Madrona Venture Group Closes $250 Million Fund, Its Largest to Date

Times are good for at least one of the area’s tech-focused VC firms. Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group announced today that it has closed a $250 million fund, the largest in its 13-year history. Returning investors include the Kauffman Foundation, the University of Washington, the University of Virginia Management Company, and Investure, while new investors include the YMCA Retirement Fund and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the U.K.

Madrona focuses on several tech sectors, including consumer Internet, commercial software, media and advertising, networking, and wireless. Since 1995, it has invested in some 75 firms and has helped spin off more than 10 companies from UW’s Computer Science and Engineering Department, including travel search engine Farecast (which was bought by Microsoft in April for $115 million).

On its website Madrona claims that “The Pacific Northwest offers an ideal environment in which to grow early-stage information technology companies”—and raising a fund of this size certainly supports the argument. As a newcomer adjusting to Seattle’s physical environment (hello hills and cold, rainy June), I’m looking forward to learning the ins and outs of the area’s innovation environment as well.

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