A security mishap left Remine wide open to hackers

Security is all too often focused on keeping hackers out and breaches at bay. But in the case of Remine, a real estate intelligence startup, it left its doors wide open for anyone to run rampant.

Remine is a little-known but major player in the real estate analytics and intelligence market. It works by collecting and mining vast amounts of real estate data — from public listings to privately obtained data from brokers and real estate agents from across the United States. The company, which last year raised $30 million in its Series A to help expand its real estate data and intelligence platform, claims it has data “on 150 million properties across all 50 states.”

But that data was only a few clicks away from being easily accessible, thanks to a misconfigured system.

The misconfiguration was found in Remine’s development environment, which although protected by a password, let anyone outside the company register an account to log in.

Thinking it was a secure space, Remine’s developers shared private keys, secrets and other passwords, which if exploited by a malicious hacker would have allowed access to the company’s Amazon Web Services storage servers, databases and also the company’s private Slack workspace.

Mossab Hussein, a security researcher at Dubai-based cybersecurity firm SpiderSilk, found the exposed system and reported the findings to TechCruch so we could inform the company of the security lapse.

The exposed private keys, he said, allowed for full access to the company’s storage servers, containing more than a decade’s worth of documents — including title deeds, rent agreements and addresses of customers or sellers, he said.

One of the documents seen by TechCrunch showed personal information, including names, home addresses and other personally identifiable information belonging to a rental tenant.

After TechCrunch reached out, Remine co-founder and chief operating officer Jonathan Spinetto confirmed the security lapse and that its private keys and secrets have been replaced. Spinetto also said it has notified customers with a letter, seen by TechCrunch. And, the company has retained cybersecurity firm Crypsis to handle the investigation, and that the company will “assess and comply” with applicable data breach notification laws based on the findings of the investigation.

Remine escaped bruised rather than breached, a lesson to all companies, large and small, that even the smallest bug can be enough to wreak havoc.

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Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace on coronavirus, WeWork and what’s shaking up proptech

Last week, we interviewed Brendan Wallace, a real estate-focused venture capitalist whose portfolio companies include Opendoor, which buys and sell homes, and scooter company Lime, which helps building owners navigate around parking requirements by installing docking stations instead.

We first talked with Wallace almost exactly three years ago when he and partner Brad Greiwe took the wraps off their venture firm Fifth Wall Ventures and its $212 million debut fund. What really stood out to us at the time is that it was backed by a long list of real estate heavyweights. They’re understandably eager to get a peek at up-and-coming technologies and, in some cases, deploy them.

Wallace and Greiwe have been awfully busy since that initial conversation. Last year, they closed a second flagship fund with $503 million in capital commitments. Fifth Wall is also working to close two other funds, including a $200 million retail fund focused on matching online brands with real-world real estate and a reported $500 million carbon impact fund whose capital will enable its limited partners to expressly invest in sustainable technology.

Wallace declined to discuss the last two funds, presumably owing to SEC regulations, but he did talk with us about what he says is the biggest thing to shake up the real estate industry in “the last five decades.” We also chatted about how the coronavirus impacted a recent fundraising trip to Singapore and how WeWork’s public retrenching has affected how investors feel about real estate startups right now (he suggests WeWork’s fall definitely made an impression). Some excerpts from our conversation follow, edited lightly for length and clarity.

TechCrunch: We’d read that you were recently in Singapore meeting with new investors.

Brendan Wallace: Yes, I was in Singapore meeting with our existing investors and it was a pretty unique time to be there. When I went, which was about two weeks ago, the outbreak of coronavirus was fairly contained in China. But then as you probably read, it spread pretty rapidly in Singapore, so at the moment, I’m actually kind of self-quarantining myself in my own house.

Where top VCs are investing in construction robotics

Venture capital has been flooding the various subverticals under the robotics umbrella in recent years, and the construction space is one of the largest beneficiaries.

Last November, we surveyed 13 of the top robotics-focused VCs to find out which areas of robotics are exciting them most going into 2020. One of the most common areas of attention respondents highlighted were startups focused on construction and manufacturing. In 2019 alone, the robotics space saw roughly 600 venture-backed fundraising rounds, while construction companies successfully raised roughly 200 venture rounds.

