A single startup exit creates two firsts for the Portland Seed Fund

The Portland Seed Fund, one of the most active investors in Seed stage companies in the state, has been working to invest in early stage startups for more than a decade. But they’ve had a couple of meaningful firsts recently. All thanks to ESS, a startup in their portfolio.

What are the firsts?

Well, I realized that ESS was the first Oregon company to go public through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). But what didn’t dawn on me was that it was the first Portland Seed Fund company to go public.

Portland Seed Fund II portfolio company Energy Storage Systems (ESS Inc.) was acquired by ACON S2 Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: STWO), a publicly traded Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). The transaction raised $465 million in new capital for the company, and will value Wilsonville, OR-based ESS Inc. at over $1 billion, according to ESS. ESS Inc. developed an iron flow battery technology with the capability for environmentally-friendly and long-duration energy storage. ESS Inc. will be the first public company in PSF’s portfolio.

So first SPAC and first public company. And probably some pretty impressive IRR for the fund, to boot.

For more information on the fund, visit Portland Seed Fund.

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