Internet companies are starting venture capital funds at a record pace this year as they seek to invest in the next generation of tech startups. The trend is being driven by a belief that the next big thing in tech will come from a small startup.
Many top internet companies, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Salesforce, have started their own venture capital funds in recent years. All are doubling their investments in potential startups capturing a growing share of venture funding. And now its time for Mozilla to dip into the action!
Reviving tech industry with “Mozilla Ventures”
In the latest development, Mozilla has unveiled its ambitious new venture capital fund — Mozilla Ventures, in an attempt to transform technology investment.
According to the company, Mozilla Ventures is a venture capital fund for early-stage (seed to series A) startups whose products or technologies advance one or more of the values in the Mozilla Manifesto — privacy, inclusion, transparency, and human dignity.
“The fund will seek companies and founders who embody these values and investors who are aligned with them,” says the company.
Says Mark Surman, Executive Director, of Mozilla, says, “Many people say the tech industry has lost its soul. Some even say it’s impossible to make it better. My response: We won’t know unless we try together. Mozilla Ventures is about fueling companies and products that put people before profits. And it’s about fueling enough of these companies and products that we can ultimately push the internet in a better direction.”
$35M funds for responsible tech internet companies
As a part of the Mozilla Venture, the company will invest an initial $35 million in internet companies that protect privacy, decentralise digital power and build more trustworthy AI.
The fund will be led by Managing Partner Mohamed Nanabhay, who has spent his career working on innovation, digital media, and technology, and as an investor.
Nanabhay has held leadership positions at Al Jazeera and the Media Development Investment Fund and was previously a Mozilla Foundation board member.
Nanabhay says, “Many of us can’t imagine life without the internet. But are we willing to imagine life with a better internet for us all? That’s why we’re starting Mozilla Ventures — to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurs from across the world who are building companies that create a better internet. We want to support founders who are working on the many challenges we face online — from misinformation to censorship, security to privacy, and the ability to harm instantaneously and at scale. These issues are too important to leave to any one institution to solve.”
The company has already announced three investments:
- Secure AI Labs (SAIL) — SAIL uses advanced security and AI technology to secure patient data and advance medical collaboration. They aim to advance bioinformatics research and innovation with a platform that allows faster, more secure access to data, powering the future of better healthcare for all.
- Block Party — Block Party is a social media safety app designed for the realities of online harassment. It allows individuals who experience regular harassment to safely engage in a public conversation on social media by setting their content boundaries.
- heylogin — heylogin is a ‘swipe-to-login’ password management solution designed for businesses. Primarily aimed at SMEs, heylogin charges per user and allows businesses to manage shared passwords and individual accounts.
Mozilla is working actively with a wide variety of founders, investors, and experts to shape the final design of the fund.
Mitchell Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla, says, “Mozilla is the only technology organization designed from day one to represent people and their interests over profit online. We are a mission-driven business, and we pride ourselves in championing not only an open internet but also human dignity, privacy, and a global community of millions of people who support that mission. Our values — privacy, security, and joy — both drive our advocacy and shape our products. This unique position enables us to strengthen the responsible tech ecosystem at a critical time for the technology industry — and we will support that ecosystem by investing in a new generation of companies and products that share a vision of a safe, open internet.”
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