With our 2020 Robotics + AI sessions event on the horizon in early March, we’re diving back into the sector to learn about the attributes of construction attracting robotics VCs the most and which types of startups VCs are actually writing checks for in 2020. We asked 16 leading people who actively invest in construction robotics and work at firms spanning early to growth-stage to share what’s exciting them most and where they see opportunity in the sector:

 

Rohit Sharma, True Ventures

True Ventures has been investing in industrial automation broadly for 4+ years and focusing on founders who bring technology to market that eliminates repetitive manual labor and multiplies human productivity by automating routine tasks.

After closing its $2.2 billion latest tech fund, KKR adds top Cisco exec to its leadership team

KKR, the multibillion-dollar multistrategy investment firm, is beefing up its technology practice with the appointment of Rob Salvagno as a co-head of its technology growth equity business in the U.S. 

It’s a sign that KKR is taking the tech industry seriously as it looks for new acquisition and investment opportunities.

Salvagno, the former vice president of corporate development and head of Cisco Investments, was responsible for all mergers and acquisitions and venture capital investments at the company.

Over a 20-year career, Salvagno helped form and launch Decibel, the networking giant’s early-stage, several hundred-million-dollar investment fund.

“Our business has evolved significantly since we first launched our technology growth equity strategy over five years ago with a small team of five. Since that time, the growth of our business and the number of compelling investments we’re seeing around the globe have allowed us to not only expand our team, but also our technology experience, network and geographic reach,” said Dave Welsh, KKR partner and head of Technology Growth Equity, in a statement. “With the addition of a tech industry veteran like Rob to our team, we’re excited to continue to build for the future and position ourselves well to capture the many investment opportunities we see ahead.” 

To date, KKR has invested $2.7 billion in tech companies since 2014 and established itself as a player in late-stage tech investment with a team of 19 investment professionals. Earlier this month, the firm closed its $2.2 billion fund dedicated to growth technology investment in North America, Europe and Israel.

“Rob has an extensive background in security, [infrastructure] software and app dev and dev ops, a background which we believe will complement the existing teams’ skillset very well,” said Welsh in an email. “[And] our focus areas for our second firm will be similar to the prior fund, namely a heavy focus on software with some additional focus on consumer internet, fintech/insurtech and tech enabled services.”

Application development software and security technologies will also remain a core focus for the firm, according to Welsh.

“Additionally, we will be ramping up our time spent on infrastructure software (i.e. software used to run modern data center / cloud environments), application dev and development operations (i.e. app dev and dev ops solutions) as well as software solutions focused on certain vertical industries (such as real estate, legal, construction, hospitality),” the KKR co-head wrote in an email.

Real estate startup Homie plans to expand to more cities with $23 million in Series B funding

Homie has made an impression among younger, first-time home buyers in the Utah and Arizona markets for cutting out the traditional closing costs, 6% real estate commissions and arduous paperwork associated with traditional home sales. It now plans to explore opening up in three new markets and will begin a Vegas launch in March with a fresh infusion of $23 million in Series B equity financing.

While most real estate outfits now cater to customers online, Homie takes a different approach, employing real estate agents who will help them through the process but who don’t take a commission. Instead, sellers get a $1,500 flat fee and buyers and sellers are guaranteed built-in attorney assistance for the negotiation process.

The 6% traditional commission associated with the home-buying process has been around for decades. However, it has also come under fire from the Department of Justice, which recently disagreed with a motion from the National Association of Realtors to dismiss several civil lawsuits lobbied against the organization. The move hints that the U.S. government may see these fees as archaic and unjustified, as well.

How do traditional agents feel about a proposed loss of commission? Those outside of Homie TechCrunch spoke to on anonymity have said it often takes more work with less pay to close a deal this way. However, that structure seems to resonate with Homie users. Through Homie, the company claims to have saved over $55 million in commissions, with a revenue growth of 150% over the past year. This bodes well for the company, if true.

The ability to expand is also a possibly good marker for the health of the company. Homie co-founder Johnny Hanna told TechCrunch previously he’d looked at the Vegas area, as well as Dallas for expansion.

A few other places we could see Homie pop up in the next year include Boise, Seattle, Colorado Springs and Nashville.

The other new news out of Homie this year is the addition of real estate adjacent services like Homie Loans™, Homie Title™ and Homie Insurance™, all of which serve to streamline the process for customers.

