While the term unicorn has lost a bit of its luster as of late, it’s still an impressive milestone for any company to achieve a $1 billion valuation, but especially for a northwest company to do so. That’s why it was interesting to see Portland Seed Fund portfolio company Auth0 announce its Series E raise, which officially gives it the unicorn moniker.
Yes. $200 million. For a Portland startup. It’s really really easy to blanche at that number. I get it. It’s a big number. Especially for a homegrown Portland company in the software world. And were this earlier in the life of Silicon Florist, I could have easily focused on the number, cheered for a company raising that much, and moved along my merry little way.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Innovation can occur anywhere. It’s not just something that happens in an urban context. Or in major metropolitan areas. It happens all over. Throughout the state of Oregon. And that’s why Business Oregon has its Rural Opportunity Initiative (ROI) to help spark and support that activity.
Ever since I promised Bill Lynch that I would stop publishing pure “we got funded” sorts of stories, I’ve had a challenge. You see, people tend to drop press releases when they raise money. So it’s a good time to cover them. But if I chose to act on those releases, my posts couldn’t just be about the funding, I promised Bill. There had to be another angle.
The thing I love most about ecosystems is that as things change—and gaps are introduced—the community works to fill those gaps and take advantage of those opportunities. So when former Angels and Seed Funds begin to mature and move downstream with their check sizes and portfolio companies, it opens up opportunities for new funds. Like Coast to Crest Fund. And now, the Willamette Angels W2 Fund.
The timing is impeccable. Following one of the most poignant, moving, and momentous protests in US history, it seems perfect that a group of women from the Portland startup and investment communities is launching a new organization designed to help women founders in Oregon build amazing companies—and find the funding they need. Meet the XXcelerate Fund. Read More
At first blush—and without context—something like today’s news from Portland startup Reflect might seem like a standard run of the mill funding announcement. The stuff the Bay Area sees umpteen times a day. But within the context of what’s happening around here in Portland? I see any number of interesting facets to this announcement. Read More
While I tend to refrain from covering funding announcements, this one seemed like it would be of particular interest to folks. If only as a signal that we should be including a new name when rattling off the impressive startups in our community. You see, Portland’s Vacasa just announced that they have raised $35 million in Series A financing. And that’s the largest round any Portland company has raised in two years. Read More
While there are any number of things that make scaling a startup difficult, finding executive talent that can help transition the company through changes can be one of the most challenging. And it’s often something for which Portland gets dinged—that lack of seasoned executive talent. That’s why it’s nice to see Portland’s Vadio securing some impressive leadership and some more funding. Read More
I often get asked about pervading themes or trends in the Portland startup scene. Mostly because people want me to talk about something that’s actually interesting. Rather than droning on and on. And if I’m forced to name one theme, I often choose one of the cultural undertones that has continued for decades: Portland’s success with enabling technologies. Read More