Madrona Venture Labs Raises $11 Million to Power The Next Wave of AI Founders

Madrona leads MVL’s fifth studio fund with participation from a new group of successful operators committed to founders’ success

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Madrona Venture Labs (MVL), a Seattle-based startup studio, today announces $11 million for its fifth fund. The company will continue to partner with founders to create AI companies from the ground up, helping them to de-risk and fast-track their startup journey. Since its inception in 2014, MVL has raised $40 million and co-created and invested in 32 companies, which have collectively raised $261 million and hold a combined value of $629 million. Madrona led the financing round and was joined by a group of successful founders and operators.

“MVL is the ‘day one’ in Madrona’s continuum of supporting founders over the long run of their startup journey,” said Hope Cochran, Managing Director of Madrona. “Founders building a company with MVL get the full support of the Madrona team and the experienced builders joining their fund.”

New investors joining the fund include Thomas Dohmke, CEO of GitHub; Joe Beda, co-founder & former CTO of Heptio; Brent Frei, co-founder of Smartsheet & CEO of TerraClear; Michael Hilton, former CPO of Accolade & co-founder of Concur; and several others. Returning investors from previous funds include Elissa Fink, former CMO of Tableau; Spencer Rascoff, co-founder & former CEO of Zillow; and Mike McSherry, co-founder & CEO of Xealth. Investors in MVL funds are also co-builders and partners. This approach allows MVL founders the opportunity to collaborate with world-class operators as valuable advisers and at times as direct investors and co-founding board members.

“Across industries, we’re experiencing a wave of startups and entrepreneurs who are applying the power of AI to improve the human experience,” said Thomas Dohmke, CEO of GitHub. “This will ultimately change the fundamental way we work and live. I’m excited to partner with MVL to help inspire and guide their founders and companies to accelerate human progress across the world.”

The vast majority (84%) of MVL companies fall within their long-held, core theme of intelligent applications, where novel data sources create competitive advantage, advanced AI unlocks new and high-value product capabilities, and founders demonstrate deep technical and domain expertise. Companies in their portfolio that reflect this include: Uplevel, people first engineering intelligence; Xembly, an automated chief of staff for every knowledge worker; Pendulum, the narrative-based intelligence platform; and Strike Graph, an automated security compliance solution.

“MVL has been a key enabler of our success from the start,” said Mark Listes, co-founder & CEO of Pendulum. “From bringing the founding team together and partnering with us through fundraising, and continuing to support us as our business grows. For founders who are serious about taking big swings, I highly recommend working with this team.”

MVL will continue to build and invest against its core theme as it evolves from big data and intelligent applications into the generative AI movement. Recent companies in its portfolio include Charmed, AI-assisted game development; Augmend, collective intelligence for developers; Storia, AI-powered video production; and Finpilot, AI copilot for finance.

With this fund, MVL welcomes two new technology and AI partners to MVL. First, Larry Colagiovanni, an experienced technology and product leader, most recently the CTO & CPO of Limeade (LME). Previously Larry was the VP Engineering at Decide, a data and NLP-driven ecommerce company that was acquired by eBay. Second, Jay Bartot, a serial early-stage founding CTO and most recently the CEO of MVL spinout Zeitworks. Previously Jay was the co-founder and CTO of Farecast, an early 2000s vertical ML travel application that was sold to Microsoft. Jay has led the technical vision and execution of over a dozen AI startups over his career as a co-founder and prior member of MVL. Larry and Jay will help build on the team’s unique 20+ year history of creating data-driven AI startups from the ground up.

MVL is looking for founders with product and engineering backgrounds that have deep domain insight and expertise, a genuine passion for the problem they are solving, and uncommon drive and resilience. MVL values diversity, is committed to helping people break through barriers, and actively supports founders in prioritizing diversity as they build out their initial teams.

To learn more about building a company with MVL visit their opportunities page.

About Madrona Venture Labs

Madrona Venture Labs (MVL) is a startup studio that co-builds and invests in AI companies. MVL partners with founders at the earliest stages to de-risk and fast-track the 0 to 1 startup journey. Learn more by visiting

About Madrona

Madrona is a venture capital firm based in Seattle, Washington. With more than 25 years of investing in early-stage technology companies, the firm has worked with founders from Day One to help build their company for the long run. Madrona initially invests in seed and Series A rounds across the information technology spectrum and in acceleration stage (Series B and C) companies building intelligent applications. Madrona manages $3 billion and was an early investor in companies such as Amazon, Smartsheet, Snowflake, Apptio, Redfin, and UI Path.


Flora Ku

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