“Buying or selling a home is expensive and time-consuming because of all the different companies you have to work with,” Hanna said in a statement. “Communication becomes a game of telephone because of all the parties involved. We are disrupting the traditional model and saving customers thousands of dollars by combining technology, a team of experts, and a one-stop-shop for real estate. Technology has changed everything except the real estate business model. That time has finally come.”

Los Angeles-based CREXi raises $29 million for its online real estate marketplace

Los Angeles is one of the most desirable locations for commercial real estate in the United States, so it’s little wonder that there’s something of a boom in investments in technology companies servicing the market coming from the region.

It’s one of the reasons that CREXi, the commercial real estate marketplace, was able to establish a strong presence for its digital marketplace and toolkit for buyers, sellers, and investors.

Since the company raised its last institutional round in 2018, it has added over 300,000 properties for sale or lease across the U.S. and increased its user base to 6 million customers, according to a statement.

It has now raised $29 million in new financing from new investors including Mitsubishi Estate Company (“MEC”), Industry Ventures, and Prudence Holdings . Previous investors Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Jackson Square Ventures also participated in the financing.

CREXi makes money in three ways. There’s a subscription service for brokers looking to sell or lease property; an auction service where CREXi will earn a fee upon the close of a transaction; and a data and analytics service that allows users to get a view into the latest trends in commercial real estate based on the vast collection of properties on offer through the company’s services.

The company touts its service as the only technology offering that can take a property from marketing to the close of a sale or lease without having to leave the platform.

According to chief executive, Mike DiGiorgio, the company is also recession proof thanks to its auction services. “As more distressed properties hit the market the best way to sell them is through an online auction,” DiGiorgio says.

So far, the company has seen $700 billion of transactions flow through the platform and roughly 40% of those deals were exclusive to the company.

“The CRE industry is evolving, and market players, especially younger, digitally native generations are seeking out platforms that provide free and open access to information,” said Gavin Myers, General Partner at Prudence Holdings, in a statement. “CREXi directly addresses this market need, providing fair access to a range of CRE information. As CREXi continues to build out its stable of services, features, and functionality, we’re thrilled to partner with them and support the company’s continued momentum.”

CREXi joins the ranks of startups based in Los Angeles that have raised money to reshape the real estate industry. Estimates from Built in LA count roughly 127 companies, which have raised in excess of $2.4 billion, active in the real estate industry in Los Angeles. These companies range from providers of short-term commercial office space, like Knotel, or co-working companies like WeWork, to companies focused on servicing the real estate industry like Luxury Presence, which raised a $5 million round earlier in the year.

Roofstock, which makes it easier to buy a home as an investment property, just raised $50 million in new funding

There are plenty of startups that say they’re making it easier to buy a home. There are fewer startups that are promising to make it easier to buy a home as an income-producing property. Among these is Roofstock, a four-year-old, Oakland, Ca.-based online marketplace where buyers and sellers buy and sell rental homes in more than 70 U.S. markets — homes with tenants residing in them oftentimes. The idea: both institutional and retail investors can buy and sell homes without forcing renters to leave their homes; buyers can also presumably generate income from day one.

It’s a huge market to chase after. Though there’s an assortment of (huge) estimates out there, Roofstock pegs the single-family rental market at a whopping $3 trillion. Investors just gave the company a fresh $50 million to go after it more aggressively, too. Earlier backer SVB Capital led the round, but it was joined by Citi Ventures, Fort Ross Ventures and 7 Global Capital, as well some other earlier investors, like Khosla Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Canvas Ventures.

The company, which says it has facilitated more than $2 billion worth of transactions since launching, isn’t willing to talk about its post-money valuation (it has now raised roughly $125 million altogether). But its cofounder and CEO, Gary Beasley, answered some of our other questions this morning.

TC: How, or where, does the company drum up inventory?

GB: Roofstock’s properties come from a variety of sources, including individual property owners directly, brokers and agents who represent owners of investment properties, property management companies, listing services, and institutions. Last year the number of home sellers on Roofstock’s marketplace increased by 10 times.

TC: And they can list tenant-occupied properties on your marketplace?

GB: Yes [and that] has been difficult to do through traditional channels.

TC: Is there anything preventing new landlords from increasing the rent of tenants as soon as a property changes hands?

GB: Landlords need to honor existing leases and follow local laws and regulations when contemplating rent increases.

TC: Who determines pricing — Roofstock or the sellers?

