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The DL - June 2020 PNW Venture Deals, 2020 Big Tech M&A, and GTM Benchmarks for SaaS Companies

Welcome to The DL, a weekly newsletter about tech, startups, and investing in the Pacific Northwest.
July 6 · Issue #55 · View online
The DL
Welcome to The DL, a weekly newsletter about tech, startups, and investing in the Pacific Northwest.

This week’s issue covers June 2020 PNW venture deals, Vancouver’s appearance on the front page of the internet, 2020 Big Tech M&A, and GTM benchmarks for your SaaS company.

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June 2020 PNW Venture Deals
Here are the PNW startups that announced new fundraising rounds in the month of June. These 20 companies raised more than $1.1B last month!

Series B and Later Rounds 🚀
  • Sana Biotechnology - Platform to repair and control genes in cells or replace any cell in the body - $700M “initial financing”
  • Vacasa - Vacation rental management services - $108M Series D led by Silver Lake
  • Athira Pharma - Drug company focused on neurodegenerative diseases - $85.5M Series B led by Perceptive Advisors
  • Outreach - Sales engagement platform designed to automate repetitive sales tasks - $50M Series F led by Sands Capital
  • Unbounce - Custom landing page builder designed to increase website and campaign conversions - $38.4M round led by Crest Rock
  • Thoughtexchange - Crowdsourcing software for surfacing insights from employees, communities, and customers - $30M Series B led by IVP
  • HeadLight – Photo-based inspection software for the construction industry - $25.6M Series B led by Viking Global

Series A Rounds 🛫
  • Proprio - Computational imaging for precision tasks like brain surgery - $23M Series A led by Data Collective
  • DigniFi - Fast, affordable loans for car repairs - $14M Series A led by BuildGroup
  • - Platform to help software vendors list in cloud marketplaces - $7.25M Series A led by Bessemer
  • Dumpling - Platform for individuals to start, run, and grow a personal shopping business - $6.5M Series A led by Forerunner
  • Honey Mama’s - Manufacturer of honey cocoa bars - $5.8M Series A led by Amberstone
  • WiBotic - Wireless charging and power optimization systems - $5.7M Series A

Seed Rounds 🌱
  • Zeitworks - Software to discover, analyze, and improve customers’ business processes - $4.5M Seed led by Madrona
  • DemandStar - Open marketplace for bidding on government contracts - $2M Seed led by Version One
  • StrategyBox - Online dashboard for making data-driven decisions - $2M Seed led by Fuel Ventures
  • Modento - Cloud-based patient engagement platform for dentists - $1M Seed
  • Humanly - Automated platform for candidate screening, scheduling, and engagement - $800K Seed
  • Observa - AI platform for providing real time insights into shelf issues- $725K Seed
  • DivDot - Online payments for high-value transactions - $500K Seed

M&A and IPOs 💥

Thoughts and Observations 🧐
  • Investors are back! Tons of later stage deals, tons of early stage deals, and 2020’s largest tech IPO!
  • Makes sense that the former CEO, CFO, and President of R&D from Juno ($9B exit) can raise $700M to start a new company. And nice flex to title their press release “Completion Of Initial Financing”
  • The only consumer deals were Vacasa, Honey Mama’s, and DigniFi. Everything else was life sciences or enterprise software

Vancouver, WA on the front page of Reddit 👏
Of course, Reddit was quick to point out that Batman’s mask doesn’t cover his mouth or nose. 😆

What's next for M&A?
Here’s a cool chart from The Economist showing all of the deals that the big tech companies have done over the last decade. Interestingly, the last three multi-billion dollar acquisitions were all Microsoft and Amazon deals.

Last week, Amazon announced another big deal, acquiring Zoox, an autonomous driving startup, for $1.2B. According to Pitchbook, Amazon has acquired two other companies this year (DataRow and Sye), and Microsoft has acquired five (Affirmed Networks, Metaswitch, Softomotive, CyberX, and ADRM Software).

Earlier this year when markets were down, I was expecting to see more big acquisitions by the big tech companies, but with the “V-shaped” recovery for technology stocks (SaaS multiples are at all-time highs), 2020 will probably look more like 2019, where we primarily saw small to mid-size deals.

Other stuff Dan's talking about
🔟 Top 10 GTM Takeaways - Great deck from Redpoint with GTM benchmarks for SaaS companies. Lots of great data, but if you just want the highlights, skip to the last 10 slides
🤖 NVIDIA AI Demos - Here is an “AI Playground” to turn your Chihuahua into a German Shepard, produce beautiful paintings, and erase people from your photos! Very cool demos
🚗 Tesla x Burger King - Someone uploaded a video of their Tesla Autopilot confusing the Burger King sign for a stop sign… so Burger King turned it into an ad campaign
📺 TV Ads as Stock Tips - According to this Columbia Law School research, every $1 of TV ad spend drives $0.40 cents of additional trading volume in the advertiser’s stock

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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! If you’re new, check out some of the DL’s top articles from the last few months:

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