Greetings from Seattle, the land of Amazon, Microsoft, two of the world’s richest males and a few startups.
I’m at all times shocked the Seattle startup ecosystem hasn’t grown to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley — or no less than Boston and New York City — for the reason that dot-com growth. Today, it’s the strongest it’s been as a result of successes of firms just like the newly minted unicorn Outreach, trucking enterprise Convoy and, in fact, the canine strolling startup Rover. But town nonetheless lags behind, failing to undertake the tradition of entrepreneurship that defines San Francisco.
I spent a number of time questioning why it hasn’t reached its full potential. Is it as a result of Microsoft and Amazon pay their workers so properly they don’t have the identical urge to construct one thing from the bottom up? Is it an absence of entry to capital? Is town not attracting prime expertise? If you have got ideas, ship them my manner.
“We think part of the issue is a lack of capital and a lack of help,” Rover and Pioneer Square Labs co-founder Greg Gottesman advised TechSwitch earlier this 12 months. “If we can provide a little bit of both of those things, we can really put Seattle where it deserves to be, should be and will be.”
Despite its shortcomings, there may be nonetheless some motion within the metropolis I need to spotlight this week. A same-day supply enterprise, Dolly, is on the rise. The startup advised me on Thursday it had raised a $7.5 million spherical from Unlock Venture Partners, Maveron and Jeff Wilke, the chief government officer of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. Maveron, when you bear in mind, is the VC fund co-founded by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz.
In different Seattle information, Madrona Venture Group, a well-regarded fund, raised an extra $100 million this week. Typically, Madrona focuses on firms based mostly within the Pacific Northwest, however this fund will deploy capital all through the complete U.S. Hmmm, that’s not essentially a great signal for Seattle founders, however nice progress for the ecosystem nonetheless.
If you’re curious about studying extra about Seattle tech, I’ve lined it a bit as a result of it’s my hometown! Start with this story, which dives deep right into a Seattle accelerator that’s working arduous to encourage entrepreneurship within the metropolis. Alright, on to different information.
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WeWork: The co-working large now referred to as The We Company submitted confidential IPO paperwork to the SEC, the corporate confirmed in a press launch Monday. Is this the following large startup win or a home of playing cards ready to be toppled by the glare of the general public markets? TechSwitch’s Danny Crichton investigates.
Slack: The enterprise is in its remaining steps towards a much-anticipated direct itemizing, with one supply telling TechSwitch the itemizing shall be full inside 45 days. The WSJ reported this week that Slack will make a web based presentation to potential shareholders on May 13. This week, we dug deep into Slack’s S-1 and determined to judge simply how properly the tech press, us included, did in masking the corporate. For probably the most half, the tech press did decently properly, aside from one curious, $162 million hole.
Uber: Finally! That ride-hailing firm goes public subsequent week. That newest information? Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick received’t be ringing the opening bell. Uber wouldn’t be the place it’s as we speak with out Kalanick, however him being there would absolutely be a reminder of Uber’s rocky previous.
Beyond Meat: Shares of the corporate surged up 135 % of their market opener final week, valuing the corporate as excessive as $3.52 billion. Volatility was so excessive on the corporate’s inventory that the Nasdaq needed to pause buying and selling of “BYND” shares.
Ofo has run into its fair proportion of points, shedding a whole lot of employees, shutting down its worldwide division and extra. Now, you should buy a bit of the startup’s historical past.
In different micro-mobility information, Lyft’s head of scooter & bikes Liam O’Connor, who was employed to assist transportation firm Lyft construct its bike and scooter operations, has left after seven months with the newly-public firm. TechSwitch’s Ingrid Lunden has the news. Plus, Bird, the electrical scooter unicorn doing its greatest to beat regulatory boundaries, has made its manner again to San Francisco. Bird is utilizing its enterprise license in San Francisco to introduce month-to-month private leases within the metropolis. The program allows folks to lease a scooter for $24.99 a month with no cap on the variety of rides. We’ll how that goes.
For some motive, individuals are giving Magic Leap more cash. The firm has secured one other $280 million in a cope with Japan’s largest cell operator, Docomo. Do you recognize what which means? The developer fo AR/VR headsets has raised a complete of $2.6 billion. We’re simply as confused as you.
Brand new enterprise capital funds:
Unshackled Ventures raised $20 million.
Jungle Ventures closed on $175 million.
And Toyota AI Ventures launched a $100 million fund.
Uber buyers exit
I’ve the within story on Menlo Ventures early Uber stake and TechSwitch’s Connie Loizos goes deep with early Uber backer Bradley Tusk.
This week, we provide TechSwitch Extra Crunch subscribers unique tips about constructing extraordinary groups. Plus, the ultimate piece in TechSwitch’s Greg Kumparak’s sequence on Niantic, the fast-growing developer of Pokemon Go. If you recall, we’ve captured a lot of Niantic’s ongoing story within the first three elements of our EC-1, from its beginnings as an “entrepreneurial lab” inside Google, to its spin-out as an impartial firm and the launch of Pokémon GO, to its ongoing give attention to turning into a platform for others to construct augmented actuality merchandise upon.
If you take pleasure in this article, make sure you take a look at TechSwitch’s venture-focused podcast, Equity. In this week’s episode, obtainable right here, Crunchbase News editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and TechSwitch’s Danny Crichton chat about updates on the Vision Fund, Cheddar’s huge exit and extra of this week’s headlines.