Second Verse, Same as the First

Announcing our second fund: OV2

Today we closed our second fund, OV2. We’ve been hard at work raising this fund and along the way, we kept thinking: what’s the one nine-digit number to best represent our second fund? One nine-digit number… one nine… one nine… so in the Obvious tradition we reverse-engineered to: $191,919,191. A palindrome comprised of a two-digit repeating sequence.

OV2 represents an important milestone for us: over a dozen top-tier institutional investors joined our existing OV1 LPs, including co-founder Ev Williams, and placed their trust in our team. We are humbled and thankful for that vote of confidence.

When we started Obvious Ventures over three years ago, we began our mission to prove that companies combining profit and purpose can outperform their traditional peers and deliver exceptional financial returns part and parcel with positive social and environmental impact. We defined three broad areas of investment focus: Sustainable Systems, Healthy Living, and People Power. Out of the gate, we had a handful of investments that looked like interesting examples of this approach, including:

  • Diamond Foundry, growing cultured diamonds in plasma reactors to create stunning, diamond gems as an ethical and sustainable alternative to mined diamonds.
  • Beyond Meat, creating delicious plant-based protein that’s healthy for you and healthy for the planet.
  • ZenPayroll (now Gusto), helping small businesses grow with high quality low cost business software for payroll, benefits, and more.

Today our portfolio of over 35 investments is maturing from interesting world positive ideas to category-leading businesses that are growing revenue into the tens of millions and taking meaningful market share away from their traditional incumbents.

This progress is 100% due to the hard work our founders and CEOs do every day. They are the heroines and heroes in this story.

There is still much more work to do before we start waiving a checkered flag, but we’re off to a great start. Our strategy and tactics for our second fund are identical to the first:

  • Same investment partners
  • Same world positive strategy
  • Same three investment themes

In the startup world, we eat change and disruption for breakfast. In the world of venture capital, finding an investment strategy that holds the test of time is a powerful thing.

Back to that palindrome, it reads the same back-to-front as front-to-back. That’s the perfect metaphor for Obvious Ventures II — you can look at where we’ve been as a mirror image of where we’re heading.