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Obvious Ventures

Venture capital firm investing in early-stage, purpose-driven entrepreneurs reimagining trillion-dollar industries
Obvious Ventures
Leadership team

Ev Williams (co-founder)

James Joaquin (co-founder)

Vishal Vasishth (co-founder)

Number of Employees
0 - 50
Headquarters
San Francisco, California.
Established
2014
Social Media
Summary

Obvious Ventures is a venture capital firm that was founded in 2014 by a group of entrepreneurs and investors who are committed to supporting purpose-driven companies that are focused on creating positive social and environmental impact. The firm is based in San Francisco, California, and has a portfolio of companies that are working to solve some of the world's biggest challenges in areas like sustainable systems, healthy living, and people power.

Obvious Ventures' investment approach is guided by a commitment to values-based leadership and a belief in the power of profit and purpose to drive positive change. The firm's investment criteria include a focus on companies that have impact baked into their business models, and that are working to create sustainable and equitable solutions to global problems.

Some notable companies in Obvious Ventures' portfolio include Beyond Meat, Proterra, and Diamond Foundry, among others. These companies are united by a shared commitment to creating a positive impact on the world while generating significant financial returns.

In addition to its investment activities, Obvious Ventures is also a Certified B Corp, which means that it has met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The firm also publishes an annual World Positive Report that highlights the environmental and social impact of its portfolio companies and encourages entrepreneurs to incorporate their mission and values into its term sheets.


History

Obvious Ventures is a venture capital firm that was founded in 2014 by Ev Williams, James Joaquin, and Vishal Vasishth. The three co-founders had previously worked together at companies like Twitter, Google, and HP. They shared a common belief that the most valuable companies of our time would be those that solve humanity's biggest problems.

The idea for Obvious Ventures originated from a series of conversations that the co-founders had about the future of entrepreneurship and the role of technology in addressing some of the world's most pressing challenges. They recognized that while there were many venture capital firms focused on investing in technology startups, there were few that were explicitly focused on investing in purpose-driven companies that aimed to create positive social and environmental impact.

In 2015, Obvious Ventures announced its first fund, which had $123,456,789 in committed capital. The fund was oversubscribed, indicating strong interest from investors who shared Obvious Ventures' vision. The firm's initial portfolio included companies like Beyond Meat, Proterra, and Diamond Foundry, which aimed to disrupt traditional industries and create positive change.

Since then, Obvious Ventures has raised two additional funds, bringing its total assets under management to over $1 billion. The firm has invested in a wide range of companies across its three investment pillars of Sustainable Systems, Healthy Living, and People Power. Some notable companies in its portfolio include Good Eggs, Imperfect Foods, Plantable Foods, and Zume.

Obvious Ventures places a strong emphasis on values and culture and seeks out companies with strong values-based leadership. The firm is also a Certified B Corp, which means it meets rigorous standards for social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

In addition to investing in startups, Obvious Ventures has also been active in promoting its World Positive initiative, which aims to create a community of entrepreneurs, investors, and thinkers who are working to solve humanity's biggest problems. The firm publishes a World Positive Report that tracks the impact of its portfolio companies and has also launched a World Positive Term Sheet to encourage entrepreneurs to incorporate their values into their funding agreements.

Overall, Obvious Ventures has established itself as a leader in the impact investing space and has played a key role in shaping the conversation around the role of technology in creating positive social and environmental change.


Investment criteria

Obvious Ventures focuses on investing in startups that offer solutions to global problems. The firm has a set of investment criteria that they use to evaluate potential investments. Here are some of the key criteria that Obvious Ventures considers when making investment decisions:

  • World Positive Impact: Obvious Ventures invests in companies that are working to create a positive impact on the world. The firm is focused on supporting startups that are addressing major social and environmental challenges such as climate change, healthcare, and financial inclusion.
  • Breakthrough Technology: Obvious Ventures looks for companies that are leveraging breakthrough technologies to create innovative solutions. The firm believes that emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have the potential to transform industries and solve complex problems.
  • Product-Driven: Obvious Ventures invests in startups that have a strong focus on product development. The firm is interested in supporting entrepreneurs who are obsessed with creating the best possible product and user experience.
  • Business Model: Obvious Ventures looks for companies that have a scalable and sustainable business model. The firm is interested in startups that have a clear path to profitability and can generate significant revenue over time.
  • Experienced Team: Obvious Ventures invests in startups that have a talented and experienced team. The firm is interested in supporting entrepreneurs who have a deep understanding of their market and can execute their vision.
  • Cultural Fit: Obvious Ventures places a strong emphasis on values and culture. The firm looks for entrepreneurs who share their commitment to ethical and moral standards and who are building companies that align with their mission and values.

