People eat lunch every day, but most of us are too busy to pack something along or pick something up. Peach solves this problem by sending a simple text each day telling you what’s for lunch. Users simply reply YES, and lunch will be delivered to their office or school. Peach finds great lunch options from the best places in town, which in turn directly benefits the restaurants by exposing them and their best dishes to new audiences. Scaling from one building on Amazon’s campus to nearly 1,800 offices in two cities has not been easy, but co-founder and CEO Nishant Singh won’t stop until everyone can text “yes” to have their lunch delivered. “I love the simplicity of the idea,” says Madrona Managing Director Scott Jacobson. “It’s the kind of straightforward marketplace that has the potential to be a vital piece of the consumer’s life and a huge business.” Nishant is also proud of the diversity of the founding team. “All three Peach founders are in the U.S. on a visa!”
The $50 billion real estate industry is undergoing a technological transformation thanks to Redfin, whose mission to reinvent real estate in the consumer’s favor has empowered consumers and introduced fundamental changes in the client-agent relationship. Said CEO Glenn Kelman, “Redfin is made of up software engineers working beside real estate agents. It’s rare that two such disparate groups have the opportunity to learn from each other and share a common goal.” He added, “When we started, funding operationally intensive businesses like ours wasn’t very popular. But Madrona wanted to help build a company for the ages. Over the years, Madrona has given us so much more than cash. They have been confidantes, advisors and supporters in countless ways.”
“I had no intention of Rover becoming a Madrona investment. I was just trying to solve a problem we had with our family dog when we went out of town,” said Madrona’s Greg Gottesman, founder of Rover. After winning Startup Weekend and putting up the original site, the team was overwhelmed with customer demand. “But the company didn’t really take off until we found Aaron Easterly, who, in addition to being an incredible CEO, is as passionate about dogs as anyone I have ever met.” Added Aaron, “Rover has always been more than a business opportunity. It’s a mission to bring the joy of pet companionship to every responsible person in the U.S.—whether they work long hours, travel frequently, or don’t have a local network of family and friends to help out with care. We’re an unholy mix of ecstatic dog nuts and analytical data geeks.”
The vision of Lumo’s founding team is to give the body a voice. While most wearable companies are developing wrist-mounted sensors to try to measure/detect activities throughout the body, Lumo’s sensors can be deployed anywhere on the body to measure fine-grained motions and activities and give people immediate feedback to improve, whether that’s posture, or running, or golf swing, or whatever. “The name Lumo was taken from ‘illuminate,’ which speaks to the company’s goals to increase awareness of our bodies so that we can live healthier, more productive lives,” said CEO Monisha Perkash. “We chose Madrona because of their hands-on approach to helping startups. The multi-talented folks at Madrona take a sincere interest in our success and are highly accessible – we view them as part of the Lumo team!
In an increasingly complex world of IT solutions and market pressures, Apptio provides the cloud-based software that helps CIOs manage the business of IT. The company pioneered the discipline of Technology Business Management (TBM) and is the leading provider to Fortune 100 companies. “We delivered our first version of our product using less than a million of spend and a team of 15 people,” said Apptio CEO Sunny Gupta. “Within six months we had five paying customers. This was done, when the financial crisis was in full force.” And Sunny’s thoughts on working with Madrona Managing Director Matt McIlwain, “Matt has been a strategic partner and advisor to us, which has been incredibly valuable at the start of Apptio through today. Madrona believed in me from the beginning, when I was an untested, first-time CEO at iConclude. I am proud of what we are building at Apptio and gratified by the support Madrona has shown over the years.”
The great challenge for consumers buying apparel online is not knowing whether something will fit. Many companies are building technology to help consumers figure out which standard sized clothes might fit. Indochino (which started as an entrant into a student business plan competition) is taking another tack, re-engineering manufacturing in order to move from a world of mass production to one of mass customization. It’s a thorny problem, but one Madrona is excited to help solve. “Madrona is patient, invested in building great companies over the long term, and has a broader perspective than other folks,” said Indochino CEO Drew Green. “We found the team to be very experienced, both as investors and previously as operators, which has been invaluable in driving Indochino’s success.”
Jama is literally helping rocket ships get into space with SaaS software. Building products is exciting, but managing that process is often frustrating – Jama Software’s Product Delivery Platform is designed to help teams work better together and bring products to market more quickly. And data shows it works – products are finished 18% more quickly. “Jama is transforming how companies conceive, build and deliver products,” said Madrona Managing Director Tim Porter. “I love the team’s maniacal customer and product focus as they build their product and create this new category of software that just makes product management work better.”
