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Madrona’s returns from the dot-com bust still shine

The late 1990s were tough times for many VC firms, which overextended themselves into money-losing (and often pointless) dot-com startups that eventually hit the wall. That caused big problems in the venture industry that are still being felt today. But not every firm took it on the chin. Case in point: Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group. Fortune’s… Read More

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Chart: VC returns on the mend

Earlier this year, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation issued a blistering report which said, among other things, that the majority of venture funds it had invested in over the years had failed to exceed returns available from the public markets. The report rattled the opaque VC industry, if for nothing more than its bluntness. Now, here comes a… Read More

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Optify lands more cash to boost marketing software tools

Optify has raised $2 million in additional financing from existing investors, money that comes in just a few weeks after tech veteran Rob Eleveld was tapped as CEO of the Seattle upstart. Eleveld, the former CEO of Shiftboard and Vykor, said that the money will be used to boost sales and marketing. “The inbound marketing software… Read More

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Tech Moves: Pearl Jam Web developer joins Seattle’s Yabbly; Rosenthal leaves Madrona; etc.

Ian Shafer has joined Yabbly, a new social decision making app created by former Marchex exec and Google product manager Tom Leung.  A 2001 graduate of the University of Washington’s computer science and engineering department, Shafer worked at Amazon.com as a software engineer before moving on to lead Web development for Pearl Jam’s online storefront. He… Read More

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Bad returns be damned: Venture capital fundraising jumps 31 percent in U.S.

We’ve seen a flurry of activity in recent weeks among Seattle area venture capital firms, led by Madrona Venture Group which raised $300 million last month and Divergent Ventures which pulled in $6.9 million of what partners hope will be a much larger fund. Meanwhile, SEC filings indicate that Frazier Healthcare and Voyager Capital — both of Seattle —… Read More

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Top posts: A sexually-charged video promoting Windows Azure leads the charts

Who knew that a video of a cheesy dance routine from a developer’s conference in Norway promoting Microsoft’s Windows Azure would grab so much attention. But that video, which we described as “raunchy” and GeekWire readers called “inappropriate”  and ”weird,” led the charts for the month of June. The post set off an active discussion, touching on everything from… Read More

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From wine picks to stocks: Could the ‘big data’ geeks at newly-formed Context Relevant predict the future?

Big data might very well be the tech buzz word of the year. And just how hot is it? Consider this:  Data scientist Stephen Purpura — an expert in artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics who is studying for his PhD in information sciences at Cornell University — has received no fewer than 45 job offers… Read More

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Digital photo organizer ThisLife lands $2.75M from Madrona

There’s no shortage of places to store your digital photos, from Facebook to Flickr to Instagram to Google’s Picassa to Photobucket to a computer’s hard drive. And that’s exactly the problem that ThisLife — a Palo Alto, California upstart that’s announcing $2.75 million in funding today in a deal led by Madrona Venture Group —… Read More

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After executive overhaul, AdReady lands new cash

AdReady is a company in transition, but one of the firm’s earliest venture backers still believes in the core mission of helping small and medium-sized businesses bolster their online display advertising efforts. Madrona Venture Group, outgoing CEO Karl Siebrecht and others have pumped an additional $500,000 in cash into the company. The money comes a… Read More

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Newly-formed W Fund to pump $20M into university spinouts

Washington’s startup community is getting yet another shot in the arm, thanks to the efforts of a newly-formed venture capital firm whose goal is to mine universities and research institutions for the state’s very best business ideas. The University of Washington’s W Fund is launching today with about $20 million from private industry, leading venture… Read More

Julie Sandler of Madrona

Startup Weekend Women’s Edition: Arriving July 13-15

Go to any Startup Weekend, and you’ll likely find the same thing. The majority of the geeks designing and developing new business ideas are … dudes. In fact, of the 630 Startup Events around the world, an average of 82 percent of the participants have been men. But that won’t be the case at an… Read More

Madrona Venture Group's Matt McIlwain. Photo via UW CSE

Madrona’s Matt McIlwain: Silicon Valley has a bad case of indigestion and may be ready for a correction

On Tuesday, we caught up with Madrona’s Matt McIlwain to talk about his firm’s new $300 million venture fund and why he’s so bullish about the Pacific Northwest startup community. Today, we’re back with the second part of the interview in which the veteran venture capitalist discusses everything from heated valuations to the effect of… Read More

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Mobilisafe promises mobile device security (without spying on employees)

It’s been just over a year since stealthy Mobilisafe came on to the scene with backing from Madrona Venture Group and John Stanton’s Trilogy Equity Partnership. But the Seattle startup, led by former T-Mobile software architects Giri Sreenivas and Dirk Sigurdson, is finally taking the wraps off its new mobile security service today. And what have the engineers been… Read More

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AdReady shakes up exec staff as it aims for profitability

AdReady, the Seattle online advertising startup, has eliminated three of its top executives and laid off other high-level staffers as it makes a bid to become profitable. Stepping down are CEO Karl Siebrecht; Senior Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing Randy Wootton; and Senior Vice President of Product and Business Development Matt Carr. Carr… Read More

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Farewell, coffee cards: Madrona bankrolls mobile loyalty rewards startup RewardLoop

Madrona Venture Group is heading north for its latest investment, leading a $1 million funding round in Vancouver, B.C.-based RewardLoop. This marks the second investment by Madrona in Vancouver in recent months, following its backing of online fashion startup Indochino. The RewardLoop system could replace the paper-based stamp cards that you often see at coffee… Read More

No Seattle VCs made the Forbes' Midas List. Photo: Mark Herpel

Guess how many Seattle VCs have the Midas touch?

Each year, Forbes ranks the top 100 venture capitalists. The “Midas List” — as the ranking is called — attempts to identify those investors who are building the most valuable technology and life science companies. It is easy to pick apart any list, especially one related to the nebulous world of venture capital. And this… Read More

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Decide.com brings gadget price predictions to the iPad

Decide.com has been on a roll in recent weeks, unveiling a new daily deal service, hiring top talent such as social media expert Shauna Causey and introducing a new service that tells shoppers the best time to buy home appliances. Now, the Seattle startup — co-founded by University of Washington computer scientist  Oren Etzioni and… Read More