Listen to the Nitty Gritty with Bryce Roberts here.
Bryce Roberts likes to get–as he puts it–“stuff” started. Over the last twenty-plus years, that’s meant, in chronological order, graduating from Brigham Young University, forgoing a law degree, founding a ski company, joining a startup, getting married, starting a family, moving into venture capital, and, later, co-founding OATV and, most recently, founding Indie.vc. His endless pursuit of constructive catalyst has made him a big player in the VC space and, as a result, has helped numerous companies move forward in their own pursuits. One person’s hard work begets another’s hard work. In VC, everyone’s destinies are inexorably tied. If you’re game for the ride, it can be a great one to be on.
Roberts’ personal drive and work ethos within the VC space has now enabled some 52 companies get off the ground. Today, OATV’s portfolio includes notables like bitly, Codecademy, Maker Media, 3D Robotics, and more. In hindsight, investing in these companies seems obvious, a no-brainer, but the early stages are always a little less clear. “I invest in things most VCs won’t,” Roberts states proudly. Roberts is an open champion of risk taking, bucking the norm. Since high school, he has witnessed the dangers of the herd mentality in all its forms. Convention kills, especially when it comes to trying to make a significant impact. Roberts is not at all interested in convention.
If Roberts’ investments seem idiosyncratic compared to those of his peers, it’s possibly because Roberts himself is fueled by it. Indie.vc, for instance, seeks out rebel founders, those who have bootstrapped sustainable businesses into existence, resisting the nitro-fueled accelerant of venture capital. Roberts’ thesis is that there is a gap between debt and equity financing. Indie.vc serves that gap, providing flexibility and a lack of dilution for founders–all while providing solid returns for investors. Given his track record for staying ahead of the pack, one would be wise to watch how this new approach to financing takes hold.
In our next installment of The Nitty Gritty, Bond Street founder David Haber sits down with Roberts to talk about his unique path into venture capital and beyond.
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