The Valley is Coming!

I grew up in Boston. From an early age I heard the stories of Paul Revere’s ride and his famous (if perhaps improperly attributed) cry of ‘The British Are Coming’.

In this moment in the PNW it feels appropriate to modify the cry somewhat and say ‘The Valley is Coming’!

Every day we see a new story of a remote development center from a Valley company either opening or expanding. Today’s story is about Airbnb but it could easily be Facebook, Apple, Google, DropBox or any number of others. In fact there are now close to 100 of these centers. Geekwire tracks an impressive list here.

These centers are opening for many reasons but the shared rationale is that Seattle has world class engineering talent. In abundance. The premise of many of the companies we have talked to about their centers here has been to recruit talent from Microsoft and Amazon.

However, a funny thing has happened. In addition to some flow of talent from these tech giants, an equal amount of talent has come from relocations from the valley itself (it’s now the number one source of migration into Seattle for tech workers) as well as college hires.

This talent tends to be ealier in career and have a mentality that is much more open to the idea of founding or joining a startup. As such, we at Flying Fish partners are seeing an explosion in quantity and quality of startups in the Pacific Northwest. We see tremendous teams forming around certain areas of expertise in Seattle from AI and Machine Learning to Cloud Infrastructure.

This increase in startup activity has been met at the angel level by some important early stage infrastructure, per my last post. However, we are seeing a significant lack of follow-on funding by angels and a significant gap in institutional investing at the Seed 2 and Series A stages. This has been a core premise in the founding of Flying Fish.

So while Paul Reveres’ cry of ‘The British are Coming’ was met with fear and trepidation, the cry of ‘The Valley is Coming’ should be welcomed by open arms and copious seed funding. Happy investing.