Will the Seattle tech scene ever attain its full potential? – TechCrunch

Greetings from Seattle, the land of Amazon, Microsoft, two of the world’s richest males and a few startups.

I’m all the time stunned the Seattle startup ecosystem hasn’t grown to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley — or at the very least Boston and New York Metropolis — because the dot-com growth. As we speak, it’s the strongest it’s has 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. However the metropolis nonetheless lags behind, failing to undertake the tradition of entrepreneurship that defines San Francisco.

I spent numerous time questioning why it hasn’t reached its full potential. Is it as a result of Microsoft and Amazon pay their staff so properly they don’t have the identical urge to construct one thing from the bottom up? Is it a scarcity of entry to capital? Is the town not attracting high expertise? If in case you have ideas, ship them my manner.

“We expect a part of the difficulty is a scarcity of capital and a scarcity of assist,” Rover and Pioneer Square Labs co-founder Greg Gottesman advised TechCrunch earlier this 12 months. “If we are able to present a little bit little bit of each of these issues, we are able to actually put Seattle the place it deserves to be, needs to be and might be.”

Regardless of 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 Enterprise Companions, Maveron and Jeff Wilke, the chief government officer of Amazon Worldwide Client. Maveron, should you bear in mind, is the VC fund co-founded by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz.

In different Seattle information, Madrona Enterprise Group, a well-regarded fund, raised a further $100 million this week. Usually, Madrona focuses on firms primarily based within the Pacific Northwest, however this fund will deploy capital all through the whole U.S. Hmmm, that’s not essentially a great signal for Seattle founders, however nice progress for the ecosystem nonetheless.

Should you’re thinking about studying extra about Seattle tech, I’ve coated it a bit as a result of it’s my hometown! Begin with this story, which dives deep right into a Seattle accelerator that’s working exhausting to encourage entrepreneurship within the metropolis. Alright, on to different information.

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IPO corner!

WeWork: The co-working big now referred to as The We Firm submitted confidential IPO paperwork to the SEC, the corporate confirmed in a press release Monday. Is that this the following large startup win or a home of playing cards ready to be toppled by the glare of the general public markets? TechCrunch’s Danny Crichton investigates.

Slack: The enterprise is in its remaining steps towards a much-anticipated direct itemizing, with one supply telling TechCrunch the itemizing might be full inside 45 days. The WSJ reported this week that Slack will make a web-based presentation to potential shareholders on Could 13. This week, we dug deep into Slack’s S-1 and determined to guage simply how properly the tech press, us included, did in protecting the corporate. For probably the most half, the tech press did decently properly, apart from one curious, $162 million gap.

Uber: Lastly! 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 right this moment with out Kalanick, however him being there would certainly be a reminder of Uber’s rocky previous.

Beyond Meat: Shares of the corporate surged up 135 p.c 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.

Micro-mobility instability:

Ofo has run into its fair proportion of points, shedding lots of of staff, shutting down its worldwide division and extra. Now, you should purchase a chunk 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. TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden has the scoop. Plus, Fowl, the electrical scooter unicorn doing its finest to beat regulatory limitations, has made its manner again to San Francisco. Bird is using its business license in San Francisco to introduce month-to-month private leases within the metropolis. This system permits individuals 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 money. The corporate has secured one other $280 million in a cope with Japan’s largest cellular operator, Docomo. Have you learnt 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 venture capital funds:

Unshackled Ventures raised $20 million. 

Jungle Ventures closed on $175 million.

And Toyota AI Ventures launched a $100 million fund.

Startup Capital

Uber investors exit

I’ve the inside story on Menlo Ventures early Uber stake and TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos goes deep with early Uber backer Bradley Tusk.

Extra Crunch!

This week, we provide TechCrunch Further Crunch subscribers unique tips about constructing extraordinary groups. Plus, the final piece in TechCrunch’s Greg Kumparak’s collection on Niantic, the fast-growing developer of Pokemon Go. Should 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” within Google, to its spin-out as an independent company and the launch of Pokémon GO, to its ongoing deal with becoming a platform for others to build augmented reality products upon.

Should you get pleasure from this article, remember to take a look at TechCrunch’s venture-focused podcast, Fairness. On this week’s episode, out there here, Crunchbase Information editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and TechCrunch’s Danny Crichton chat about updates on the Imaginative and prescient Fund, Cheddar’s massive exit and extra of this week’s headlines.

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