GB: Sellers ultimately determine the pricing and sale strategy [but we] provide sellers with several data-driven tools to help them set a listing price, including comparable sales values, probabilities of sale at various prices, and estimates of days-to-sell. We also provide sellers with the ability to field offers on homes or list at a non-negotiable price. Nearly all sellers on Roofstock select the option to field all offers.

TC: Do you use any other information ‘hubs’ to assess the value of properties?

GB: We combine our data with various third-party sources, like Corelogic, House Canary, and Zillow to give investors a portrait of a property that includes valuation, neighborhood rating, comparisons with similar homes, as well as other tools and information.

TC: How does Roofstock get paid?

GB: We make money through each transaction. We charge 2.5 percent to sellers, and .5 percent to buyers.

TC: How long on average does it take to sell a house?

GB: The majority of properties that sell on Roofstock go under contract within 15 days or less, which is significantly faster than the industry standard.

TC:  How many properties has Roofstock sold thus far?

GB: We’ve facilitated more than $2 billion of transactions on our marketplace since we launched, and as of the fourth quarter of last year, our run rate was about 500 home transactions per month. It’s been extremely popular with the next generation of investors: 75% of our users are first-time real estate investors, and more than half are under 35.

TC: You operate in more than 70 U.S. markets. Where are you seeing the most transactions?

GB:  The top markets on Roofstock are Atlanta, Memphis, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and the greater Chicago area.

TC: How might a downturn in the economy impact the company’s business?

GB: Broadly speaking, single-family rentals have historically been a strong investment option during economic downturns. During the 2007 to 2011 housing downturn, rental rates [showed] positive rent growth despite broader economic conditions.

Los Angeles-based Luxury Presence raised $5.4 million for its real estate marketing services

Real estate is a big business in the sprawling city of Los Angeles and new technology tools to target the industry continue to attract investor attention.

The latest of these is Luxury Presence, which pitches digital marketing services to real estate agents and has raked in $5.4 million in financing to support the buildout of its services and sales teams to manage clients.

Previous investors Switch Ventures led the round, which included participation from new investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Toba Capital alongside previous investors Gerald Risk, Peter Kelly, Jonathan Erlich, and Blaine Vess.

“Our 2020 goal is to build a full digital marketing solution for real estate agents looking to build successful, lead-generating digital brands,” said Malte Kramer, the company’s chief executive, in a statement. “2019 was all about building the best real estate website platform in the sector and I’m so proud of what our team was able to accomplish. Our focus was on how to make beautiful, functional and lead-generating sites that were easily customizable to fit the agent’s needs and demands, and we did just that.”

According to estimates from Built in LA, there are roughly 127 companies, which have raised over $2.4 billion active in the real estate industry in Los Angeles. These companies range from co-working startups like Knotel or WeWork to companies focused on servicing the real estate industry (like Luxury Presence).

In all, the sector is growing quickly as venture investors look to find markets that were reluctant to embrace technology. The traditionally opaque world of high end real estate certainly applies.

 

How two-year-old Loft nabbed $175M led by Andreessen Horowitz

Loft may have better product market fit in Brazil than Opendoor does in the U.S. And now the São Paulo-based property tech company has growth funding to prove it.

Andreessen Horowitz is doubling down on its first Brazil investment with Loft, a two-year-old real estate marketplace. The $175 million Series C was co-led by Vulcan Capital. 

In the U.S., sites like Opendoor give us visibility into how much your house or properties you’re interested in are worth. That transparency doesn’t exist in Latin America. 

Loft founder and co-CEO Mate Pencz describes the residential real estate market in Latin America as a $6 trillion opportunity. As it exists now, lack of data transparency around property listings results in low-quality listings, disproportionately high asking prices and prolonged selling times. This creates a painful experience for buyers, sellers and brokers. The market is locked up, but Loft thinks it can create transparency and liquidity with open data sets for property value. 

Loft has been supported by some pretty big Silicon Valley names since its genesis in 2018. Loft raised equity capital from angel investors such as Max Levchin of PayPal, Joe Lonsdale of Palantir, Opendoor founder Eric Wu, Mike Krieger of Instagram, David Vélez of Nubank and Josh Kushner of Thrive Capital, whom Pencz met during undergrad studies at Harvard. It helped that Loft was not Pencz’s first entrepreneurial rodeo — the founder started web-printing company Printi, which exited to Vistaprint in 2014 for a $25 million stake. 

