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Voyager Capital adds Silicon Valley vet to Seattle office, shifts investing focus to Pacific Northwest

In some methods, James Newell is a hometown Seattle boy.

He was born and raised on the Kitsap Peninsula, simply an hour’s ferry journey from downtown Seattle, and attended the College of Washington on a soccer scholarship.

So when he took a job in San Francisco advising firms on merger and acquisitions, it was supposed to be a brief transfer.

“It was solely supposed to be two years, I used to be going to do my fast tour of obligation after which return to Seattle. Then two years changed into 4, and 4 changed into ten, and ten changed into virtually twelve. And I lastly made my return a few weeks in the past,” mentioned Newell, who spent eight years investing in startups at Menlo Park, Calif.-based IVP.

Now, Newell has returned to the Pacific Northwest to proceed startup investing at Voyager Capital, a enterprise capital agency with workplaces in Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Space, and Portland.

Bill McAleer, a founding accomplice of Voyager, mentioned the addition of an skilled Silicon Valley investor to its Seattle workplace was a part of a purposeful transfer to place extra emphasis on the Pacific Northwest.

“We’re very bullish on the Seattle market,” mentioned McAleer. “Bringing James on is a part of reinforcing our dedication to this market and likewise shifting most of our investing effort and focus to the Pacific Northwest.”

4 of the final 5 offers the agency has made have been with Pacific Northwest firms, and McAleer mentioned he’s excited concerning the potential startup scene within the area.  The previous Aldus govt mentioned he sees potential for a crop of recent startups fueled by tech staff shifting to town to work at engineering facilities arrange by Silicon Valley tech giants like Fb and Google.

And together with these new startups, Seattle will want a stronger relationship with Silicon Valley.

“In bringing James on we wished somebody who had been deep in Silicon Valley and the relationships he was in a position to type at one of many prime tier corporations within the Valley, but in addition might convey the attitude of what it’s like to do enterprise within the Northwest,” McAlee mentioned.

He additionally identified that Newell has sturdy expertise in each of Voyager’s areas of experience, early-stage funding and B2B firms. So what does Newell consider Seattle’s startup scene in relation to Silicon Valley?

“I believe that, different than simply the scale of the general ecosystem, they’re in all probability extra comparable than totally different,” Newell mentioned. “It’s apparent that [Seattle’s is] smaller, it’s extra intimate, it’s a little bit bit extra rational, however there’s no scarcity of the proficient individuals engaged on actually difficult issues.”

Particularly, he mentioned cloud tech is an space that he and Voyager are enthusiastic about watching develop within the Seattle space.

“Each AWS and Azure have actually made Seattle the middle of the universe when it comes to the general public cloud, and each of these firms are an absolute magnet for proficient individuals. Any time you could have that many sensible individuals engaged on actually exhausting technical challenges, you find yourself with a fantastic entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he mentioned.

Voyager’s previous investments have included Act-On, Bluebox Group and Reply Sprint.

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