Facebook’s billionaire cofounder Dustin Moskovitz is funding the operations of a London startup called Founders Pledge, which encourages high-potential entrepreneurs to commit to giving to charity when they eventually exit their businesses.
Founded two years ago, Founders Pledge has convinced more than 800 tech entrepreneurs and investors to commit to giving at least 2% of their exit proceeds to a charitable cause. Pledgers include DeepMind cofounder Mustafa Suleyman, who sold his artificial intelligence research startup to Google for a reported £400 million, and Y Combinator president Sam Altman.
On the FAQ section of the Founders Pledge website, the company writes that it relies on a “small group of donors that provide monetary and in-kind support” to operate, without going into too much detail.
But at the launch of Founders Pledge in Germany on Wednesday, David Goldberg, the CEO of the charitable startup, told a room of entrepreneurs and investors that Moskovitz is providing Founders Pledge with the majority of its capital.
“Everything we [Founders Pledge] do is free,” said Goldberg in Berlin. “We can do that because of some pretty incredible supporters. Some of our pledgers have given us money, but our biggest funding comes from one of the founders of Facebook, Dustin Moskovitz.”
Following up with Business Insider by email, Goldberg said: “The grant [from Moskovitz] was made by the Open Philanthropy Project, a joint venture between Good Ventures (Dustin and [wife] Cari’s investment vehicle) and GiveWell.”
A page on The Open Philanthropy Project’s website shows that it granted Founders Pledge slightly over $1 million (£810,000). Founders Pledge has raised £1.4 million in total, according to Goldberg.
“The Open Philanthropy Project awarded a grant of $1,032,947 over two years to Founders Pledge, executed through the Center for Effective Altruism, for general support,” the page reads. “Founders Pledge is a new organisation, based in London, that encourages technology entrepreneurs to pledge at least 2% of their proceeds upon exit to charity, and supports them in making thoughtful and impactful decisions about where to give. This grant is intended to enable Founders Pledge to expand to Germany, France, and Sweden, and to hire a developer.”
Moskovitz founded Facebook with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University in 2004. He left in 2008 and became a billionaire when the company went public thanks to his share options. Today, he has a net worth of $11.4 billion (£9.19 billion), according to Forbes.
Moskovitz also made headlines last September for giving $20 million (£16 million) to the Democrats in a bid to help them defeat now president Donald Trump in the US presidential elections.
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