A newcomer VC firm founded by ex-Twitter CEO Ev Williams is one of the biggest winners in the Beyond Meat IPO (BYND)


Ev Williams Medium

  • Obvious Ventures, founded by ex-Twitter CEO Ev Williams in 2014, is one of the largest shareholders in Beyond Meat, the creator of a popular plant-based meat substitute that just had its IPO.
  • Obvious Ventures’ stake in Beyond Meat is worth more than $100 million.
  • This appears to be Williams’ first public exit with Obvious. Portfolio company Workpop was acquired by Cornerstone OnDemand for an undisclosed amount in September, according to Crunchbase.
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Twitter cofounder Ev Williams’ vegetarian diet may turn out to be one of his best bets yet.

Williams’ venture capital firm Obvious Ventures owned a little over 9% of plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat ahead of its public offering Thursday, a stake that is worth roughly $111 million, according to regulatory filings.

Beyond Meat raised $241 million in its IPO by selling 9.6 million shares at $25 each, the top end of its planned pricing range.

Williams is best known for his role as ex-CEO at Twitter, but he’s also the founder of blogging sites Blogger and Medium. He founded Obvious Ventures in 2014 to invest in “world positive” companies that combine “profit and purpose.” The VC firm currently has 49 startups that it has backed in its portfolio, including augmented reality firm Magic Leap, and food deliver service Good Eggs. 

In September, one of Obvious’ portfolio companies, Workpop, was acquired by Cornerstone OnDemand for an undisclosed amount. 

It’s not clear if Williams intends to sell his Beyond Meat stake as part of the IPO, but the veggie burger maker appears to be the first Obvious portfolio company to have such a major exit. 

Ev Williams did not respond to Business Insider’s request to comment.

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Beyond Meat’s plant-based meat alternatives have gained popularity as more consumers have looked to ditch meat-based diets in favor of environmentally friendly options. The company recently signed a deal to offer its plant-based products at national burger-chain Carl’s Jr.

Ahead of its IPO, the company raised $142 million from Kleiner Perkins, Obvious Ventures, Cleveland Avenue, Union Grove Partners, Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio, according to its S-1 filing.

The company will begin trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday under the “BYND” ticker.

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