While I spend the vast majority of my time heads down focused inwardly on the Portland startup community, I do realize that, from time to time, it makes sense to pick my head up and see what’s going on elsewhere. That’s why I was happy to see the First Round State of Startups 2019 making the, ahem, rounds.Read More
Apparently, it just takes a little while for an idea to gain traction. After years of founders bemoaning a lack of early stage funding, a new crop of early stage venture funds are taking shape here in Portland. First, 1859 Ventures launched a new early stage venture fund. Now Cowen Partners Venture Fund has launched.Read More
When folks are talking about startup activity, there are generally a few topics that jump to the fore: starting companies, funding companies, and liquidity events, the euphemism for that point in time when founders, investors, and ideally employees generate wealth from their efforts. But what if that last event — that exit — could also benefit the folks who find the most value in what that company was providing? That’s the concept with Exit to Community.Read More
While I’m not one to celebrate fundraising for the sake of fundraising, I’m also one to admit that a growing local company raising a single round of financing that’s north of $50 million is still a bit of a rarity. And therefore, notable, at the very least. So I thought I’d capture the coverage of SheerID’s latest round.Read More
The big news around the Portland startup community today — and likely for some time to follow — surrounded the latest round of funding for Vacasa. Why? Because the size of the round — at $319 million — was unusual. And the valuation for that round catapulted the company into unicorn territory.Read More
Said someone, probably. And thanks to local investor and startup accelerator director Dylan Boyd, there is. It may be incomplete, but it’s likely far better than any list you’ve got going currently. Nearly 2000 folks and firms in the venture capital industry. All talking about what they had for lunch. And probably some VC stuff too.
Last Friday, the New York Times published a piece on the Zebra movement, a movement with Portland roots that highlights any number of things broken about the prevailing venture capital model and its pursuit of unicorns and calls for more rational and accessible means of funding startups.
I’m not one to celebrate financing rounds for the sake of celebrating rounds. But this one had some interesting local flavor. So, stick with me here. Because this will take a minute.
In my opinion, one of the most promising threads in the Portland startup community as of late has been the whole conversation about financing startups. Because not every startup is right for an equity based investment from venture capital. And even if they are, VC brings with it some pressures that can be less than positive for many companies and founders.