Founders’ Co-op Raises $25M to Back More Pacific Northwest Startups

Founders’ Co-op, a Seattle-based venture capital firm that has backed nearly 100 startups since its launch 11 years ago, has raised a new, $25 million fund to continue making investments.

According to a document filed with federal securities regulators, it’s the fourth fund Founders’ Co-op has raised, and the money came from 99 investors.

In an email message, Founders’ Co-op managing partner Chis DeVore confirmed it recently raised money for a new investment fund. Asked about the firm’s plans with the capital, DeVore responded: stay the course.

“We plan to keep doing what we’ve been doing, which is provide first-check support to the best technical founders in the Pacific Northwest,” he wrote.

Founders’ Co-op says on its website that it has made seed-stage investments in 91 startups, which have raised a combined $1.4 billion in funding.

Twenty-five of the startups in Founders’ Co-op’s portfolio have gone on to be acquired, the firm says. One portfolio company that had a high-profile exit was KITT.AI, which Chinese technology giant Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) acquired two years ago. Another startup Founders’ Co-op has backed, Portland, OR-based Skyward, was acquired by Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), also in 2017.

Many of the startups Founders’ Co-op has backed are headquartered in greater Seattle, such as Auth0, LevelTen Energy, LiveStories, Outreach, Remitly, and The Riveter. The firm’s portfolio also includes companies based in nearby metropolitan areas, like Portland and Vancouver, BC.

Founders’ Co-op has demonstrated that it prefers to invest close to home, though it’s not picky when it comes to industry. The startups it helps fund develop software and provide associated services for a variety of sectors, including artificial intelligence, cleantech, customer relationship management, and shipping and logistics.

DeVore and Aviel Ginzburg, general partner at Founders’ Co-op, both also help lead Techstars’ startup accelerator programs in Seattle. Techstars is based in Colorado but holds entrepreneurial training programs in dozens of cities. Since 2010, the organization has run an industry-agnostic accelerator in Seattle, which is based at a tech-focused area of the University of Washington campus. And for the past two years, Techstars has collaborated with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and others on the Amazon Alexa Accelerator. Several companies in Founders’ Co-op’s portfolio participated in one of the two Techstars Seattle accelerators.

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