Growth-stage funding will enable Loft to scale

Pencz says they’ve transacted on 1,000 properties in their key market of São Paulo, and plans to tackle new cities with the “Uber growth model” of replicating the same service in new cities, like Mexico City. Loft is currently operative in Brazil, and has big plans for Mexico in 2020. Penzc has poached the Latin American head of Uber Eats, Juan Pablo Ramos, to launch Loft’s services in Mexico City within the next two to four months. As Loft mobilizes in Mexico, this could mean trouble for Flat, an existing Opendoor clone in Mexico, which will now fight for market share against a heavily funded competitor. 

Loft’s São Paulo HQ

When it comes to marketing, Loft isn’t thinking about Facebook or SEO performance advertising. Pencz sees more value in physically integrating the Loft brand into the fabric of new neighborhoods through festival sponsorships and community events, while leveraging broker channels. “Partnering with brokers and being perceived as a positive brand with a high NPS are the two key pillars of Loft’s expansion strategy,” says Pencz. 

The founders began by physically measuring buildings and making estimates about how much houses and apartments were worth. The founders didn’t stop there — they envision the future of Loft as a one-stop shop with services like renovations, property financing for mortgages and insurance through banks. The company wants to completely upend real estate in Latin America, and those big ambitions have piqued investor interest. 

Andreessen Horowitz and Vulcan Capital co-led the Series C, with participation from QED Investors, Fifth Wall Ventures, Thrive Capital, Valor Capital and Monashees. What is a16z’s Latin America strategy?

Andreessen Horowitz general partner Alex Rampell notes that while Loft marked the firm’s entry into Brazil, the fund has been active in Latin America for a few years: a16z invested in Colombia’s delivery unicorn Rappi, Uruguayan restaurant management platform Meitre and Colombian point of sale lender ADDI. And, a16z joined in Loft’s $70 million Series B that closed in March 2019.

Rampell, who previously invested in Opendoor and sits on the board of TransferWise, says that a16z doesn’t really have an investment strategy when it comes to Latin America. Instead, the idea with Loft was that while the iBuyer Opendoor for transactional multiple listing services isn’t by any means a proprietary business model, it may work better in a country like Brazil — where buyers and sellers are slowed down by bureaucratic policies and lack of fair market value data — than in the U.S. To put it simply, Loft has better product market fit in Brazil than Opendoor does in the U.S. 

Loft hopes its customer-friendly Nubank-esque branding will win over new users 

Rampell references the U.S.’s Groupon and Korea’s Coupang for comparison. The Groupon model blew up in Asia as Coupang’s valuation reached $9 billion. Groupon rose fast and fell hard, and now its founders are on to their next entrepreneurial ventures

“There’s a lot of value in multiple listings services, and the opportunity might be better for a market like Brazil, especially if you back the right entrepreneurs — because that’s all that really matters in the end,” says Rampell. This new model that opened or pioneered at the iBuyer model is going to pop up all around the world. So VCs are figuring out the best pockets of the world for different business models, and finding the best entrepreneurs to lead these companies. The thesis for Loft’s growth funding is that Brazil is underserved on this particular macro trend. 

Loft monetizes through the sale of properties and ancillary products. Cuts from referral and partnership fees from banks or insurance companies will continue to help Loft monetize, in addition to the $275 million in capital it has raised during its two short years in existence. 

Pencz declined to comment on Loft’s valuation.

In the shadow of Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle startups are having a moment

Venture capital investment exploded across a number of geographies in 2019 despite the constant threat of an economic downturn.

San Francisco, of course, remains the startup epicenter of the world, shutting out all other geographies when it comes to capital invested. Still, other regions continue to grow, raking in more capital this year than ever.

In Utah, a new hotbed for startups, companies like Weave, Divvy and MX Technology raised a collective $370 million from private market investors. In the Northeast, New York City experienced record-breaking deal volume with median deal sizes climbing steadily. Boston is closing out the decade with at least 10 deals larger than $100 million announced this year alone. And in the lovely Pacific Northwest, home to tech heavyweights Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle is experiencing an uptick in VC interest in what could be a sign the town is finally reaching its full potential.

Seattle startups raised a total of $3.5 billion in VC funding across roughly 375 deals this year, according to data collected by PitchBook. That’s up from $3 billion in 2018 across 346 deals and a meager $1.7 billion in 2017 across 348 deals. Much of Seattle’s recent growth can be attributed to a few fast-growing businesses.

