Washington Companies Raised $21M in March, Down from $53M in Previous Month
This is not good. Less than a month after proclaiming that venture funding may have stabilized at a lower but more sustainable level, I have to report that funding for Washington-based companies in March plunged to $21.3 million in just three deals. That’s significantly down from $53.5 million in 10 deals in February, and $57 million in eight deals the month before that. March looked a lot like December 2009, when Washington companies saw just four deals amounting to $22 million.
These stats were compiled by our partner, the private company intelligence platform CB Insights. Granted, the list doesn’t include financings under $1 million, and it excludes other Northwest geographies like Oregon, where we’ve seen a lot of activity lately.
But there’s no mistaking some signs for concern. The only sizable Series A round was $9.8 million from Ignition Partners, Benchmark Capital, and General Catalyst Partners for a stealthy Seattle online travel startup (NewTravelco) founded by former Expedia execs Rich Barton, Greg Slyngstad, Sunil Shah, and Simon Breakwell. And they’re not even talking yet.
Maybe it’s the calm before the storm, but this low level of funding activity took me by surprise, especially given the excitement in the Seattle entrepreneurial community around things like the TechStars startup program coming to town, the NWEN First Look Forum happening next week, and the University of Washington business plan competition just around the corner. Let’s see if the venture deals pick up, together with the busy event schedule around Seattle in the next month.
Here is the very short recap of March 2010 venture deals (of more than $1 million) in Washington state: