Portland venture capital: Capybara, DFJ Frontier open a Portland office for early stage investments

Seems like we’re going to need to change our tune about venture capital firms not being interested in Portland, Oregon, and the Silicon Forest.

Mike Rogoway over at The Oregonian reveals that DFJ Frontier in partnership with Capybara Ventures has opened another office for early stage venture capital—right here in Portland, Oregon.

But that’s not the best part of the news. The best part, as Rogoway highlights, is:

California-based DFJ is partnering with longtime Portland venture firm Capybara Ventures to focus on companies that need relatively small, initial investments to help launch their businesses.

Capybara has some familiar faces in its portfolio, including Portland-based AboutUs and Attensa. They have also invested in Eleven Wireless, the company founded by Nedspace co-founder Josh Friedman.

Now the—ironically—big question: how small is small?

According to DFJ Frontier, they generally invest from low six figures to low seven figures:

DFJ Frontier typically invests $100,000 to $1,000,000 initially, with additional capital reserved for follow-on investment as the company successfully achieves key milestones. We will also structure syndicates for companies that require a larger initial capital infusion.

Combine that with Capybara’s distinct focus on high tech startups seeking early stage investment and this partnership may be just the thing to jump start a fresh crop of Portland and Silicon Forest startups.

As Mike reminds us, DFJ Frontier is the third such firm to open an office in Portland, recently. Voyager and Madrona have also set up Rose City branches, as of late, in order to manage existing investments—and find new ones.

If you’re interested in learning more about this new partnership and the Portland office’s focus, DFJ Frontier and Capybara will both be in attendance at the Big Idea Bash startup event, this Wednesday.

(Hat tip Lisa MacKenzie)



  1. Capybara played a big role in helping us get started and it looks like they’ll be launching a lot more early stage tech companies in Portland which is great. Congrats to them and DFJ Frontier!

  2. In bloom: Portland venture capital: Capybara, DFJ Frontier open a Portland office for early stage investments http://is.gd/uTFB

  3. Agreed — Portland is strong on micro-budget startups and weak on startups of larger scale. Could be a fear of VC’s, but more likely is a lack of familiarity with, and accessibility to, VC’s. But, maybe this is the start of something new.

  4. This is great! The more opportunities the better!

  5. It seems that a lot of people in Portland who might be otherwise interested in expanding a side project into a pays-the-bills business are only interested in bootstrapping it. It seems to be a combination of a fear of VCs and a goal of bootstrapping. Are these companies concerned about this? Am I just hanging out in the wrong crowds?

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