MVL amasses $8m

Seattle-based Madrona Venture Labs, a startup studio, has raised $8 million in funding.

Seattle-based Madrona Venture Labs, a startup studio, has raised $8 million in funding. Madrona Venture Labs is the incubation arm of Madrona Venture Group.


SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Madrona Venture Labs (MVL), a Seattle-based startup studio, lands $8M in fresh funding and innovates on venture studio model–adding successful operators as investors and co-founders of their spinout companies. This is a unique opportunity for founders working with MVL to co-found companies with the creators of Zillow, DocuSign, Tableau, Concur, Qualtrics, Tinder, and more.

MVL is excited to partner with operating executive investors, including Spencer Rascoff, former Zillow CEO; Elie Seidman, former Tinder CEO; Court Lorenzini, co-founder DocuSign; Elena Donio, former Axiom CEO; Elissa Fink, former Tableau CMO; Julie Larson-Green, former Qualtrics CXO; Erik Blachford, former Expedia CEO; Mike McSherry, Xealth CEO; Jon Gelsey, former Auth0 CEO; Chad Cohen, Adaptive Biotech CFO; and Ralph Pascualy, former Swedish Medical Group CEO.

MVL will continue and build upon it’s close partnership with the investment team at Madrona. For example, last year MVL worked closely with Hope Cochran, former King Digital CFO, who partnered to co-build Strike Graph and Steve Singh, former Concur CEO, who is the co-founder and executive chairman of Stratify, a case study for this innovative new model.

This group of experienced investors and operators will be co-founding board members and advisors, collaborating on idea validation, leveraging their deep talent networks for recruiting, participating in customer development and outreach, and providing fundraising support and coaching to the founding teams.

“I’m excited about this opportunity because we are never done innovating. MVL gives us a chance to think critically about what’s next and to partner with fantastic leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors to make vision reality,” said Elena Donio, former Axiom CEO.

Data shows that studio-built startups (compared to traditional, non-studio) have 3x faster path to seed, 2x faster path to Series A, and 30% better likelihood of achieving Series A*. For founders, by working with exceptional executive chairpersons, board members, and advisors at the formation stage, MVL further stacks the deck in their favor–lowering their real and opportunity costs and de-risking their path to an outsized outcome.

“Our obsessive focus on building founder value has made MVL the obvious choice for founders building a company in the PNW. Our next group of founders will benefit from a 100% operator-led team with a proven company building process; successful operators as co-founders and partners; and funding and support from Madrona, the leading VC in the PNW, “ said Mike Fridgen, MVL CEO and Managing Director.

A recent proof point is Strike Graph, a Geekwire Startup-of-the-Year nominee, and MVL spinout. “As a founder you’re challenged to be an expert in almost everything. That is impossible. While I have strengths, the team at Madrona Venture Labs filled in my gaps. Strike Graph’s successful launch is due to their expertise, their support and their camaraderie,” said Justin Beals, Strike Graph CEO. Hear more about his journey in a recent podcast with Hope Cochran, Madrona Managing Director.

MVL investment themes are AI-driven applications, automation, and the future of work, building off the MVL team’s operating experience, Madrona’s themes, and Seattle’s strengths. MVL is a team of life-long PNW operators and are deeply committed to founders’ and the community’s long-term growth and success.

About Madrona Venture Labs
Madrona Venture Labs is the incubation arm of Madrona Venture Group–the leading venture capital firm in the PNW, which recently raised a $345M fund focused on seed and early-stage investing. Together, they partner with founders from day one to build venture-scale companies. A 100% operator-led studio, MVL represents an integral part in Madrona’s continuum of Day One for the long-run commitment to founders. Madrona has a 25-year history of supporting PNW founders, including early investors in Amazon, Smartsheet, Rover, and many more.