Since its founding in 2007, the petition site Change.org has quickly grown to become the world's largest platform for social change. Its growing influence has not only attracted users — rising from 35 million to 80 million in only 18 months — but also investors eager to see the company continue to make an impact.
Following up on a $15 million investment campaign in 2013, Change.org recently completed a huge $25 million round focused on leaders in technology, business and politics. The list of participants reads like a Who's Who in the world of tech, with giants like Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, the co-founders of Yahoo!, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many more. Such a roll call is a resounding affirmation of not only Change.org's present role in the media landscape, but also its future as an integral part of the democratic process.
"When you think about the Internet, participation from real people has disrupted and improved almost every industry," Change.org President and COO Jennifer Dulski told Mashable. "But democracy is sort of one of the last holdouts that hasn't yet been transformed, and that's what we are aiming to do."
As it currently stands, Change.org allows users to create petitions and collect signatures for any number of causes. With more than 200 employees and field offices in 20 countries, the company is expanding its reach and amplifying it users' voices around the world. It also plans on scaling its native mobile apps (more than half of Change.org's traffic comes from mobile users), as well as working with politicians, businesses, and other notable persons to respond directly to targeted petitions.
"We've seen a lot of traction from businesses in particular," Dulski added. "They are using it as a way to have a productive dialogue with their customers and to turn what might have been a brand crisis into a brand win."
Despite a valuation estimated to be in the billions, Change.org has no plans for a get-rich-quick IPO like other tech firms in its position. The company would instead like to remain private to better control its mission and focus.
“We’re aiming to show that social impact and financial success can work in tandem,” Dulski told Bloomberg.
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