Rand Fishkin has put SEOmoz on a possible path to become one of the Seattle region’s next public companies. Succeed or fail, his other contribution to the community will be his brutal transparency as he shares his lessons learned.
The $18 million raised by SEOmoz in May wasn’t the largest venture capital financing for a Seattle tech company this year, but it was a particularly satisfying step for the search-engine optimization software company after its unsuccessful attempt to raise a large round of funding the previous year.
We know about that earlier “misadventure” because Fishkin publicly documented the highs and lows in a blog post at the time — part of an overall dedication to transparency that has made him an example for other entrepreneurs.
[Editor’s Note: SEOmoz is one of GeekWire’s annual sponsors.]
SEOmoz raised the $18 million in funding from Foundry Group of Boulder, Colo., along with one of SEOmoz’s original investors, Bellevue-based Ignition Partners. The company also added Foundry’s Brad Feld to its board. It was a key step for SEOmoz as the company contemplates several potential outcomes in the years ahead, and sets its sights on a possible initial public offering,
Ironically, going public would mean less transparency than Fishkin would prefer, as he acknowledged in his blog post in September publicly exploring the company’s options. At the same time, he noted, “There’s a strong desire to build a big, public company in Seattle, and we think the field of professional inbound marketers is a tremendous, long-term market that could support several public companies.”
He said SEOmoz is faced with “exciting opportunities that likely will result in incredible financial rewards” as long as the company stays true to itself and its principles.
“I won’t try to lie and say that doesn’t interest me — it does,” Fishkin wrote at the time. “I’ve often said at team meetings and in talks about Moz that I want to create a lot of new millionaires in Seattle who can give back to the startup and technology ecosystem and to their city in general.”
We’re pleased to name Rand Fishkin to our list of GeekWire Newsmakers of the Year for 2012.
We’re spotlighting all of our Newsmakers on GeekWire this month, leading up to the GeekWire Gala Dec. 6 at McCaw Hall in Seattle. Many of the newsmakers from the list will be joining us and the rest of the tech community that night to mark a remarkable year of news. Tickets available here.