Madrona Raises $300M Fund to Back Tech Startups in Seattle and Beyond

Madrona Venture Group, one of the most active venture capital firms based in the Seattle area, said Tuesday that it has raised a new, $300 million fund to support early stage technology businesses in the region and beyond.

Madrona had previously raised two separate $300 million investment funds (in 2012 and 2015) as well as a $250 million fund in 2008. Madrona’s latest fund is the seventh the firm has raised since launching in 1995.

Madrona said the new fund will allow it to invest in tech startups over the next three to four years. The firm’s areas of interest include cloud computing, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, Madrona said.

The VC firm said in a news release announcing the new fund that Madrona “primarily focuses on great founders based in the Pacific Northwest.”

Indeed, the four Mardona portfolio companies that held initial public offerings in the past two years are all based in Seattle or nearby Bellevue, WA. The four businesses are: Apptio (NASDAQ: APTI), Impinj (NASDAQ: PI), Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN), and Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR).

Still, a number of entrepreneurs who run startups based in the Seattle area have said they’ve found it challenging to get local VC firms to seriously consider backing their companies, according to a Geekwire report published earlier this year.

The report cited a study co-authored by researchers at the University of Washington’s Bothell School of Business and Iinnovate Network that found that “Seattle punches below its weight” in terms of the amount of venture capital startups based there raise.

Seattle-area companies raised a total of $1.73 billion in outside investment last year, up slightly from $1.53 billion in 2016, according to data from PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association.

Some of the companies in Madrona’s portfolio that raised private funding rounds of $20 million or more since the start of 2017 are: Booster, Echodyne, Heptio, Qumulo, and Skytap.

Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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