Why Outlier Ventures Invested in Botanic Technologies and Seed Vault

Our investors, Outlier Ventures, are unique. In fact Jamie Burke just published an article explaining exactly why they chose to invest in Botanic Technologies, and in Seed Vault, for which I am a Trustee.

Before you read the article, let me share a little bit about why your investor matters so much, and why the traditional VC construct is about to be turned on its head.

De_heilige_Lucas_schildert_de_Madonna_-_Maarten_van_Heemskerck-1532.jpgIt is rare that investors are visionary. In fact, it is almost antithetical because the act of investment is one of addition, not creation. Etymologically it comes from Latin, "to clothe," a process of dressing, not birthing. In Silicon Valley, on Sand Hill Road in particular, some of the least visionary people on the planet reap massive rewards by the mechanistic, automated process of betting on 10 horses so that one of them is sure to win that ten-times multiplier. It is a system that will hold its position for decades to come. In a couple hundred years, just as Venice or Florence are remembered as central to the Renaissance, San Francisco may be remembered as the center of the 3rd and 4th industrial revolutions. Technologies with world-changing impact are rippling out from the San Francisco bay area, just as they did from Italy in the 1700's.

So it is important to recognize digital technologies as international. Therefore, despite being a San Francisco-based company, Botanic Technologies is also an international company. We recognize that what we make - the tools to deploy multi-modal, trusted bots - is a technology that will ripple across the planet and remake how we interact with not only computers, but information itself, even one another. As CEO and founder of the company, I followed a traditional road of international travel. I followed in the tradition of many Americans that traveled to the global center of the financial world, London, to pass the hat.

world.jpegWhat I, personally, wanted, was an international and traditional composition to our company. I wanted to expose all of us at Botanic to international thinking, to traditional means of working together, traditional means of generating something intensely valuable. By spanning tradition with invention we have achieved something new that not only reminds us of how we got here, but also informs us of where we are going. That traditionalism stands in stark contrast to the technologies we build and it serves as a counter-balance to the future we face, build, and with which we, literally, talk.

Outlier is properly named. Ensconced in the tradition of London this group of visionary investors are capable of predicting what is happening precisely because they, like Botanic, are composed of a diverse crew of hard workers that have a sense of tradition. They lie well outside of the fold of normalcy not only because they are diverse thinkers, but because they take risks, work hard alongside us on a nearly daily basis and represent the truest sense of the word "Partner." They do not treat Botanic Technologies as a racehorse, but as a partner, helping us create value, helping us solve problems, bringing along the daily help, advice, questions, and network that is actually far more valuable than money.

In this partnership we celebrate the traditions of work. And in this partnership we shape the form of the future. 

Now, don't forget to check out Jamie's article.