Bend-based Seven Peaks Ventures announced today that it’s launching its second fund, which aims to funnel $28 million in venture funding toward early stage tech startups in the PNW and rest of the west. The firm launched in 2013 with the goal of helping to fill the regional capital gap facing PNW, and particularly, Oregon-based startups. The first fund, which totaled $7.5 million, invested in multiple Oregon startups, including Bend-based Manzama, and Portland-based CrowdStreet and Bright.md.
Founder and Managing Director Dino Vendetti noted via a news release:
“Over the past five years, we’ve worked hard to claim a spot for Oregon on the map as a viable hub for capital and a great place to start a business. In that time, we’ve expanded our team, advisors and events portfolio to provide the highest level of coaching and support to entrepreneurs in the Northwest and beyond in other dynamic Western U.S. markets.”
Dino told Geekwire that he was on the front-end of investors who were interested in looking beyond Silicon Valley as place to launch and grow tech companies. Many then were skeptical that startups could thrive outside of major metropolitan areas, and especially outside the hub of startup and tech activity that is the Bay Area. (Indeed I recall interviewing people in 2013 and 2014 for stories and talking to investors who viewed an Oregon zip code, especially a Bend one, as a deterrent).
Fortunately, there’s been some noticeable progress in this area over the past five years, and Seven Peaks has certainly helped lead the charge, highlighting the potential and opportunity found in Oregon startups. “Today my VC friends from Silicon Valley don’t say we are crazy nearly as often — I take that as progress,” Dino says in the Geekwire piece.
While the VC firm has grown its fund size, it has also increased its partner ranks. The team now includes four general partners, DocuSign co-founder Tom Gonser; former Philips executive Corey Schmid; and former Oracle executive Matt Abrams. Former Thomson Reuters Division CEO Tony Abena joined as an operating partner; and five-time founder Dave Parker joined as a venture partner in Seattle. The Seven Peaks investment approach is purpose-built to surround portfolio founders with the help and resources they need at each unique stage of growth and scale, according to the news release.
The firm has already put some of its second fund to work — with more investments to come. Current investments from Seven Peaks II include Trusona, Matcherino, Metricstory, Owl Insights, Cricket Health, Torch 3D and ZAPinfo. The firm plans to invest in about 25 companies total. The fund investors included institutional investors such as the State of Oregon and the OSU Foundation, as well as family offices and returning limited partners.
Congratulations to the Seven Peaks team!
You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].