Two of the Seattle area’s best-known venture capital firms have joined forces to back Tier 3, a five-year-old Seattle company that helps businesses manage IT infrastructure in the cloud. Ignition Partners and Madrona Venture Group are pumping $8.5 million into the company, which was founded five years ago and now counts Slalom Consulting, Exterro, Mars Hill Church and Microsoft as customers.

As a result of the investment, Tier 3 is gaining some heavyweights on the board. Madrona’s Matt McIlwain, who previously led the investment in Isilon Systems, and Ignition’s John Connors, the former CFO at Microsoft who previously sat on the board of Heroku, are now serving as directors.

Heroku and Isilon represent two of the biggest payoffs fro Ignition and Madrona in the past few years, so perhaps McIlwain and Connors are hoping they can strike an even bigger payoff with Tier 3 by working together.

“Tier 3 represents true disruptive innovation in the enterprise platform-as-as-service marketplace. The entire management team has a clear vision for providing a mission-critical platform for driving alignment with corporate revenue owners and their IT departments, and we are pleased to be part of the next phase of them realizing that vision,” said Connors in a release.

“We are in the very early days of “Next IT” for enterprise,” added McIlwain, adding that the startup did a good job of attracting paying customers with very little outside financing.

The investment comes just as I was lamenting the fact that Seattle VCs aren’t doing enough deals in their own backyard. [See: When will Seattle VCs start investing again in Seattle startups?] Hopefully, this is a the sign of a new trend.

Tier 3 is led by Adam Wray, who previously worked at Limelight Networks, Amazon.com and Akamai.

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire, a technology news site based in Seattle. Follow on Twitter @geekwirenews.

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