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.
Not so long ago, banks were a viable means of financing business. But as the terms of that financing became more inaccessible and onerous, we saw new models arise. One of those models was venture capital. Now—thanks in part to efforts like the Zebra movement—the VC model is beginning to show its own imperfections, inadequacies, and inaccessibility. So it only makes sense that folks would start thinking about new models for financing. One of those folks is Portland’s Luke Kanies, founder and former CEO of Puppet.
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.
It’s not just you. There’s a definite shift in the feel of Portland, as of late. It’s definitely feeling a little more California. And a lot more Bay Area. And there’s a reason. Apparently, Portland is doing more than its fair share of importing both people and money from the Golden State.
If you tend to follow a lot of Portland startup folks on social media, there’s no doubt that, today, your social streams were lit up with images of the governor of Oregon in a Microsoft HoloLens, a jam-packed crowd at Oregon Story Board, and news of Portland’s newest VC, Elevate Capital, and the big reveal of their first six investments—with four technology local startups among them. Read More
Running a startup is difficult. You know that. But did you know that one of the most difficult things about running a startup has absolutely nothing to do with your product or managing your team or figuring out your market?
It’s true. The hardest part of running a startup for first time entrepreneurs? Wading through the craptastic and nebulous legalese of contracts and term sheets. It ain’t pretty. That’s why Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson of Foundry Group took the opportunity to make it easier—and to make you smarter. Read More
Even as Portland startups continue to make waves and land capital, we’ve still got a lot to do to step up to the big leagues. So what does Portland need to do to step up and be among the premier cities for startups?
One thing is for sure. Being attractive to venture capitalists can only help the cause. And ensure that Portland startups have the capital they need to succeed. But how? Well, why not ask a VC? That’s what happened on TechCrunch’s “Ask a VC” last week. Read More
[HTML3]Yes, yes. There has been much discussion about Jive Software and their decision to move Jive corporate headquarters from Portland, Oregon, to those more southern climes near that bay thing. But fact of the matter is, Jive spent a good deal of time as a startup headquartered right here. And they continue to be part of our community.
So when Jive announces that they’ve secured another $30 million in funding, I’m going to cover it. Because some of that cash is going to come through the Portland office. And because the investor—juggernaut Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers—just happens to be the firm that just dropped $5 million in Puppet Labs’ proverbial pockets. Read More
It’s always a good day when a Portland-area startup gets funding. And by that reasoning, today was a very good day. Portland-based JanRain—a company that started as an OpenID play and has since morphed into the way to simplify distributed Web logins across the board—announced that they had closed Series A financing to the tune $3.25 million. The round was led by DFJ Frontier. Especially considering this round has been rumored to be in the works since this summer.
So how did the market react? Well, there was quite a bit of coverage, so let’s take a look. Read More