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

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February 8 · Issue #80 · View online
The DL
The news cycle only lasts about 12 hours, but memes are eternal. In celebration of Jeff Bezos stepping down as the CEO of Amazon, this week’s DL highlights my top 10 Jeff Bezos quotes, retold as memes.
This week’s DL covers:
  • January 2021’s PNW venture deals
  • My top 10 Jeff Bezos quotes
  • What happened to Parler
If you’re one of the 16 new DL readers who joined last week, welcome to the best weekly newsletter about tech, startups, and investing in the Pacific Northwest.

January 2021 Venture Deals
Series B and Later Rounds 🚀
  • Tanium - Unified endpoint management and security platform - $150M round led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
  • Kardium - Medical devices for treating atrial fibrillation - $115M round led by Fidelity
  • Chronosphere - Scalable cloud-native monitoring tool - $43M Series B led by Lux, Greylock, and Lee Fixel
  • Fantuan - Asian food delivery platform - $35M Series B led by Orchid Asia
  • Conversa - Virtual care and communication platform - $20M Series B led by Northwell Ventures and Builders VC
  • Syndio - Pay-equity analysis software - $17M Series B led by Bessemer
  • Usermind - Experience orchestration platform - $14M Series C led by WestRiver Group
  • Spectrum Effect - Analytics software for mobile operators - $9.5M round
Series A Rounds 🛫
  • Cap Hill Brands - Private equity firm focused on profitable ecommerce businesses - $150M in debt and equity
  • AltPep - Peptide-based platform for diagnosing and treating amyloid diseases - $23M Series A led by Matrix
  • StackPulse - Incident response automation and orchestration platform - $20M Series A led by GGV
  • Parse Biosciences - Single-cell sequencing technology - $7.56M Series A led by Bioeconomy
  • Perfect Company - Smart scale for cocktails, baking, and blending - $6M Series A co-led by Oxbridge and Genesis
Seed Rounds 🌱
  • Strivve - Software that automates the process of updating online payment accounts - $8.10M Seed
  • Abdera Therapeutics - Precision oncology company developing targeted alpha radiation therapies - $8M Seed
  • Gemma Labs - Personalized shampoo and conditioner recommendations - $7.74M Seed led by PSL Ventures
  • Alchemy Code Lab - Software developer training program based in Portland - $5.8M round led by Social Finance UK
  • Lora DiCarlo - Don’t want to get caught in email filters! - $5.5M round led by Republic Labs
  • Hyperproof - Compliance operations platform - $4M Seed
  • Kevala - Staffing and care orchestration platform for long-term care facilities - $4M Seed led by Vulcan
  • Aardvark Labs - Stealth startup founded by serial entrepreneur Todd Hooper - $3.5M Seed
  • Secure - Emergency savings benefit program - $3.5M Seed led by SeaChange
  • Armoire - Online garment renting platform for women - $3.5M round
  • Fusebit - Application integration platform - $3.3M Seed led by Four Rivers
  • Yesler - B2B lumber and building materials marketplace - $3.3M Seed led by Tech Square Ventures
  • Autozen - Platform to help car owners sell their vehicles - CAD 4.2M Seed
  • Wize - All-in-one education platform intended to offer course-specific video tutorials - $3M Seed
  • Kubos - Open-source space flight software platform - $2.9M Seed
  • Omnivor - Production platform for volumetric video - $2.7M Seed led by Sway
  • Knapsack - Design system platform for shipping consistent apps - $2.52M Seed
  • Insent - Human-first chatbot software - $2M Seed led by Emergent
  • Brightly - Consumer platform for eco-friendly and sustainable products - $1M Seed
M&A and IPOs 💥
Thoughts and Observations 🧐
  • The startup funding market has gotten off to a crazy start in 2021. Lots and lots of deals and “exuberant” valuations
  • Even though there were a ton of late stage and seed deals, not as many Series A deals as normal
  • More than two-thirds of the list is B2B software or life sciences
  • NEXT WEEK: Our first DL Dossier will cover… Chronosphere! It will be a deep dive on why investors, customers, and employees are excited about this Series B startup building cloud-native monitoring tools
Top 10 Jeff Bezos Quotes
You’ve all read enough articles about Jeff Bezos stepping down as the CEO of Amazon last week, so I won’t belabor the topic. Instead, here is this week’s grand opus: My top 10 Jeff Bezos quotes, told in memes.
5. “If you can’t tolerate critics, don’t do anything new or interesting.”
4. “I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two – because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.
In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,’ [or] ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible.“
3. “Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”
2. “The framework I found which made the decision incredibly easy was what I called – which only a nerd would call – a ‘regret minimization framework’. So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, ‘Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.‘”
1. “As a senior executive, you get paid to make a small number of high quality decisions. If I make, like, three good decisions a day, that’s enough. And they should be as high quality as I can make them. Warren Buffett says he’s good if he makes three good decisions a year.”
BTW, you might have noticed this isn’t actually 10 memes. The email got really long, so I only included half. Here’s the full list!
Other stuff Dan's talking about
(this is a real screenshot!)
(this is a real screenshot!)
💰 $44M - The CDC paid Deloitte $44M to build a website for managing vaccine distribution, but (surprise!!) it’s so bad that states are abandoning it and using Eventbrite for vaccine appointments instead
📈 Benedict Evans 2021 - 134 slides on what’s interesting in the tech world right now and what will be interesting over the next 50 years. Lots of great charts showing the “big picture” trends that can be easy to overlook
Parler’s CEO… - finally got Parler back up, only to be immediately fired by his board, which is controlled by GOP donor Rebekah Mercer. Apparently, he was trying to ban certain entities in the app, and she didn’t like it
🐟 Out of Time - According to WA state, several salmon species in the PNW are “on the brink of extinction.” Here’s a deck on what’s happening to protect them (which includes a tribute to late Madrona founder, Bill Ruckelshaus)
Please hit reply! (Or subscribe or forward!)
About me: I’m an investor at Madrona, a Seattle-based venture capital firm that has been early partners with companies like Amazon, Smartsheet, Snowflake, Apptio, and Redfin.
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