Hey, I'm Dan! I invest in early-stage startups at Madrona and write the DL, a weekly newsletter about tech in the PNW

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Seattle seed deal trends

After seeing this great visualization from Tom Tunguz, I worked with the PitchBook team to replicate the analysis for seed trends in the Pacific Northwest. Here are some highlights and areas where I’m excited about new investment opportunities:

Overall, the PNW is tracking national seed trends quite closely

Sectors like AI, healthcare, and blockchain have all seen significantly more seed deals than five or ten years ago while sectors like social and fashion have slowed (big surprise in Seattle 😜). Next time, I’d want to pick categories a little bit differently because I think the PNW is probably ahead of the pack in categories like cloud and gaming.

Contrarian bets on social and marketplaces will pay off

It’s not impossible to compete with Facebook and Amazon, but next generation social platforms and marketplaces won’t look like today’s existing competitors. For example, Peloton is an example of a social platform for fitness because the magic of Peloton isn’t the bike - it’s the experience of exercising as part of a community. Social networks and marketplaces are some of the stickiest, most profitable businesses, and there is still a lot of opportunity to build new businesses in these spaces.

It would be great to see more retail and ecommerce startups

I’ve written a few times on why Microsoft is a great place for future startup founders, and Geekwire has done some interesting analysis on how many of the top startups in Seattle are led by Microsoft alums. But there is a lot of talent and expertise in ecommerce and retail at Amazon, Starbucks, Costco, Nordstrom, Zulily, Lululemon, and other PNW companies, and investors would love to see more of those folks start companies.

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