Pacific Northwest entrepreneurs have long complained about the challenges of securing funding compared to nearby Silicon Valley, where venture capital flows more freely. But the finalists in our Deal of the Year: Funding category for this year’s GeekWire Awards don’t seem to be having any trouble.
Venture capital funding to Seattle-area startups reached a record-high $3.59 billion in 2019. The five finalists for this category — Amperity, Auth0, Outreach, Remitly, and Vacasa — certainly contributed to that number, raising more than $700 million combined to fuel their growth.
We’ve opened voting in 13 GeekWire Awards categories, and community votes will be factored in with feedback from more than 20 judges. On March 26 we will announce the winners live on stage at the GeekWire Awards — presented by Wave Business — in front of more than 800 geeks at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. Community voting ends March 6.
Cast your vote for this category, presented by Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich Rosati, and get your GeekWire Awards tickets below. Scroll down to learn more about each finalist, and be sure to vote in our other Deal of the Year category for top tech acquisition.
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Amperity raises $50M: Customer data platform Amperity raised a $50 million Series C round led by Tiger Global Management last summer to fend off new competition from tech giants like Adobe and Salesforce.
Amperity raised the fresh cash to invest in its product, which helps companies fine-tune their targeted marketing campaigns by connecting disparate data sources about individual customer habits from across the internet. The startup also used the investment to boost sales.
Amperity plans to pursue more verticals such as financial services, automotive, insurance, and healthcare with the investment, which pushed total funding to $87 million to date. The company was previously a finalist in the Startup of the Year category at the GeekWire Awards.
Auth0 raises $103M: Auth0, a Bellevue, Wash. startup that helps developers build identity authentication capabilities into their applications, reached unicorn status last year with a massive $103 million round. The Series E investment, led by Sapphire Ventures, brought Auth0’s total funding to more than $210 million.
Auth0 combines existing login and identity verification options into a few lines of code that developers can quickly add to their applications. Its platform includes services including single sign-on, two-factor authentication, password-free login capabilities and the ability to detect password breaches.
The company is also a finalist for Next Tech Titan. The startup’s CEO, Eugenio Pace, was a finalist for Big Tech CEO of the Year in 2019.
Outreach raises $114M: Like Auth0, Outreach joined the unicorn club last year thanks to a whopping $114 million Series E round led by Lone Pine Capital. The Seattle startup builds software that uses machine learning to help customers such as Cloudera, Adobe, Microsoft, DocuSign, and others automate and streamline communication with sales prospects. The technology offers one system to track all touchpoints, from phone calls to emails to LinkedIn messages, and integrates with existing tools including Salesforce and Gmail.
The $114 million investment brought Outreach’s total funding to $239 million. Outreach is using the fresh cash to scale its business and “prepare for an IPO a few years out,” according to CEO Manny Medina. Outreach is also a finalist for Next Tech Titan.
Remitly raises $135M and a $85M credit line: Remitly landed a $220 million cash infusion last summer in the form of equity and a line of credit. The Techstars Seattle grad helps people send and receive money across borders using their mobile devices.
Remitly is using the investment to expand its remittance service to more countries and develop new financial products. The Series E round brought on new investors, including Owl Rock Capital, Princeville Global, and Prudential Financial. Remitly was a finalist for Next Tech Titan at the 2019 GeekWire Awards.
Vacasa raises $319M: Vacasa raised a whopping $319 million last fall to help the Portland, Ore., vacation rental company extend its reach. Global tech investor Silver Lake led the Series C round.
Vacasa manages more than 23,000 vacation homes across 31 U.S. states and 17 counties, billing itself as “North America’s largest vacation rental management platform.” The startup’s Series C was the largest for a Pacific Northwest company in the past 13 years.
A big thanks to our longtime awards presenting partner, Wave Business, for supporting this fun community event. Also, thanks to gold and category sponsors: BCRA, EY, JLL, Premera, WSGR and Blink. And to our supporting sponsors First Tech Federal Credit Union, Bader Martin, Akvelon, Flyhomes and Moz. If interested in sponsoring a category or another component of the GeekWire Awards, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.