Partnering With Obvious

Why I’m headed to world positive venture capital

Tina Hoang-To
Sep 16, 2020 · 3 min read

Today I am excited to announce that I have joined Obvious Ventures as a Partner, focusing on emerging growth as we continue to build upon our multi-stage investment strategy.

When I first met Vishal, James, Andrew, and Nan, we all felt instant chemistry. There are many talented investors out there, which they certainly are, but I quickly realized that this was a team that cared deeply about people — both the founders with whom they have partnered, and internally with their own employees. The Obvious culture is one of humility, empathy, scrappiness, and a relentless desire to constantly learn, grow, and succeed. And most importantly, we are all operators. We have all been on the other side and understand that the path to success for a company is not always a straight line.

My personal journey as both an entrepreneur and a growth investor naturally aligns with the Obvious team’s core values. I served two stints at TCV, most recently as Executive Vice President and was involved in deals like Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK), Merkle (acquired by Dentsu), and Modsy. I started my career as an investor 12 years ago at TCV and it has been a remarkable platform to see what greatness looks like at the growth stage — having been investors in companies like Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Zillow, and Peloton.

As an entrepreneur, I founded and served as CEO of Wedding Spot, the first online marketplace to offer instant price quotes for wedding venues across 43 states in the U.S. (and wore nearly every hat along the way — sales, customer acquisition, customer support, product development, kitchen stocker, you name it — until the company was acquired by Cvent). It was an incredible experience being a founder and operator. I learned the true meaning of the word “scrappiness”. From teaching myself how to build Google AdWords campaigns by watching YouTube videos to spending countless nights building IKEA furniture for the office, there is no greater forcing function to be resourceful than a startup CEO without a salary! I still remember the very first check we received from a customer and will always remember that amazing feeling of knowing that we had built something that someone else was willing to pay for.

This past year as an investor I realized I want to be closer to this stage of a company’s journey.

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As we spoke more, it also became clear that the Obvious team identified operational excellence and values-based leadership as critical to any company’s success since the firm’s early days. So much of the positive momentum I see in venture today, from diversity riders in term sheets to management company governance, Obvious set in motion years ago with the World Positive Term Sheet and being one of the first venture firms to become a Certified B Corp. Reading up on their beliefs and perspectives on how to create a durable, built-to-last company further solidified my conviction that Obvious was the right place for me.

And while I knew Obvious was a multi-stage investor, I was excited to learn that they have been looking to build greater capabilities in emerging growth. Understanding that more and more transformative companies are hitting their emerging growth stage, the opportunity for me to join and make a difference is now.

I am thrilled to be here at Obvious Ventures and ready to do my part in our mission of world positive investing!

Obvious Ventures

#worldpositive

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