Change.org, the world’s largest petition platform received $25 million from a group of big-name investors to help accelerate its growth.
Some of the big-name investors who provided the funding include Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, Arianna Huffington and Ashton Kutcher.
Change.org also received funding from the co-founders of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).
Change.org aims to learn from investors
The management of the startup is hoping to learn from the philanthropic experience of some of its latest investors such as Bill Gates, who runs the Bill and Bill Gates Foundation.
In an interview with CNNMoney, Jen Dulski, president and chief operating officer of Change.org said, “We wanted a group of investors who are passionate about our mission and who have experience that we could learn from.” He added that the startup’s primary source of revenue is advertising, and it is expected to generate returns to its investors.
Change.org is widely-known for mobilizing support for different social causes through online petitions created on its platform. Recently, a petition was created calling for police to wear body cameras after two unarmed individuals were shot and killed in separate incident in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. The petition currently has 132,000 supporters.
Combining the power of non-profit and tech startup
Since its inception in 2007, Change.org has a close relationship to Silicon Valley. During its first round of fund raising, its lead investor was Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY). The start-up raised $50 million since then.
The startup operates as a traditional business even if its mission is considered similar to non-profit organizations. Change.org calls itself as a social enterprise as it uses the power of the business for the benefit of the society. It registered as a “class B corporation,” which means it is subject to certain social and environmental standards.
Change.org believed that the best to achieve its mission of empowering people to create the change they want is to combine the values of a non-profit with the flexibility and innovation of a tech startup.
Change.org is growing rapidly with 80 million users, up from 35 million last year. The startup currently has 222 employees and offices in 18 countries.