Founder’s Co-op raises $8M angel fund, looks to become a ‘catalyst’ for the NW startup community

Founder’s Co-op, the angel investment fund led by Andy Sack and Chris DeVore, has raised a new $8 million fund from some of the top names in the Seattle technology community.

Managing partner Chris DeVore tells GeekWire that the new fund — raised over the past 12 months — will be used to bankroll as many as 20 new startup companies in the Pacific Northwest.  It plans to invest between $100,000 and $750,000 in early-stage startups.

Backers of Founders Co-op include Concur president Raj Singh; Ontela co-founder Dan Shapiro; Swype CEO Mike McSherry; AdReady CEO Karl Siebrecht; angel investor Vijay Vashee and more than 50 others from the technology community.

DeVore said they targeted important influencers and technologists in their fundraising campaign, adding that he was emboldened that so many folks from the community supported the mission.

While a filing with the SEC today indicates that the firm could target up to $10 million, DeVore says they’ve put the brakes on new fundraising at this point in order to focus on new deals.  He said they could go out to raise additional capital as early as next year.

Andy Sack, Geoff Entress and Chris DeVore. (Photo by Red Box Pictures)

Sack and DeVore, who previously co-founded Judy’s Book, started Founder’s Co-op in 2008 with about $2.5 million. The goal at the time was to provide much-needed seed capital to entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest, a region that the entrepreneurs felt was underserved.

Since then, Founder’s Co-op has bankrolled more than a dozen companies on the West Coast. Those include Simply Measured, Estately, Deal Co-op, Appature, BigDoor and others.

Chris DeVore

DeVore said that he still feels like the Pacific Northwest is a hidden gem of startup activity, with Founder’s Co-op positioning to be the “talent scouts” for the best entrepreneurs.

“We like to be thought of the guys who find the best stuff in the Northwest,” said DeVore, adding the the firm sees its role as a “catalyst” for the Pacific Northwest technology community.

“We’re entrepreneurs first, investors second, and we love working with passionate founders to create great companies,” the firm writes on its Web site. “We think that the Pacific Northwest needs to offer a more supportive and open environment for new startups and want Founders Co-op to be a driving force in realizing that change.”

Sack is involved in a number of other projects in the region, heading up TechStars Seattle and overseeing an alternative investment firm known as Lighter Capital. DeVore also is involved in the Portland Incubator Experiment.

In addition to Sack and DeVore, Seattle super angel Geoff Entress serves as a strategic partner with the firm.

Asked if Founder’s Co-op planned a celebration to mark the closing of the new $8 million fund, DeVore noted that nothing special was in the works.

“The celebration is just being able to do what we do, which is spend time with entrepreneurs,” he said.

  • Anonymous

    Congrats to Chris and Andy! Seattle’s lucky to have you.

  • Anonymous

    It is important to note the very last quote by Chris, “The celebration is just being able to do what we do, which is spend time with entrepreneurs” because it stays true to what Founder’s Co-op is trying to achieve. Fostering relationships with entrepreneurs to create great companies will in turn help grow the Seattle tech community’s base of founders that can give back and guide others. 

    Congrats!

  • http://www.rescuetime.com Anonymous

    [slowclap] Well done, Chris & Andy!  You guys are truly changing Seattle for the better!

  • Bryan Starbuck

    Congrats. This is great for Seattle.

  • http://twitter.com/Bonanzlemark Bonanzlemark

    Great win for the Northwest!

  • http://twitter.com/nicksoman Nick Soman

    Congrats guys!  Now let’s put that money to work. :)

  • Anonymous

    This is great! Can’t wait to see more local companies getting the capital they need to grow!

  • http://www.thoughtful.co Chris Lynch

    Excellent work Chris and Andy!

  • Dan

    Congrats!! I appreciate what you guys do for Seattle startups. Keep it up.

  • http://twitter.com/lunarmobiscuit Michael ‘Luni’ Libes

    Congratulations C & A!  Can’t wait to see what you two cook up with this new round…