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

January 4 · Issue #75 · View online
The DL
Happy new year!! If you’re one of the 1,046 new DL readers who joined over the last year, congratulations on finding the best weekly newsletter about tech, startups, and investing in the Pacific Northwest! 😄
But actually, I really appreciate you taking the time to let me into your inbox every Monday morning, and I love all of the notes, feedback, and emails that I receive from you. Thank you! 🙏
This week’s issue looks at…
  • December 2020’s PNW venture deals,
  • DL Dossiers (new in 2021!), and
  • The top 10 DL links from 2020
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December 2020 PNW Venture Deals
Series B and Later Rounds 🚀
  • Zenoti - All-in-one software for salons, spas, and medspas - $160M Series D led by Advent
  • FLEXE - Marketplace for on-demand warehousing - $70M Series C led by T. Rowe Price
  • Kymeta - Satellite communications on mobile platforms - $30M round led by Hanwha
  • Boast.AI - Tax credit automation system – C$30M Series A led by Radian
  • Rec Room - Online universe to play and create games with friends - $20M Series C led by Madrona
  • Group14 Technologies - Silicon-carbon composite materials for lithium-ion batteries - $17M Series B led by SK Materials
  • Freespira - Digital therapeutic to reduce or eliminate panic attacks and PTSD - $10M round led by Lightspeed
  • DomainTools - Domain and DNS threat intelligence platform - Round led by Battery Ventures
Series A Rounds 🛫
  • Beta Hatch - Insect-rearing technology for animal feed and fertilizer - $9.3M Series A led by Cavallo
  • iUNU - Greenhouse management platform - $7M Series A led by S2G
  • Voodle - Short video communication platform for work - $6M round led by Madrona and Vulcan
  • Pienza - Enterprise software startup studio - $5.1M round
  • CoreStack - AI-powered cloud management platform - $4M round led by Iron Pillar
Seed Rounds 🌱
  • Crave Delivery - High end food delivery from award winning restaurants - $7.3M Seed led by StagedotO
  • NextStep - Online CNA training and placement program - $6.75M Seed led by SpringRock
  • Symbl - Technology to help companies transcribe conversations - $4.7M round led by Crosscut
  • Recurrent - Independent reports on the condition of used electric car batteries - $3.6M Seed led by Wireframe
  • Vouched - Digital ID verification platform - $3M round led by Flying Fish
  • ZeroWall - Holistic approach to information security across the enterprise - $2M Seed led by Susa
  • FleetNurse - On-demand healthcare staffing platform - $1.1M Seed led by Portland Seed Fund
  • Koan - OKR and status tracking platform - $1M round from BMNT
  • Sike Insights - Emotional intelligence platform for teams - $1M Seed
  • Picovoice - End-to-end platform for adding voice to edge devices - $500K Seed led by Founders’ Co-op
M&A and IPOs 💥
  • AbCellera - AI-powered antibody discovery platform - $483M IPO
  • Silverback Therapeutics - Therapies designed to modulate fundamental disease pathways - $241.5M IPO
  • Precor - Commercial fitness equipment manufacturer - $420M acquisition by Peloton
Thoughts and Observations 🧐
  • 🔥 Biotech IPOs are even hotter than SaaS! AbCellera and Silverback both raised big rounds in the last six months and went on to IPO last month. AbCellera is extra hot right now because they are developing antibody treatments for COVID-19
  • 🦄 Unicorn alert! Congrats to the Zenoti team on becoming the 9th PNW startup to reach a $1B valuation this year! (10th if you include Athira hitting $1B post-IPO!)
  • 🎉DL SHOUTOUT goes to… Rec Room (Madrona’s latest investment)! Rec Room is building a metaverse for people to build and play games with friends. And it sits right in the middle of my investment themes of low code tools and online communities
Announcing... DL Dossiers (New in 2021!)
Who's next!
Who's next!
If you’re a DL subscriber, you probably follow the PNW startup and venture landscape pretty closely and you might’ve wondered to yourself, “What are the best startups in Seattle that I should be paying attention to?
Well whether you are tracking startups to decide where to work, who to partner with, or what to invest in, you’ll love DL Dossiers. Dossiers will be deep dives into companies examining:
  • which companies are hot and why investors are excited about them,
  • who their customers are and how they’re solving their problems,
  • why employees are joining them and what it’s like to work there,
  • how they expect to grow and how big they can get!
I’ll be focusing on companies who have recently raised Series B or Series C funding rounds to start, so if you have thoughts on which companies you would like to read about in a DL Dossier, please hit reply!
Other stuff Dan's talking about
Isn’t it funny how now that we are done with 2020, everyone is doing a year end review to remind you of all the things that happened last year? Well here’s a look back at the 10 most popular links from last year’s newsletters!
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, Snowflake, Apptio, and Redfin.
If you have thoughts, questions, or comments, hit reply! If you’re new, check out some of the DL’s top articles from the last few months:
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