Values
  • World Positive: Obvious Ventures believes that the most valuable companies of our time will be the ones solving humanity’s biggest problems. The firm is committed to supporting world-positive entrepreneurs who are building disruptive solutions that create a positive impact on the world.
  • Ethical and Moral Standards: Obvious Ventures holds itself and its portfolio companies to the highest ethical and moral standards. The firm places great value on values-based leadership and looks for entrepreneurs who share their commitment to ethical and moral standards.
  • Humility: Obvious Ventures practices humility by acknowledging that they are not perfect and that they will make mistakes. The firm is open to feedback and is constantly learning and evolving.
  • Audacity: Obvious Ventures practices audacity by taking bold risks and investing in companies that they wish existed. The firm is not afraid to challenge the status quo and is always looking for innovative solutions.
  • Product-Driven: Obvious Ventures places a strong emphasis on product development and looks for entrepreneurs who are obsessed with creating the best possible product and user experience.
  • Culture Fit: Obvious Ventures looks for entrepreneurs who share their commitment to values and culture. The firm is interested in supporting companies that are building a culture of trust, transparency, and accountability.
  • Profit and Purpose: Obvious Ventures believes that profit and purpose can be a virtuous circle. The firm is interested in investing in companies that have the potential to generate significant financial returns while creating a positive impact on the world.

Mission

Obvious Ventures' mission is to support world-positive entrepreneurs who are building innovative solutions to global problems. The firm believes that the most valuable companies of our time will be the ones solving humanity's biggest problems. Obvious Ventures is committed to investing in purpose-driven companies that are transforming trillion-dollar industries in ways that move the planet forward.

The firm's goal is to create a positive impact on the world by supporting entrepreneurs who are developing disruptive solutions in three investment pillars: Sustainable Systems, Healthy Living, and People Power. Obvious Ventures believes that by investing in companies that are focused on creating a positive impact on the world, it can help build a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

Obvious Ventures places great value on values and culture and holds itself and its portfolio companies to the highest ethical and moral standards. The firm seeks to work with entrepreneurs who share their commitment to values and culture, and who are building a culture of trust, transparency, and accountability.


Portfolio

Obvious Ventures' portfolio consists of purpose-driven companies that are focused on solving some of the world's biggest challenges. The firm invests in companies that are creating innovative solutions in three key investment pillars: Sustainable Systems, Healthy Living, and People Power. Some notable companies in Obvious Ventures' portfolio include:

  • Beyond Meat: A plant-based meat alternative company that is focused on reducing the environmental impact of the meat industry.
  • Diamond Foundry: A lab-grown diamond company that is focused on reducing the environmental impact of the diamond industry.
  • Proterra: A leading manufacturer of electric buses that is focused on transforming the transportation industry.
  • Impossible Foods: A plant-based meat alternative company that is focused on reducing the environmental impact of the meat industry.
  • Memphis Meats: A cell-based meat company that is focused on creating sustainable and ethical meat alternatives.
  • Recursion Pharmaceuticals: A company that is using artificial intelligence to accelerate drug discovery and improve patient outcomes.
  • Good Eggs: A sustainable grocery delivery service that is focused on promoting local and organic food.
  • Molekule: A company that is using nanotechnology to create air purifiers that can remove pollutants and allergens from indoor air.
  • Zymergen: A company that is using biotechnology to create sustainable materials and chemicals.
  • Buoy Health: A healthcare company that is using artificial intelligence to improve patient access and outcomes.

Obvious Ventures' portfolio companies are united by a shared commitment to creating a positive impact on the world while generating significant financial returns. By investing in purpose-driven companies that are focused on solving global problems, Obvious Ventures is working to build a more sustainable and equitable future for all.


References
Obvious Ventures
Leadership team

Ev Williams (co-founder)

James Joaquin (co-founder)

Vishal Vasishth (co-founder)

Number of Employees
0 - 50
Headquarters
San Francisco, California.
Established
2014
Social Media