The news: Unlock Venture Partners, a seed-stage firm that invests in Seattle and Los Angeles-based startups, raised a $60 million fund.
The details: This is the second fund from Unlock, which launched in 2018 and has now raised more than $85 million. The firm is co-led by longtime Seattle-area entrepreneur and angel investor Andy Liu; 3-time founder Sanjay Reddy, based in Los Angeles; and Raazi Imam, CEO of Caiman Consulting (acquired by Sia Partners), based in San Francisco.
The strategy: Unlock focuses on Seattle and Los Angeles — two cities where it believes startups have a “scarcity of access” to early-stage funding. It’s one of several newer early-stage firms focused on the Seattle region; others include Fuse, Flying Fish, Pioneer Square Labs, Graham & Walker, Ascend, and more.
The quote: “Startups need help to grow and raise money outside of the Bay Area echo chamber,” said Liu, who founded NetConversions and BuddyTV. The firm is also betting on investment opportunities related to gaming, Web3, and the metaverse.
The stats: Seattle and Los Angeles both have budding startup ecosystems but total VC fundraising activity pales in comparison to Silicon Valley. Seattle-area venture capital firms raised about $2.5 billion last year and Los Angeles-area firms raised $3.7 billion, according to PitchBook. That compares to $57.7 billion raised in the Valley.
The portfolio: Unlock has backed more than 37 companies, including meat and seafood marketplace Crowd Cow; fintech startup Possible; edtech software developer Bamboo Learning; blockchain gaming company Irreverent Labs; and several others. Four of its companies exited: Make.TV (LTN Global); Downstream (Jungle Scout); Chatitive (Mailchimp); and Dolly (Updater).