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

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December 7 · Issue #74 · View online
The DL
Welcome to The DL, a weekly newsletter about tech, startups, and investing in the Pacific Northwest.
This week’s issue looks at November 2020’s PNW venture deals, the PNW’s newest unicorn transplant, the math behind enterprise software sales, and what I’ve been working on over the last month.
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November 2020 PNW Venture Deals
Series B and Later Rounds 🚀
  • Vooks - Library of read aloud animated storybooks - $22M round
  • Battlefy - Platform for managing esports events - $4.6M round
Series A Rounds 🛫
  • MacroHealth - Data-driven healthcare procurement solutions - $54M Series A
  • Umoja Biopharma - Integrated in vivo immunotherapy platform - $53M Series A led by MPM Capital and Qiming Venture Partners
  • Stackline - Online retail intelligence platform - $50M Series A led by Goldman Sachs
  • Bumped - Tools to reward customers with shares of stock - $35.4M Series A led by Canaan
  • Attunely - ML platform for receivables management - $9.4M Series A led by Framework
  • SkyHive - Enterprise workforce reskilling platform - $8M Series A led by AllegisCyber and Accenture
  • Vimly Benefit Solutions - SaaS platform for benefits administration - $6.8M round
  • WattBuy - Electricity management platform - $3.25M Series A led by Evergy Ventures
Seed Rounds 🌱
  • Elevāt - Cloud-based industrial IoT platform - $9.5M Seed led by D4
  • Solstice Innovations - Insurtech digital platform - $4.95M Seed
  • Lightfox Games - Developer of socially connected mobile games - $3.8M Seed
  • Joon - Teletherapy for young adults - $3.81M Seed led by Route 66
  • Quantum Pigeon - Premium messaging app for influencers - $2.2M Seed
  • Concure Oncology - Innovative treatment for breast cancer - $2M round
  • A Kids Book About - Publisher of kids books about challenging topics - $1.25M Seed
  • The House of LR&C - Ecommerce platform for sustainable consumer goods - $1.05M Seed
  • Plunk - Mobile app designed to help homeowners maximize their equity value - $1M Seed
  • Puffworks - Organic peanut butter puffs - $880K Seed
  • Veana Therapeutics - Developer of α-TEA-based cancer immunotherapies - $830K Seed
  • Arrived Homes - Rental home investment platform - $580K Seed
  • Muse - Productivity app intended to help people develop ideas - $560K Seed
  • Funl - End-to-end go-to-market data platform - $524K Seed
M&A and IPOs 💥
Thoughts and Observations 🧐
  • 🦄 New unicorn alert! Boise-based Cradlepoint, a provider of wireless edge solutions, was acquired for $1.1B last month. Founded in 2006, their last valuation was $414M in 2017
  • Not many later stage deals but some very big Series As, such as Stackline, which raised $50M from Goldman Sachs in its first outside capital raise
  • Great to see seed activity in core Seattle startup sectors like real estate (Arrived, Plunk) and gaming (Lightfox)
  • Russell Wilson launched a new company with Ciara and Christine Day (former CEO of Lululemon), The House of LR&C
New PNW Unicorns 🦄
In addition to Cradlepoint getting acquired for $1B+ last week, Geekwire wrote a great article on Tanium, a $9B+ cybersecurity company that is moving its headquarters from the Bay Area to Seattle.
Here are some of the reasons Tanium’s CEO cited for their move:
  • CEO Orion Hindawi moved to Seattle in June, and the company already had several key executives in the Seattle area
  • Hindawi thought Washington had a more “competent and balanced” political landscape than California
  • After Tanium implemented a work-from-anywhere policy with no pay adjustment, there was a “mass exodus from the Bay Area”
  • Seattle is “unrivaled” when it comes to enterprise software expertise
According to the article, Seattle beat out Denver, Austin, and Nashville to become Tanium’s new HQ. A warm welcome to the PNW’s newest unicorn!
Simple Software Sales Math
David Sacks shared a great thread on the simple math behind setting up an enterprise software sales team last week. Here are the key takeaways:
  • The standard commission for SaaS sales is 10%
  • There is typically a 50/50 split between base and variable compensation for account executives (AEs)
  • (This gives you the chart above for a typical AE pay scale)
  • Quota Capacity (QC) is the total team quota, and the average sales team attains ~70% of quota capacity
  • A manager’s quota should be set at 80% of QC, and if the team is hitting 80%+ of QC, that’s a sign to hire more AEs
Some conclusions based on this math:
  • Because the fully-loaded cost of an AE is ~25% the cost of sales, and overhead is ~25% of sales, companies can spend ~50% of New ARR on CAC and keep payback under 12 months
  • It’s hard to build an enterprise sales motion if AEs can’t sell more than $400K of new ARR per year (which would imply $80-100K OTE)
There are more details in his full blog post here. Definitely an article worth saving as a reference!
Other stuff Dan's talking about
Well, I haven’t been doing much reading, sleeping, or anything else over the last month because of this guy. So here are some photos of baby Zac for your enjoyment!
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! If you’re new, check out some of the DL’s top articles from the last few months:
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