Associate, Digital Identity – Omidyar Network – Bangalore

Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife, Pam, established Omidyar Network (ON) based on the belief that every person has the potential to make a difference. Since 2004, we have worked with our partners to create opportunities for people to tap that potential, enabling them to improve their lives and make powerful contributions to their communities. As a philanthropic investment firm, we make both equity investments and nonprofit grants, identifying likeminded organizations that we support, help scale, and collaborate with to help realize their full potential. In 2016, we made over $120 million in investments and grants to organizations around the world.

Digital Identity is ON’s newest area of work. With UN Sustainable Development Goals focusing on ‘legal identity for all’, we expect that multiple countries around the world will begin efforts on creating state-issued ID systems. Some countries, like India, have built out foundational ID systems and an accompanying “public technology stack” that will become the basis for increased private sector innovation in the coming years. Simultaneously, new technologies and data use protocols, combined with the growing need for privacy, personal data protection and informed consent, are all beginning to encourage several start-ups to build innovative companies that can begin to give consumers more control over their online identities and personally identifiable information.

In this new focus area, ON expects to play a range of roles across the public and private sectors. We expect to work closely with other key stakeholders and play a role in developing a global governance architecture, trust frameworks, and standards for state-issued Digital IDs. ON will also make early stage commercial investments in companies that use the power of Digital ID and enhanced user control of data to unlock new opportunities that can have massive social impact – whether in terms of access to services like banking (e.g., eKYC) or new ways to interact and build trust online (e.g., sharing economy).

The position is to be based in ON’s Bengaluru office.

POSITION SUMMARY:

We are seeking an Investment Professional to join our India investment team, primarily focused on our Digital Identity work in the region. The candidate will be based in ON’s Bengaluru office, and will report to the India head of Digital Identity. Priorities for the candidate include: 1) helping build a healthy pipeline and portfolio of digital identity organizations (for-profit and non-profit); 2) supporting grants and equity investments, and working with portfolio organizations to grow and help them have impact; 3) supporting work on policy issues that can strengthen digital identity systems in the country. The right candidate will be comfortable in working with both non-profit organizations, as well as for-profit companies whose work is aligned with ON’s mission.

Specific responsibilities include:

Helping build a portfolio of organizations (for-profit and non-profit)
Scoping out high impact digital identity opportunities
Supporting the review and analysis of investment proposals, business plans, and organization budgets; prioritizing opportunities, conducting necessary diligence on prospects
Supporting deal execution by taking shortlisted opportunities through a well-defined approval and closing process, including definitive documentation, legal and financial due diligence (as applicable)

Supporting portfolio organisations
Working closely with ON’s investees (for-profit and non-profit) on strategic aspects to help them scale successfully, achieve their financial targets and impact potential, including by engaging with the Board, co-investors, etc.
Monitoring the performance of the investees (for-profit and non-profit) periodically

Engaging with a broader external audience
Identifying key trends in the policy space that could help improve the digital identity systems in the country
Building relationships with other investors and foundations to identify potential areas of collaboration and co-investment/ grant co-funding
Working with the global digital identity team
Contributing to ON’s knowledge management efforts by sharing key learnings and providing feedback on similar themes/ opportunities across ON’s target countries/ regions

General
Collaborate internally to advance ON strategy and mission
Represent ON in a manner that is consistent with our mission
Perform other responsibilities, as necessary

Success in this role requires analytical ability, creativity, strategic insights, business/ investment acumen.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS:

Deep passion to make a difference in the digital identity space, good understanding of impact of digital identity, and familiarity with key technology-led interventions that are making a positive impact
4-6+ years of work experience; preference for those in consulting, direct investing roles (e.g. in a leading private equity or venture capital firm, impact investment firm, foundations), project management roles for reputed institutions or program management role in reputed non-profit institutions
Prior experience in relevant fields of digital identity, privacy, technology, governance is preferred
Ability to evaluate proposed opportunities from multiple perspectives (strategic fit, expected impact, market opportunity, operational capability, business model, financial performance, valuation, etc.); appreciation of analytical rigor and clarity
Strong strategic mind set and proven ability to innovate, collaborate and translate strategy into action
Good communication skills – excellent writing and presentation skills; ability to communicate succinctly and clearly
Good interpersonal skills – ability to work collaboratively with colleagues around the world
Sound knowledge of investment execution (sourcing, analyzing, teeing up for decision-making, negotiating, documenting, closing, etc.)
Ability to travel periodically for project work
Demonstrated experience handling multiple assignments simultaneously
Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a global team
MBA or equivalent post-graduate degree preferred

For more information please contact sbhadra@omidyar.com

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