Seattle-based early-stage investment firm SeaChange raises $5.8M for its fifth fund

Susan Preston.

SeaChange just raised $5.8 million for its fifth fund as it looks to put more dollars behind Pacific Northwest startups.

It’s the largest fund yet for SeaChange, formerly known as Seattle Angel Fund, and will be used to make early-stage investments in the range of $200,000 to $900,000.

Investors in the fund mostly hail from the Pacific Northwest and have a mix of backgrounds — longtime Amazon and Microsoft execs; CEOs of smaller companies; family offices; and more.

The firm is market neutral, but a majority of its investments are in tech startups working across a variety of industries. Portfolio companies include startups such as Ad Lightning, C-SATS (acquired by Johnson Johnson), GiveInKind, Keepe, Matcherino, Olis Robotics, Slumberkins, and Vouched.

SeaChange has invested more than $19.4 million in 23 early-stage Pacific Northwest startups across seven industries over its five-year history, including 12 investments over the past 18 months.

It uses a blend of venture capital and angel investing strategies. The firm does group analysis with its angels who participate in due diligence for one month, but also applies a full-time fund management process. SeaChange also focuses on post-investment engagement with its companies, whether that’s taking board seats or helping mentor entrepreneurs.

Its first fund has delivered returns of 3.5X to investors in less than four years.

The firm is led by Susan Preston, a longtime angel investor who previously held senior positions at private and public companies. She’s been a partner at three law firms; served on the founding boards for Angel Capital Association and Angel Resource Institute; written two books on angel investing; and taught and consulted around the world on angel investing and early-stage investment structures.

Preston has three colleagues who help manage the fund: William Finney, Peter Mueller, and Becky Gonzalez.

Venture capital funding to Seattle-area startups reached a record-high $3.59 billion in 2019, up 20 percent from the year prior.

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