Join the Obvious A-Team

Image for post
Image for post

Obvious Ventures is on a mission to partner with entrepreneurs building disruptive solutions to systemic challenges. We have teamed up with Twitter co-founder Ev Williams and other forward-thinking partners and LPs to build a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on addressing the fundamental building blocks of society and life: healthcare, food, education, finance, work, mobility, construction, manufacturing and supply chain, energy, and more.

We are looking to grow the Obvious Ventures family with a Chief of Staff who will work directly with me (Co-founder and Managing Director) based in our San Francisco office (and initially working remotely as many of us are doing). …


Why we invested in One Finance

Image for post
Image for post

Middle-income consumers aren’t getting what they deserve from financial institutions at a time when they need it most.

Despite doing their best, 54% of Americans are only “coping” when it comes to their financial health. American families are pulling out all the stops, all the time, in order to manage their finances, pay off debt, pay for childcare or caretakers, save for retirement, and so much more. This was the case even before the pandemic hit.

And big banks aren’t helping.

According to a new Harris Poll, more than three in five (62%) Americans say traditional banks do not offer middle-income consumers the same quality of customer service as they do the wealthy. And nearly four in five (79%) Americans feel that the wealthy have access to more programs/offerings from traditional banks than middle-income consumers.


Recommitting to our purpose while increasing our capabilities

Image for post
Image for post

Our purpose at Obvious Ventures is to invest in entrepreneurs reimagining trillion-dollar sectors through a world positive lens. We believe that the most successful companies of our time will utilize breakthrough technologies to solve systemic problems in a profitable and scalable way. Since the firm’s inception seven years ago, we’ve been multi-stage, thematic investors focused on three key pillars: Sustainable Systems, Healthy Living, and People Power.

It’s humbling to reflect on the wholesale transformations that Obvious portfolio companies are driving within massive sectors, today and into the near future.

In healthcare, they are reversing chronic diseases like type two diabetes with clinical validation, building businesses on entirely new models that deliver better outcomes for patients, and exponentially accelerating drug discovery. In food, Obvious portfolio companies are reimagining our entire system — products, distribution, marketplaces, and more — to be plant-forward, local, fresh, organic, and accessible. In transportation, these entrepreneurs are electrifying entire systems with step-change innovations in fleet charging and management, buses and heavy-duty vehicle battery technology, and emission-free flight. In energy, they are accelerating the ramp of clean, renewable sources accessible to consumers and businesses through finance, installation tools for SMBs, and virtual power plants. And they are transforming industrial operations across sectors, bioengineering petrochemical-free materials the world has never seen and deploying robots with human-like dexterity that free us from dull, dirty, dangerous jobs. …


Insurtech providers are set to play an increasingly critical role in making civil society more resilient today.

Image for post
Image for post

What a time to be alive.

In the last 20–30 years we have seen dramatic reductions in poverty, extraordinary growth in renewable energy production, and people choosing to eat healthier foods. We have also experienced, in recent months alone, a global pandemic, devastating impacts of climate change, large-scale cyber attacks, and the second-order effects of all three on job markets, commercial real estate, personal finance, and more.

Many of the risks we face today — as individuals and businesses — come at us expectedly, but the vast majority arrive from directions and at times we are largely unprepared for. With many people’s net worth tied up in their house, what if something happens to the place they call home? With so much of business operations today now digital in nature, what if hackers gain control of its data? With our lives often in the hands of the healthcare providers, what if those providers aren’t able to deliver the best care because of whatever network we are (or aren’t) a part of? …


A practical, Patagonia-inspired guide for entrepreneurs on purpose, values, and the philosophies that underpin it all.

Image for post
Image for post

When reflecting on my decade at Patagonia, I think about the people. Always the people.

We loved nature and wanted to protect it. We lived life outdoors. We cared deeply about making the greatest product, period. Each of us were fiercely individualistic, and yet we had a sense of the world around us — that we were part of a system bigger than ourselves.

We were all “dirtbags” (how founder Yvon Chouinard referred to us, affectionately), driven by similar beliefs, and unified under a shared purpose: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. …


Why we invested in Hedvig.

Image for post
Image for post
Hedvig FTW.

The insurance industry doesn’t have a sparkling reputation amongst consumers. As far as NPS goes, the industry as a whole ranks consistently at the bottom of every list imaginable.

We believe traits like trustworthiness, transparency, and responsiveness should be the words we use to describe category leaders. Which brings us to Hedvig. Hedvig is a purpose-built home insurer based on a simple premise:

“People don’t like outdated money-grubbing companies that treat them like crap.”

Hedvig has translated this matter-of-fact mindset into a breakout insurance product with a customer-aligned business model to boot: instead of extracting as much money as possible from its customers, Hedvig takes a flat fee for its services, takes care of its members, and donates anything extra to non-profit partners. …


An inspiring purpose, curated convenience, and thoughtful personalization is their recipe for success.

Image for post
Image for post

Reimagining a stagnant category

Image for post
Image for post

70% of Millennials hate their deodorant — in large part due to the same aluminum-based formulas, stains, and disposable plastic sticks. It’s a category that, despite a recent uptick in activity, has seen virtually zero innovation in 50 years. Consumers are demanding — and deserve — a product that is more responsive to their needs, healthier to use, and more sustainable in how it’s packaged and distributed.

Enter Myro. Myro’s formula is simple, safe, and effective: no aluminum or parabens, baking soda-free, and custom scents that consumers are already loving. The refillable deodorant pods use about 50% less plastic than typical brands. …

About

Vishal Vasishth

Investor and Builder of #WorldPositive Companies (Co Founder & Managing Director Obvious Ventures, former executive at Patagonia, Revolution & SONG Investments)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store