Obvious Ventures, a new venture fund founded by Twitter co-founder and early Beyond Meat investor, announces $271.8 million for its third fund
Obvious Ventures, a new venture fund founded by Twitter co-founder and early Beyond Meat investor, just raised $271,828,182 for its third fund (OV3), bringing its total size to about $585 million. The firm made the announcement on Medium today.
So, what is the significance of $$271,828,182? This number is probably obvious for some of us with love for Mathematics. For people who are not familiar with Math, the number “e” is one of the most important numbers in mathematics. The first few digits are: 2.7182818284590452353602874713527 (and more …) It is often called Euler’s number after Leonhard Euler (pronounced “Oiler”). e is an irrational number (it cannot be written as a simple fraction).
Obvious Ventures chose the new funding amount for the reason. As Ev Williams said on Medium, “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.” he added.
Founded seven years ago, Obvious has grown a diverse portfolio of companies that are disrupting huge industries in world positive ways. In 2019 they saw our first portfolio exits, including the IPO of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND) — a strong financial return for Obvious and other Beyond Meat investors.
Founded in 2014 by Evan Williams, James Joaquin, and Vishal Vasishth, Obvious focuses its backings on “world positive startups,” including electric bus company Proterra, supplements company Olly, Diamond Foundry, which is developing diamonds in labs instead of mines, sustainable energy company Enbala, plant-based food company Miyoko’s Kitchen and AI-centered Recursion Pharmaceutical.
“We don’t think of ourselves as impact investors,” Williams, a Twitter co-founder, said. “We think of ourselves as financial investors who are choosing things that are addressing major problems. If you figure out how to do that profitably, it’s going to be a huge business.”
Since its 2014 inception, Williams and Joaquin have consistently nodded toward numbers in its fundraising rounds. For its first venture capital fund, Obvious raised $123,456,789. In 2017, it disclosed that it raised $191,919,191, a palindrome. Its latest fund of $271,828,182 is a nod to the mathematical constant Euler’s number, known as “e.”
“This is a tradition for us,” Joaquin said.