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.
Founders tend to be an optimistic bunch. But optimism can only get you so far. And if you’re looking to pursue venture capital as a means of financing your startup, that optimism is going to take some lumps as you pitch, refine, pitch, refine… Lather rinse repeat. So it’s always nice when that pitch feedback comes with some added perks. Like pizza and beer.
Last night, the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) held their annual Oregon Tech Awards celebration gala, their biggest event of the year. (Coincidentally, GeekWire held their big Seattle tech awards last night, too.) And the Portland startup community was well represented.
I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about broadening the spectrum of Silicon Florist coverage. To cover more than just tech. Because there is all kinds of interesting stuff going on around here. And some recent news seemed like the perfect excuse to start doing that. You see, Portland Seed Fund and Starve Ups alum Sightbox has been acquired by Johnson & Johnson.
Over the past ten years, we’ve seen a change in venture capital in Oregon. Previously dominant VCs have stopped investing or become less active while a series of new players have entered the market. And outside investment—folks from other states who have invested in Oregon companies—has definitely seen an upswing. But who are the new leaders in VC in Oregon startups—and are they local? PitchBook crunched some numbers for us.
A lot of my discussions around the Portland tech community and its current momentum tend to concern companies and individuals exploring alternative realities—virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality. And that should come as a surprise to… absolutely no one. Like many new technologies, Portland’s early adopters have been mucking around with VR and AR for years.
To many folks in the startup community, the Portland Seed Fund has always been here. It’s become such a prominent part of the early stage investments in town. But it wasn’t always that way. And it took some foresight from a variety of local leaders to bet on spending when the economy was in the doldrums to make it happen. Read More
Early stage activity in town has quieted a bit. Not really calmed down. Just quieted down. That’s why it’s always nice to see some folks making some noise. And showing investors what’s going on in town. Which is exactly what the Portland Seed Fund is doing today with their latest class—which includes six local tech companies. Read More
What began with Google Glass has ended in a successful exit for ONtheGO Platforms—and the local investors who took a risk on the company before it was clear where the market was going. Atheer has acquired OTG for its team and technology, who were early players in exploring the potential of gestures within virtual and physical environments. Read More
Ask any Portland founder what their biggest challenge is and I will bet you that—nine times out of ten—the response will be “talent.” But if you ask them what else—besides talent—is keeping them up at night, the answer will be the same answer it has been since, well, since startups. “Money.” And that’s why it’s nice to see the funding environment here in Oregon continuing to mature. Read More