Bobby Ocampo and Blueprint Equity

When I wrote the post, Angel And Venture Capital Are Broken – Part II, I highlighted two innovative variations of traditional Venture Capital, Proof Fund and Private Access Network. Then a few months later, I sat down with Bobby Ocampo of Blueprint Equity. Bobby introduced me to yet a third variation, that of his new fund Blueprint Equity.

If you’re from DC and you live in a hefty bag (basically that means those of you who get your DC Startup news from the Technically.DC and DCinno, the startup equivalents to getting your world news from Fox News), you probably don’t know Bobby Ocampo. So let me catch you up on stuff that doesn’t come from some inane, Jonathon-Perrelli-esque, self-promotional, press release. Bobby did 3 years at a Venture Capital firm, Grotech, followed by five years at Revolution. You all know Revolution right? Because even Technically DC and DCInno can spell Steve Case and Revolution Ventures.

According to SEC Filings, Blueprint Equity raised $54 million dollars of a $75 million dollar fund. What makes Blueprint Different than other funds located in C besides the fact that Bobby just picked up and moved to San Diego? Got that, Mr. Ocampo left town and opened up shop in San Diego. But not being in DC isn’t the only unique thing about this fund. After all, for those of you who do read DCInno and Technically DC to find out what’s happening in the tech scene in DC, you might not know this but we, in DC are not Silicon Valley and the weather here sucks. And DC is not the center of the outer reaches of the boondocks of the backwaters of Venture Capital.

What are the structural differences between Blueprint Equity and Traditional VC’s

  • They try not to be know-it-all dicks.
  • They’re looking for good racing ponies instead of gluing a horn on every mule they ride while trying to convince the market it’s a rainbow pooping unicorn. They are looking to grow good companies and not trying to make every investment a moon shot.
  • They are looking for companies that are not actively raising money.
  • They are looking to invest in companies in places where the titans of Venture Capital don’t hunt.
  • They invest in companies that fit these criteria:
    • Bootstrapped
    • Achieved proven product-market fit ($1 – 5 million in revenue, $1 million in revenue minimum)
    • B2B – Enterprise-focused/no consumer
    • Cash-flow positive and/or profitable where an infusion of capital would accelerate growth
    • Not out actively raising money

Blueprint has developed proprietary software that automates their entire sourcing and outreach efforts. Instead of relying on their personal referral networks (which most VC’s do) for deal flow, their sourcing is all outbound and outreach is all automated. This allows them to reach tens of thousands of companies on an annual basis.

When a promising investment prospect is identified, Bobby and his Partner, Sheldon Lewis, get on a plane to complete due diligence and hammer out a term sheet.

Given the investment landscape moves so fast, hustling and being nimble is paramount. At their current pace, they will visit over one hundred companies in their first year (all of which require at least one plane ride). Blueprint aims to make two to three investments annually which is crazy given the amount of deal flow they see (15K / year). Their goal is to own large positions in fewer companies, but have strong conviction in the few they do.

Traditional 2nd tier Venture Capital companies are struggling. VCs that don’t have billions under management must find new operating procedures if they are going to survive. Blueprint Equity’s model is an interesting formula and worth monitoring.

Read the series of articles on the evolving startup venture capital market: