report and monitor non-emergency issues in the community.

Omidyar Network, which was established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures have invested in SeeClickFix, which plans to use the money to enhance its smartphone and web offerings, boost sales and support media partners, government clients and users.

The money comes through Omidyar Network’s Government Transparency investment area, which funds organizations that use technology to offer information and tools necessary that allow residents to participate in the governing process and hold governments accountable.

Over the last two years, the firm has provided more than $30 million to organizations but this is the first investment into a for-profit organizations.

"The SeeClickFix team has created a powerful platform that can have significant, tangible social impact. They've created a scalable, low-cost way to turn citizen frustration into participation and engagement while strengthening community bonds," Stacy Donohue, director of investments at Omidyar Network, said.

Mark Jacobsen, managing director at OATV, will join the SeeClickFix board of directors.

"SeeClickFix is poised to bridge citizens into governments which have traditionally offered limited channels of communication," Jacobsen said.

SeeClickFix was founded in New Haven in 2008 and people nationwide are using it.

"SeeClickFix has grown faster than we could have imagined and the platform's ability to connect neighbors and resolve local problems is benefitting communities of all socio-economic backgrounds across the United States as well as some locations internationally," SeeClickFix founder and CEO Ben Berkowitz said. "In the past year, SeeClickFix has seen more and more governments adopting the citizen platform as their primary online engagement tool. The funding provided by OATV and Omidyar Network will enable us to continue to capture the market we are helping to create. Capital will be used to enhance the existing SeeClickFix smartphone and web platforms as well as increase sales and support to our current and future media partners, government clients and users."

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