I’m always a fan of folks who are helping startups. Especially those who recognize the unique challenges of founders. That’s why I’ve been happy to see Women Led working to have a more significant impact on women and the companies they’re leading and building, here in Portland. But in order to do the work they want to do, a nonprofit organization needs funding. That’s why Women Led launched a GoFundMe campaign.
Lately, it seems there’s been an uptick in sizable funding rounds and private equity investments in the state. With 2018 being a record setting and landmark year, in that regard. But in order to get to those multimillion dollar rounds — or liquidity events — companies have to first get out of the gates. And if they’re seeking seed funding in Oregon, that doesn’t seem to be happening at a rate on par with other states. According to Crunchbase.
In the world of equity financing and startups, it’s not rare to see folks adding new board members when they announce funding rounds. Because it’s usually VCs who have invested who are getting those seats. So when Portland startup Sensu announced a new round of funding and new board members, it was a pleasant surprise to see that one of them was an independent, Luke Kanies, founder of Puppet.
Remember that awesome #FutureBus from Beaverton School District? You know that Magic-School-Bus-ish mobile makerspace that allows students in the district to creatively engage with technology and making? Obviously, it was designed to be taken on the road. But I just learned that they took it on a road trip. To Cascade Locks, Oregon. And that experiment resulted in an interesting experience—and an opportunity.
While still striving to hold true to my promise to Jive cofounder Bill Lynch—that I would stop using Silicon Florist as a platform to celebrate fundraising announcements—I feel obligated to take a little tangential liberty to share a developing theme I’m seeing… Because this isn’t a typical. Portland companies have announced more than $51 million in venture capital, this year. And it’s not even a month old.
One of the challenges of the Portland startup community has always been momentum. We sometimes have great—at times even fantastic—startup news, like an exit or a major announcement. But more often than not, that happens as a solitary instance. And then it’s some time before the next major announcement. So it’s rare to have a day like today where both Torch 3D and Vacasa have major news.
If my Instagram feed is any indication, a number of you just spent the last weekend running in the Portland Marathon. So this may be a little early to pound the pavement again. But trust that I’m only asking you to get back on the road because it’s for a good cause. It’s time for another 4K 4Charity Run. 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 it’s not nearly as common of a conversation as it once was—thanks in part to the performances of steadfastly Portland companies like Elemental Technologies, Puppet Labs, Urban Airship, Cloudability, and others—many Portland entrepreneurs have concerns—if not unmitigated fear—that remaining headquartered in Portland could curtail their ability to raise capital for their startups. New research from Tomasz Tunguz may provide a little peace of mind. Read More