The venture is funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar's firm, the Omidyar Network, according to the Washington Post. This is not Omidyar's first foray into media. He founded Honolulu Civil Beat, an investigative reporting site on Hawaii, as well as Backfence, a Washington, D.C. news site no longer in existence.
Both Scahill and Poitras have worked with Greenwald on his coverage of the NSA. Scahill, author of the book Dirty Wars, has been working with Greenwald on a project about the connection between the NSA and an assassinatinon program. Poitras collaborated with Greenwald to cover the first leaked reports on the NSA from Edward Snowden.