The DL

By dan li

Founder at Plus. Former VC @MadronaVentures. Writing about tech, entrepreneurship, and investing in the PNW

Founder at Plus. Former VC @MadronaVentures. Writing about tech, entrepreneurship, and investing in the PNW

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The DL - 2021 Review, What's Happening at Plus, Favorite YouTubers

Here are five key tech themes/trends I observed last year, and what I'm going to be watching out for in 2022.


The DL - British Columbia Unicorns, The DL Jobs, Uncool Software

In the last issue of The DL, I noticed there were five new $1B+ companies in Seattle. I should have also mentioned that up north in British Columbia, there have been NINE new $1B+ companies over the last nine months:Blockstream - Crypto infrastructure based o…


The DL - The PNW Unicorn Farm, The DL Job Board, Jeff Bezos's 20 Year Plan

Everyone is talking about how hot the startup market is these days...The Seattle startup scene is sizzling with record funding, hiring surge, 12 unicorns (Geekwire)Technology unicorns are growing at a record clip (The Economist)Startups have never had it so g…


The DL - Why Join a Startup, the YOLO Economy, and Happiness at Work

A few months ago I left an amazing job as a partner at a venture capital firm to start Plus, a startup that helps people capture, see, and share data from different tools. I thought most people would think that was crazy, but everyone I’ve spoken to - includi…


The DL - 📢 Special Announcement from Dan

The last six years have been an incredible time to be at Madrona. I've had the opportunity to work with amazing companies, entrepreneurs, and investors, and it's been amazing to invest in the PNW tech ecosystem!So while I haven't been planning on leaving the …


The DL Dossier - Chronosphere: An inside look into the future of cloud monitoring

Started by an ex-Uber team who built Uber’s open source monitoring platform, M3Raised $55M to-date from Greylock, Lux, and Lee FixelCustomers use Chronosphere for a scalable, reliable, and lower-cost monitoring system for cloud-native applicationsEmployees de…


The DL - January 2021 Venture Deals, Jeff Bezos Quotes, and What Happened to Parler

Series B and Later Rounds 🚀Tanium - Unified endpoint management and security platform - $150M round led by Ontario Teachers' Pension PlanKardium - Medical devices for treating atrial fibrillation - $115M round led by FidelityChronosphere - Scalable cloud-nati…


The DL - Open Source - Mo Money, Mo Problems, New PNW Reality Show, Where to Fly in 2021

Open source software (OSS) started as a reaction to companies like Microsoft and Oracle making "unfair" profits on software, so developers created Linux and MySQL and made them available to anyone for free. Now OSS has gone full circle. AWS is profiting from …


The DL - Does the Seattle Startup Scene Work, Readers' Thoughts on Parler, and What The Olds are Doing

Toronto is not the next great startup scene. Neither is Waterloo, or Vancouver, or anywhere in Canada... The Canadian tech scene, as it currently operates, does not support startups. It stifles them. Last week, Alex Danco published a fascinating piece on why …


The DL - Amazon Shuts Down Parler, And Haven, DoorDash on How to Compete, and SPAC Magic

This is probably the most important tech news of last week, but it's been pretty difficult to follow, so here's my summary of the key events leading up to Parler's shutdown:After the insurrection at the Capitol, tech leaders make public statements condemning …


The DL - 20 Slides on 2020, DALL·E, and What Happens When Bitcoin Hits $150K

If you want to get caught up on what happened in the PNW startup and tech markets last year, here's my 20 slide summary of what happened in 2020. Some of the highlights:We saw 20-25% fewer deals than previous years because of COVID, but Series A valuations st…


The DL - December 2020 PNW Venture Deals, DL Dossiers, and Top Articles from 2020

Series B and Later Rounds 🚀Zenoti - All-in-one software for salons, spas, and medspas - $160M Series D led by AdventFLEXE - Marketplace for on-demand warehousing - $70M Series C led by T. Rowe PriceKymeta - Satellite communications on mobile platforms - $30M …


The DL - November 2020 PNW Venture Deals, New PNW Unicorns, and Sales Math

Series B and Later Rounds 🚀Vooks - Library of read aloud animated storybooks - $22M roundBattlefy - Platform for managing esports events - $4.6M roundSeries A Rounds 🛫MacroHealth - Data-driven healthcare procurement solutions - $54M Series AUmoja Biopharma - …


The DL - Exclusive: Special Stork Market Update 👶🏻

Thanks to all of the DL readers who gave us baby advice (we already have our shared iCloud album, Nara app on all of our devices, Hatch light, and new iPhones to take lots of photos. See below).We are going to be working hard to make sure this is a 1,000x dea…


The DL - October 2020 PNW Venture Deals, Kelsey Hightower, The 100X Club, and Netflix Recs

Here are the PNW startups that announced new fundraising rounds in the month of October. These 27 companies raised more than $400M last month!Series B and Later Rounds 🚀98point6 - On-demand, text-based primary care platform - $118M Series E co-led by L Catter…


The DL - Satya's 2020 Bonus, How Microsoft is Playing Games, The (Not Failing) Media Company, and Life (and Death) Advice

We're in Q4, which means a lot of people are getting year end bonuses, including the execs at Microsoft! Last week, Microsoft released their FY20 compensation report that describes how they set targets, evaluate performance, and ultimately determine executive…


The DL - Questions VCs Ask Startups, Best Prime Day Ever (Question Mark?), Guide to Marketplaces, and How to Build a Bridge

A few weeks ago, one of the local accelerators asked me if I had a list of questions to help startups prep for investor meetings. I didn't have one ready, but I thought it would be a great idea to write one, so here’s my list of questions that VCs ask startup…


The DL - What $500M Buys You in Seattle, Companies Taking Stands (Or Not), What's Next for Software Multiples, and Social Cooling

Here are some financial metrics for three Seattle area companies. They look very different, but all are valued around $500M. Can you guess what each of them are?Company A is a high margin, unprofitable business growing at a good (but not great) pace. It shoul…


The DL - September 2020 PNW Venture Deals, Trusting Amazon, How to Remote Work, and How to Sell SaaS

Here are the PNW startups that announced new fundraising rounds in the month of August. These 40 companies raised more than $450M last month!Series B and Later Rounds 🚀Silverback Therapeutics - Therapies designed to modulate fundamental disease pathways - $85…


The DL - Microsoft News, Mike Speiser's Playbook, and Obsidian Obsession, and Your First 1,000 Users

Microsoft made a bunch of big announcements for both new products and existing products last week. Here's a recap:GamesThe biggest headline in gaming world last week was Microsoft's $7.5B acquisition of Zenimax, the creator of games like Skyrim, Fallout, and …