Omaze Raises $85M to Expand Philanthropic Platform Across Europe

The Culver City startup has raised more than $160 million for charities since 2012.

Written by Jeff Rumage
Published on Sep. 16, 2021
Omaze Raises $85M to Expand Philanthropic Platform Across Europe
Omaze empoyees pose for a group photo
photo: omaze

Omaze, a platform that encourages people to donate to charities in exchange for a chance to win prizes like a car, a vacation or dinner with a celebrity, announced Thursday that it has raised another $85 million to expand its fundraising platform across Europe.

Since launching in 2012, the Omaze platform has been used to raise more than $160 million for more than 400 charities.

The Culver City-based startup gained attention early on by offering celebrity experiences, like the chance to be in a “Star Wars” movie or have Pope Francis hand you the keys to your brand new Lamborghini. 

Most recently, Omaze partnered with Richard Branson to offer people around the world the chance to go to space.

In 2019, Omaze expanded its giveaways to include one-of-a-kind cars and travel experiences, which has led to three consecutive years of more than 100 percent growth. 

Last year, the company expanded to the United Kingdom using $30 million in Series B funding

The United Kingdom platform grew more than 30 percent month over month for the past year and put to use a new model in which the company partnered with talent to promote the chance to win high-value prizes. The company also relied on weekly car raffles to drive engagement. 

The latest injection of capital will be used to further the company’s international expansion by replicating this model throughout Europe.

The latest funding round was led by Louis Bacon’s Moore Strategic Ventures. FirstMark Capital, Wndrco, Telstra Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, Mockingbird Ventures, BDMI and Pegasus Ventures also participated.

Longtime celebrity partners Bono, Kerry Washington, Tom Brady and Alexis Ohanian also contributed to the funding round.

By scaling into new markets and offering more valuable prizes, Omaze expects to increase its global impact, with plans to generate more than $300 million for charities in the next two years.

“A big part of what drives us at Omaze is fighting inequality of opportunity,” CEO and co-founder Matt Pohlson said in a statement. “By offering everyone the opportunity to win a $5 million house or go to space, we can fund the causes creating opportunities for the underserved. This funding empowers us to expand our prizing and donor base internationally. We are excited to work with [Moore Strategic Ventures] and our entire group of investors who recognize that the best way to create enduring impact at a global scale, is to build an enduring business at a global scale.”

The company is currently hiring for nine positions in the Culver City office.

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