Convoy, the digital freight network that connects truckers with shippers, closed a $400 million round last month bringing its valuation to $2.75 billion. The deal was remarkable for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was the largest venture round for a Seattle-based company in a decade, PitchBook claims. And it pushed Convoy to the top of the list of the most valuable companies in the city, surpassing OfferUp, which raised a sizable Series D in 2018 at a $1.4 billion valuation.

Convoy has managed to attract a slew of high-profile investors, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and even U2’s Bono and the Edge. Since it was founded in 2015, the business has raised a total of more than $668 million.

Remitly, another Seattle-headquartered business, has helped bolster Seattle’s startup ecosystem. The fintech company focused on international money transfer raised a $135 million Series E led by Generation Investment Management, and $85 million in debt from Barclays, Bridge Bank, Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley Bank earlier this year. Owl Rock Capital, Princeville Global,  Prudential Financial, Schroder & Co Bank AG and Top Tier Capital Partners, and previous investors DN Capital, Naspers’ PayU and Stripes Group also participated in the equity round, which valued Remitly at nearly $1 billion.

Up-and-coming startups, including co-working space provider The Riveter, real estate business Modus and same-day delivery service Dolly, have recently attracted investment too.

A number of other factors have contributed to Seattle’s long-awaited rise in venture activity. Top-performing companies like Stripe, Airbnb and Dropbox have established engineering offices in Seattle, as has Uber, Twitter, Facebook, Disney and many others. This, of course, has attracted copious engineers, a key ingredient to building a successful tech hub. Plus, the pipeline of engineers provided by the nearby University of Washington (shout-out to my alma mater) means there’s no shortage of brainiacs.

There’s long been plenty of smart people in Seattle, mostly working at Microsoft and Amazon, however. The issue has been a shortage of entrepreneurs, or those willing to exit a well-paying gig in favor of a risky venture. Fortunately for Seattle venture capitalists, new efforts have been made to entice corporate workers to the startup universe. Pioneer Square Labs, which I profiled earlier this year, is a prime example of this movement. On a mission to champion Seattle’s unique entrepreneurial DNA, Pioneer Square Labs cropped up in 2015 to create, launch and fund technology companies headquartered in the Pacific Northwest.

Boundless CEO Xiao Wang at TechCrunch Disrupt 2017

Operating under the startup studio model, PSL’s team of former founders and venture capitalists, including Rover and Mighty AI founder Greg Gottesman, collaborate to craft and incubate startup ideas, then recruit a founding CEO from their network of entrepreneurs to lead the business. Seattle is home to two of the most valuable businesses in the world, but it has not created as many founders as anticipated. PSL hopes that by removing some of the risk, it can encourage prospective founders, like Boundless CEO Xiao Wang, a former senior product manager at Amazon, to build.

“The studio model lends itself really well to people who are 99% there, thinking ‘damn, I want to start a company,’ ” PSL co-founder Ben Gilbert said in March. “These are people that are incredible entrepreneurs but if not for the studio as a catalyst, they may not have [left].”

Boundless is one of several successful PSL spin-outs. The business, which helps families navigate the convoluted green card process, raised a $7.8 million Series A led by Foundry Group earlier this year, with participation from existing investors Trilogy Equity Partners, PSL, Two Sigma Ventures and Founders’ Co-Op.

Years-old institutional funds like Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group have done their part to bolster the Seattle startup community too. Madrona raised a $100 million Acceleration Fund earlier this year, and although it plans to look beyond its backyard for its newest deals, the firm continues to be one of the largest supporters of Pacific Northwest upstarts. Founded in 1995, Madrona’s portfolio includes Amazon, Mighty AI, UiPath, Branch and more.

Voyager Capital, another Seattle-based VC, also raised another $100 million this year to invest in the PNW. Maveron, a venture capital fund co-founded by Starbucks mastermind Howard Schultz, closed on another $180 million to invest in early-stage consumer startups in May. And new efforts like Flying Fish Partners have been busy deploying capital to promising local companies.

There’s a lot more to say about all this. Like the growing role of deep-pocketed angel investors in Seattle have in expanding the startup ecosystem, or the non-local investors, like Silicon Valley’s best, who’ve funneled cash into Seattle’s talent. In short, Seattle deal activity is finally climbing thanks to top talent, new accelerator models and several refueled venture funds. Now we wait to see how the Seattle startup community leverages this growth period and what startups emerge on top.