Launching PSL Ventures II, a $100 Million Seed Fund for the Pacific Northwest
Today, all of us at PSL Ventures are thrilled to announce the launch of our Fund II. Our $100 million sophomore fund was oversubscribed, and we are excited not only to welcome both returning and new limited partners, but ultimately a whole new generation of founders building category-defining companies here in the Pacific Northwest.
We are a pre-seed and seed-stage venture fund with a twist; we invest in companies founded all over our region, and we also build companies from scratch in our startup studio, Pioneer Square Labs. Roughly 15% of all tech companies that received early-stage venture capital funding in Washington State over the past year were co-founded by PSL.
The Pacific Northwest itself is becoming an increasingly powerful and diverse ecosystem to build and invest in. B2B companies comprise two-thirds of our portfolio, and consumer companies comprise one-third, with a smattering of fintech, sustainability, and digital health companies serving both businesses and consumers. One out of every three companies we have helped build is female-founded (in most of those cases, it’s the CEO who identifies as female), and one out of eight are BIPOC-founded. As growth in our community continues to accelerate, we expect that diversity across founders, companies, and industry experience will become even more of an advantage for our burgeoning talent ecosystem.
But any community — and any fund for that matter — starts and ends with people. We are so fortunate to have partnered with an exceptional set of founders over the past several years. We are also very proud of our team, a deep bench of 22 company-builders including engineers, data scientists, designers, product leads, marketers, analysts, operations leads, finance whizzes, and recruiters who passionately rally around every PSL portfolio company and founding team. We work hard to ensure that every founder — whether through a studio spinout or venture fund investment — receives the help, connections, and counsel that they need when they need it. For a fund of our size, it’s pretty special that we are able to offer the multi-dimensional support that comes from the fund-studio combination to every founder… and all alongside the very first check!
We invest actively in companies all over the Pacific Northwest, including in companies that have nothing to do with the Pioneer Square Labs studio. We typically like to lead or co-lead those investments. We also invest proactively as participants in PSL studio spinouts (though we do not lead those rounds). We invested in 70% of our portfolio companies within two months of their incorporation, so we like to invest very early. That 70% includes companies that were founded externally and startups we co-founded in our studio. In many cases, we are investing before an entrepreneur even has a pitch deck. In our experiences as founders and investors, we are so often there before the company story even begins. We find that earliest of stages incredibly exhilarating, and it also happens to be the kind of investing and company-building we’re good at.
We are honored and humbled to be backed by a world-class investor group comprised of endowments, foundations, major employee retirement funds, funds of funds, family offices, and some of the world’s most inspirational technology leaders. Our LPs are doing some pretty amazing things in the world. The broad and powerful impact that our investors have in their own work inspires and motivates us to deliver top-tier returns; it’s important to us that our founders know that when they succeed, their success is shared with organizations that are doing impactful work in our world.
We want to thank every founder who has bet on us since our founding; working with you all represents the greatest professional joy of our lives. We also want to thank everyone on the PSL team for their obsession with supporting local entrepreneurs with every resource, idea, midnight brainstorm, and spark of inspiration.
We are just getting started. As we continue to see the pace of change in our world accelerate in the months and years ahead, we are ready to empower entrepreneurs in this mighty region as they take on new waves of opportunity with hustle and heart.