Today we’re announcing our third fund, OV3. In the Obvious tradition, this fund size has an interesting number: $271,828,182. It’s a nod to one of the most important constants in mathematics: Euler’s Number, universally known as e.
The number e (2.71828182…) is the limit of (1 + 1/n)ⁿ as n approaches infinity. You may have learned about it studying compounding interest or calculus. It’s named e after Leonhard Euler (pronounced “Oiler”), who is downright legendary in mathematics. More details for math nerds below the fold.
e is essential to the mathematics of proportional growth, and OV3 marks an important growth milestone for Obvious. As we enter our seventh year as a firm, we’ve grown a diverse portfolio of companies that are disrupting huge industries in world positive ways. In 2019 we saw our first portfolio exits, including the IPO of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) — a strong financial return for Obvious and other Beyond Meat investors.
BYND is also a proof point that an amazing team using innovation to disrupt a trillion dollar industry (animal protein) can create billions in market value alongside scalable human health and environmental benefits.
That’s exactly the vision we started Obvious with, and we’re humbled to have the support of our limited partners to continue backing disruptive world positive startups in our third fund. We continue to invest thematically across three pillars:
- Healthy Living — Reimagining our health and wellness systems to shift from treatment to prevention, combining food as medicine with innovative healthcare systems.
- Sustainable Systems — Reimagining the world’s energy, mobility, and resources to replace scarce, contaminated, and expensive products and services with abundant, clean, and accessible ones.
- People Power — Reimagining education, employment, and finance to provide fair, transparent solutions that empower individuals and change the way we learn, work, and save.
Want to learn more about our investment themes?
Check out our newly updated and redesigned obvious.com.
For the math fans still reading, you may have noticed the title of this post is an equation that we used internally as a fun shorthand for the fund size: e = OV³. We know that’s not an accurate math formula (something better would be e ≈ OV3/1E8) but we love it anyway.
If you want to learn more about Euler’s number, we recommend these two videos as a good place to start:
Fun fact: in 1978 Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak computed e to 116,000 places on the Apple II. The exercise gave him new insights into improving Apple’s floating-point math routines and he published a Byte magazine article about it, including source code.