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The DL - An inside view into Pacific Northwest Tech

Welcome to The DL, a weekly newsletter about tech, startups, and investing in the Pacific Northwest.
December 2 · Issue #24 · View online
The DL
Welcome to The DL, a weekly newsletter about tech, startups, and investing in the Pacific Northwest.

This week’s issue has Cyber Monday deals from PNW startups, a guide to building a $100B SaaS company, and a profile of my favorite celebrity couple.

Also, any DL readers at re:Invent this week? I’d love to meet up! Send me a note!

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PNW Cyber Monday Picks 2019
Cool data viz showing live Shopify orders -
Cool data viz showing live Shopify orders -
In case you want to buy something because it’s Cyber Monday, but you don’t know what to buy… this week’s DL is celebrating Cyber Monday with a bunch of deals from PNW startups! Here we go!

  • 2048 Blast - If you like games like Candy Crush and 2048, check out my (super fun 😁) mobile game for iOS and Android. And here are a ton of promo codes for free gold on the App Store to get you started!
  • Cosmic Crisp - Not really a “deal,” but WSU invented a new apple that is supposed to be insanely good/disrupt the apple industry, and it just hit stores! But if you can’t find it, get some Cougar Gold instead
  • CrowdCow - Farm to table meat and seafood shipped to your door (they even have subscriptions). Their Japanese A5 Wagyu is amazing - and on sale for Cyber Monday!
  • FUNBOY - Luxe floats and inflatables for that influencer lifestyle. In addition to the floats you see the Kardashians hanging out on, they have winter stuff like snowmobile sleds (2 pack on sale today)
  • Gemma - Here’s a cool PSL spinout. Take a 2 minute hair quiz and get the perfect formulas for shampoo and conditioner for your hair. $32 off your order for Cyber Monday!
  • Looptworks - This Portland startup upcycles stuff like old NBA jerseys and Southwest airlines seats to create limited edition products. They’re offering 20% off this week
  • Mystery - Founded by a group of Convoy alums, this is a cool concierge-style service that sets up a night out without the planning. Check out the Geekwire review, and get $20 off with this code
  • Saalt - Rapidly growing company based in Boise with an amazing mission. Go read their founding story and why they started selling menstrual cups! 15% off online orders this week
  • Slumberkins - Two moms in Portland started this company in 2016 to create children’s books and toys that promote early emotional learning. Seems like a great Christmas present for parents with little ones!
  • Rad Power Bikes - The largest ebike company in North America is based right here in Seattle! You probably see them everywhere, and today is your chance to get $200 off a new ebike
  • Rumpl - Portland-based Rumpl got started when the founders started talking about why sleeping bags are so comfy and had a great idea to make a sleeping bag (i.e., puffy) blanket. Get one today for 25% off!
  • Pela - Up in Kelowna, BC, Pela is making compostable iPhone cases approved by Jay-Z (who led their last funding round), and as of last month, they’d sold over half a million cases. 50% off today
  • Wildfang - “A home for badass womxn everywhere.” If you want one of their badass Wild Feminist shirts or sweaters, they’re 40% off today!
  • Wiivv - This Vancouver-based startup uses 3D printing and computer vision to create custom insoles and sandals, using just your smartphone. $35 off everything today
  • Wyze - Amazon alums founded a startup selling smart home devices at really low prices. Pretty sweet Cyber Monday deals like a $5 smart bulb and $60 Echo Show + camera combo (how can it be so cheap??)

  • 🌟 Last but not least the DL is running an epic Cyber Monday promotion! This week only, forward the DL to a friend, and they can sign up for a free lifetime subscription ($9,999 value - conservatively)!

How to build a $100B SaaS company
Ok. That was a lot of consumer startups, so I’ll balance it out with a great article from Jason Lemkin on what it takes to build a $100B SaaS company.

Here are the highlights:
  • 🥇 There is only one $100B+ SaaS company today -> Salesforce
  • 📈 73% of Salesforce’s growth comes from existing customers (this is why Net Revenue Retention is the most important metric in SaaS)
  • ⚖️ Growth is split 50/50 between new seats and new products
  • 🛍️ Salesforce’s customers that buy 2+ products spend 10x more
  • 💸 Salesforce has 2K customers spending $1M+ per year, and their largest customers (who spend $20M+) are growing the fastest
  • ✨ Salesforce, Zoom, Slack, and Pagerduty all have 130%+ net revenue retention

Other stuff Dan's talking about
👕 Digital clothing - I bet none of you bought digital-only clothing on Black Friday. How it works: you buy a digital sweater, send the company a picture of yourself, and they send your photo back with you wearing the sweater. Genius? Or insane? What do you think?
🎧 Naval Ravikant w/ Joe Rogan - Fantastic two hour podcast about how to design an amazing life in modern society with techie / philosopher / entrepreneur / guru Naval
📈 Startup financing trends data from Wilson Sonsini - Good reference from WSGR on median fundraising amounts, valuations, and deal terms
💑 John Legend and Chrissy Teigen - I love these two! Go read their Vanity Fair profile for a ton of great stories, like how John got his big break through a college roommate (Kanye West’s cousin), and how Chrissy is sad the second they land somewhere for vacation (because they’ll have to leave)

Please hit reply! (Or subscribe or forward!)
About me: I work as an investor at Madrona Venture Group, a Seattle-based venture capital firm that has been early partners with companies like Amazon, Smartsheet, Apptio, and Redfin.

If you have thoughts, questions, or comments, hit reply!

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