You Must Remember This
Not much is known about the Obvious Corporation, the new-ish, incubator-ish company that’s the brainchild of Twitter cofounders Ev Williams and Biz Stone. Their website is sparse and coy: the only companies that they are publicly known to be working with are Lift, a social network for human potential, and dialogue platform Branch. They also announced this week that they’d invested in Neighborland, a site that seeks to create meaningful connections between neighbors.
The Obvious Offices are located in downtown San Francisco, near the Powell St. BART stop, just around the corner from the Apple store, which is convenient because everyone at Obvious uses Apple products. Macbook Airs, iPads, Magic Mice and Apple wireless keyboards: Tim Cook would not be disappointed.
Too busy to check your daily Betabeat? Here are the highlights from last week, as selected by the editors.
Alley vs. Valley
Branch is billed as a curated discussion platform, but we’ve also found it to be an excellent tool for eavesdropping.
Today, Josh Miller–the founder of Branch who thinks San Francisco is ‘too nice‘–started a conversation on the platform entitled, “Houses, Schools, and Town Squares – Building Next Generation Social Products.” Several tech heavyweights chimed in to discuss a metaphor coined by ex-Facebooker and current Path CEO Dave Morin that compares Facebook to a town square–prompting Eric Fisher, who wrote Facebook’s Social Design Guidelines to help you build great social experiences, to protest that the social network is actually “centered on individuals and their friends which is a very self-serving, egocentric model.”
Attention, everyone. Josh Miller, Princeton dropout and cofounder of Branch–a curated discussion platform backed by some big name financiers–would like you to know that he has decided to return to New York (cue thunderous applause).
In an earnest missive penned for PandoDaily, Mr. Miller explains that he has decided to leave the Obvious Corporation’s San Francisco HQ to move back to New York, where Branch first started. Jason Goldman, COO of the Obvious Corporation and ex VP of product for Twitter, is heading to New York with him, where they can continue to work on Branch with the help of that sweet $2 million they just pocketed.
When you’ve got Evan Williams, John Borthwick, and Max Levchin chatting it up on your “curated discussion platform,” it’s probably just a matter of time before the high-powered investors,
incubators makers, and other loosely-defined collectives come a’ calling.
Today, Branch, the startup that initially launched in New York City as group blogging service Roundtable, announced that is now partnered with Obvious Corp and picked up investments from Lerer Ventures and SV Angel. Although Branch has been working out of Obvious headquarters since the beginning of this year, the startup will move to Betaworks this summer. Cofounder Josh Miller’s announcement is somewhat obliquely worded, but it sounds like Rick Webb, Lucas Nelson, Ryan Freitas, and David Tisch also joined the round.
The size of the round wasn’t disclosed. However, this Form D SEC filing for Roundtable Media (the startup’s original name) filed by Joshua Alexander Miller, seems to indicate that the size of the round was $1,999,997 and fully subscribed. The address on the Form D, for example, is the same address as Obvious Corp. According to the Form D, the funding was an equity round with seven investors and the date of first sale is listed as February 15th. We have reached out to Mr. Miller for confirmation.