Igneous Systems is working to change the way enterprises are building and scaling data centers using the cloud. “Given that we are in stealth mode, there is little public information about us,” said CEO Kiran Bhageshpur. “That said, we are a bunch of folks who will happily tell you what we are up to, especially if you are an engineer excited about large scale distributed systems.” He continued, “Early stage investing is a very hands-on business. We wanted a partner willing to roll up their sleeves and help us build the next great Seattle company. We consider ourselves fortunate that Madrona chose to support us. Incubating in their wonderful offices was an added bonus.”
Highspot is the industry’s most powerful sales engagement platform. Using Highspot, sales teams are connected to the most relevant content for each situation, have flexible ways to present content to customers, and gain real-time visibility into whether customers find the content engaging. Advanced analytics lets marketing and sales understand how content is performing across the sales cycle and provides actionable insights so pitches and content can be optimized. “We started working with Madrona in our first week, before we even had a prototype. Tim has been an excellent partner in shaping the business and has been a strong advocate throughout our development,” said Robert Wahbe, Highspot CEO.
What’s in a name? “Placed originally was called Sewichi, which loosely translates to ‘location, location, location’ in Korean,” said CEO David Shim. “We ultimately changed the name based on feedback from an advisor, who said, ‘a customer should never be afraid to mispronounce your company’s name.'” Placed provides location analytics data sources that enable mobile ad attribution and insights. The team includes leadership from previous Madrona-backed companies Farecast and aQuantive. “While working at Farecast, I saw firsthand the value that Madrona brought to its portfolio companies. Beyond the standard introductions, advice, etc., the Madrona team allowed the company to find its own way. When it came time to raise financing, it was a simple decision to work with Madrona. The firm’s commitment to our company and team is stronger than ever.”
iSpot.tv’s software platform captures, fingerprints and captions TV commercials so they can be tracked, measured and correlated to understand audience interest. The stellar team, led by CEO Sean Muller is disrupting big established players by bringing new transparency to advertisers that didn’t exist before. “We obsess over technology, data accuracy and product design,” said CEO Sean Muller. “We have no preconceived notions about the space we operate in. We innovate at lightning speed. The Madrona team has a passion for industry-changing innovations and a shared vision for iSpot’s potential for leadership in the marketplace.”
Qumulo’s mission is to be the company the world trusts to store, manage and curate its data forever. Founded by the inventors of the leading scale-out storage system for big data on the market, Qumulo is reinventing the next generation of large scale enterprise storage. “Madrona is a fantastic strategic partner in building disruptive new technology businesses, ” said Peter Godman, Qumulo co-founder and CEO. “Matt and his team take the long-term view and really roll up their sleeves and work hard to support their companies.” “Pete, Neal, and Aaron have built an exceptional team and their initial product has had incredible market reception even when the company operating in stealth,” said Madrona Managing Director Matt McIlwain. “Working with world-class engineers and company builders is the one of the most exciting rewards of investing early.”
A world leader in real-time wire data analytics, ExtraHop prides itself on the global diversity of its workforce. Said CEO Jesse Rothstein: “Of the first 10 employees, six were born outside of the U.S. Co-founder Raja Mukerji hails from the U.K. Our director of engineering is Nepalese. Our first director of marketing was from China. We also hired two Russians and a Canadian. We are not just interested in your work experience, but your life experience.” ExtraHop has solid customers across major vertical markets and an equally solid vision for leveraging wire data to improve operations intelligence. “Madrona’s portfolio included a number of successful enterprise systems companies, so we were confident that they understood our business and could offer us guidance.”
A global SAAS innovator offering cloud and mobile-first productivity tools, Smartsheet has millions of users, over 50,000 paying customers, and a happy team. “From the U.S. to Germany, Canada to Chile, Russia to South Africa, Brazil to New Zealand, we are blanketing the earth with Smartsheet goodness,” said CEO Mark Mader. “We love our culture and have been recognized as the #1 mid-sized company to work for in Washington state. Madrona operates and feels as though they are part of team Smartsheet. A financial supporter, a connector of talent, an advisor on trends — they are as committed to and interested in our success as we are.”
ROOTS RUN DEEP
Whether you’ve got a fully realized business plan or just the technology and a vision, we’d like to hear from you. Our philosophy: it’s never too early to connect. At Madrona, we specialize in investing in seed and early-stage companies that leverage technology to create or disrupt huge markets. There are many ways to reach out to us. Mutual connections are always the best, but you can also read our bios and decide who is the best fit.