Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - By Ben Berkowitz - 1 comment

Omidyar Network and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Bring Neighborhoods and City Hall Closer Together with Investment in SeeClickFix




January 11, 2011, REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Omidyar Network and O’Reilly AlphaTech

Ventures (OATV) today announced an equity investment in SeeClickFix, the developer

of technologies that enable citizens to report and monitor non-emergency issues in their

local community. The investment reflects both organizations’ belief that technology can

scale programs that foster meaningful engagement among citizens, their local government

and others in the community. It is Omidyar Network’s first for-profit investment in its

Government Transparency investment area and OATV’s first investment in a Gov 2.0

initiative.

Through its Government Transparency investment area, Omidyar Network invests in

organizations that use technology and media platforms to provide access to information and

tools necessary for citizens to participate in the governing process and hold governments to

account. Over the last two years, the firm has granted over $30M to organizations such as

Code for America, the Project On Government Oversight and the Sunlight Foundation.

“Omidyar Network is deeply committed to furthering the use of technology platforms to

engage citizens on issues of importance to them,” commented Stacy Donohue, director of

investments at Omidyar Network. “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.”

O’Reilly Media, a general partner of OATV, works to promote greater government openness

and citizen participation through its events, books and online. The Gov2.0 Summit,

co-presented by O’Reilly Media and UBM TechWeb, brings together the creators and

innovators, citizens and government leaders who are building ‘government as a platform.’

Tim O’Reilly, CEO and founder of O’Reilly Media, said: “Now is the time for government

to reinvent itself, to take the old idea of government 'for the people, by the people and of the

people' to a new level."

Mark P. 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,” said Jacobsen.

SeeClickFix provides online and mobile platforms that empower citizens, community groups,

media and local governments to care for and improve the country’s neighborhoods. It was

founded on the belief that citizens who take the time to report even minor issues and see

them fixed are likely to become more engaged in their local communities. Started in New

Haven, Connecticut in 2008, SeeClickFix now has millions of viewers and has logged tens of

thousands of reports. The service is accessible online, via Blackberry, iPhone and Android

mobile platforms and widgets found on media partner websites such as the Washington Post,

Gannett, SFGate, Philly.com and Boston.com.

“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,”

said SeeClickFix founder and CEO Ben Berkowitz. “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.”

About O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures

O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) is a seed-stage venture capital fund located in San

Francisco. OATV is in the business of funding disruptors, innovators and hackers of the

status quo. OATV takes a cash efficient approach to seeding and growing businesses which

creates a natural alignment with the entrepreneurs it funds. In addition to capital, OATV

brings a depth of operational experience and industry relationships to amplify the efforts of

its portfolio companies.

About Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power

of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by

eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale

innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network

has committed more than $371 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations

that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple

investment areas, including microfinance, entrepreneurship, property rights, consumer

Internet, mobile technology and government transparency. To learn more about Omidyar

Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.

Contact:

Greg Pershall

Omidyar Network

gpershall@omidyar.com

360-607-8901

1 comments:

  1. Pat says:

    Congrats on the GovFresh coverage you crazy fools

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