We know trust is not bought — it’s earned. Trusted investor/founder relationships are truly a long term relationship. Both sides are signing up for a 5–10 year commitment.
When you work with Oceans, you get a team who really does care. We are direct, we are purposeful, we act as an extended version of your team, we do the unexpected with and for you, and when we can’t deliver on areas outside of our domains of expertise, we bring in our partners and broader network. Not only that, but we also employ our lessons and learnings from over 100 collective years of experience building tech in NYC and around the world.
“Starting a company, then scaling it, is one of the hardest, most rewarding things one can do. There aren’t a ton of folks who really know how to do it or have really lived it, and I get asked for advice on the topic all the time. What I love about Oceans — especially after spending 6 years side-by-side with Steven at Foursquare — is that they’ve put together a team that I would’ve loved to have access to when we were starting Foursquare. I’m excited to support Oceans and the next generation of founders they’ll advise as they get to work building great companies.” — Dennis Crowley, Founder, Foursquare
Building a Team That Can Go the Distance
The best people to build businesses are those who are self-aware: of things they’re great at and the areas where they need development, of things they love to do and what they wish they never had to do again. These are the folks who surround themselves with people who don’t always agree with them, who push them to see things from different perspectives. We know that without the right people, it’s incredibly difficult to forge the company that you aim to build.
The last decade created an environment with an abundance of capital, so now it’s even easier for new companies and copycats to come after you. Those most likely to succeed in building successful, profitable companies that can endure for the long haul need to do it together. When you have the right investors and partners around the table, along with your internal talent, there is nothing stronger than the power of together.
Building a business takes a team aligned around the pursuit of a shared goal. It’s not just about investing money; it’s about investing time and energy collectively. As Olga V. Mack writes, “Today the right VC will often also be a strategic partner that can help grow the company through the VC’s unique experience, expertise, and industry connections.”
When we join together, we create something greater than the sum of its parts. When you work with Oceans, you don’t just get access to one partner and never hear from anybody else. You have the collective Oceans team.
1. Serve founders as they need it and want it;
2. Provide strategic operational support without having to manage multiple consultants or advisors;
3. Drive sharing and co-investment opportunities with other VCs who share similar values;
4. Leverage our network globally to drive impact, both in depth and breadth.
We work with founders who are:
Solving generational issues
iFundWomen is disrupting and completely changing the way early stage startups founded by women are getting funded.
Building something revolutionary
Rivet Labs is leading finance teams into the future with intelligent apps that help optimize and grow working capital and revenue using machine learning.
And impacting the lives of our children.
Piecewise is a student debt counseling and payment platform that universities use to lower student loan default rates. Piecewise is already a graduation requirement at 22+ schools, and they’ve reduced default in their portfolio by 75%.
Our Operating System
Expect us to share deep insights, learnings, and playbooks from the Oceans OS. Our experiences are being open sourced not just by us, but by our founders and partners. We will be publishing our findings, hosting intimate gatherings with our founders and partners, and working hard to hit the goals of our founders and our investment portfolio.
We work primarily with NYC-based founders, typically with 2–15 employees in the seed stage. We’ve collaborated with founders to hire their first external business executive, their first external engineer, helped them figure out their business model, organize a process to build product, ensure their P&L is aligned with their strategy, get their first business partner (a.k.a. customer), push on some existential issues, and so much more.
We’re bringing the full force of our team to every partner we work with. Their goals become ours. Their success will drive ours. Our story will be told by them. Each of us have managed large teams in the past, and when you’re a manager or leader of others, you start to realize that your own performance and accomplishments are dictated by the performance of your team. That is what drives us here at Oceans.