Venture capitalists delayed investments this year in response to a cooling economy. However, some startups still managed to secure large amounts of cash.
Top 10 Pacific Northwest funding rounds in 2022 highlight companies that were able to raise venture capital despite rising interest rates and falling valuations of public tech stocks to
Investment in start-ups slowed in the second half of the year, with investors advising portfolio companies to cut costs and save cash. Hundreds of startups laid off employees in recent months.
Funding in the second half of 2022 was down more than 50% compared to the same period in 2021, according to data from GeekWire’s fundraising list. GeekWire tracks technology funding deals in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia as part of its Pacific Northwest startups report.
The slowdown follows record venture capital numbers in the Seattle area and the US in 2021.
The top 10 funding rounds in the Pacific Northwest accounted for nearly 44% of total deal value for all companies this year. Read on to find out more about Top Round.
1. Nuclear energy company TerraPower raises $750 million
Nuclear power is back in 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted many European countries to grapple with energy security, while others are looking to address the ongoing climate crisis with green energy alternatives. Enter Terra Power. The Bellevue, Washington-based company, co-founded by Bill Gates, aims to innovate nuclear reactors that are considered safer and more efficient for carbon-free power generation. In August, TerraPower earned him $750 million to pursue that goal. The funding is the largest ever for a Seattle-area privately held company and one of the largest rounds for a nuclear energy venture. Gates led the latest round alongside unnamed investors including his South Korea-based SK Inc. and his SK Innovation.
2. Battery maker Group14 supercharged with $614 million
Group14 Technologies is a Woodinville, Washington-based battery technology startup that has made a series of investments in 2022. The company raised his $400 million in May as part of a Series C round, and then this month he raised another $214 million to complete the round. It also won $100 million in October as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. With the rise of electric vehicles, the demand for battery technology is increasing. Earlier this month, Oregon and Washington joined California in mandating that all new vehicles sold in the state be zero-emission by 2035.
3. Ad Tech Startup iSpot Raises $325 Million
iSpot.tv raised $325 million from Goldman Sachs Asset Management in April. This is part of industry heavyweight Nielsen’s broader effort to loosen its longstanding grip on the TV advertising measurement market on its broadcast and streaming platforms. The deal gave Goldman Sachs a “substantial minority stake” in a Seattle-area company believed to be worth more than $1 billion at the time. iSpot made its own investment in his November, plowing her $16 million into a licensing deal with TVision, a New York-based audience measurement company. The 10-year-old company is currently ranked #13 on the GeekWire 200.
4. Carbon Removal Company Svante Earns $318 Million
Based in British Columbia, Svante raised $318 million in a Series E round earlier this month. The funding was led by Chevron New Energies, a division of fossil fuel giant Chevron. Svante’s builds filters coated with nanomaterial solid sorbents to capture carbon dioxide released with industrial flue gases. The company will use the new funding to build two commercial-scale carbon filter manufacturing facilities. Svante has raised a total of $474 million and launched in 2007.
5. Trucking Marketplace Startup Convoy Earned $260 Million
Convoy raised $260 million in April, investing even more heavily in technology that automates transactions between truckers and shippers. With this round, the Seattle startup’s valuation rose from $2.7 billion in November 2019 to $3.8 billion. Convoy made two layoffs in June and October, respectively. The seven-year-old company is currently ranked #4 on the GeekWire 200.
6. Sales Software Startup HighSpot Earns $248 Million
Enterprise sales software startup Highspot raised $248 million in January to expand its international footprint and invest in marketing and products. The funding took Seattle startup valuations past his $3.5 billion, less than a year after raising $200 million. Highspot sells its software to his DocuSign, Workday, Siemens, Adobe and others. The company ranks him 7th on his GeekWire 200.
7. Fusion Energy Startup Zap Energy Gets Powered Up With $160 Million
It’s been a big year for Fusion. Earlier this month, U.S. physicists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California were able to produce more energy from nuclear fusion than was needed to start the reaction. . This is a great achievement in technological development. His Zap Energy, a Seattle-area startup, announced a breakthrough of its own earlier this year. The latest prototype device produced plasma, the superheated gas needed to produce nuclear fusion. The startup has also raised $160 million in new funding with backing from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and his two oil giants. Zap has raised nearly $200 million in total since his 2017 launch.
8. Warehouse automation startup Agility Robotics raises $150 million
Based in Corvallis, Oregon, Agility Robotics raised a $150 million round from Amazon and other backers in April. The company is developing robots that work alongside people in warehouses. The company’s robots help companies move packages and unload tractors his trailers. They can walk forward, backward, side-to-side, uphill, downhill, turn on the spot, and crouch to walk across unstructured terrain. Labor shortages and supply chain challenges have come to the fore during the pandemic, which has increased the focus on companies developing warehouse automation. Other companies in this space include Boston He Dynamics, which is also developing robots for warehouses.
10 (tie).Radar tech startup Echodyne earned $135 million in his June
Radar platform startup Echodyne is also backed by Bill Gates, raising $135 million in a round co-led by Gates and Baillie Gifford in June. The Seattle startup, spun out of Intellectual Ventures in 2014, sells compact radar systems to border patrol, military and law enforcement agencies. Many tech startups have struggled to break into the defense industry due to long sales cycles and stringent requirements to win government contracts. But some are starting to move forward, most notably with defense startup Anduril raising his $1.5 billion. Echodyne, whose long-term goal is eventually an IPO, is currently ranked 111th on the GeekWire 200.
10. Energy storage company Powin claims $135 million
Powin, an Oregon-based energy storage company, received a $135 million investment in July. The funds are being used to develop hardware and software platforms that can deliver deployable renewable energy. Powin was founded in 1989 as a contract manufacturing company and moved into energy storage in 2017. We have offices in Tualatin, Oregon and Taipei.