Seattle venture capital firm Madrona hires first partner outside of the Pacific Northwest – GeekWire
Madrona Venture Group has hired its first investment partner based outside of the Pacific Northwest as the firm broadens its geographical reach.
Former Qualtrics executive John Torrey is Madrona’s newest venture partner. He was previously chief ecosystem officer at Qualtrics and also held executive roles at SAP and Concur.
Torrey is based in Texas and also has strong ties in Utah. He’ll help Madrona make investments out of the firm’s Acceleration Fund, which launched in 2019 as an investment vehicle for later stage companies based in Seattle and beyond.
Founded in 1995, Madrona has historically focused on the Pacific Northwest. But the Acceleration Fund — which reeled in $161 million for its second fund in December — and the hiring of Torrey signal Madrona’s move to cast a wider investment net.
“As we define the new normal and as the world really begins to work differently, Utah and Texas are two of the fastest growing tech hubs,” Torrey noted. “Madrona is in a unique position to connect the thriving PNW ecosystem to these regions and I’m thrilled to partner with the great entrepreneurs in these growing areas.”
Recent investments out of the acceleration fund include companies such as VNDLY; Clari; Trade; and Coda.
“John will help us across stages and across geographies — from sourcing great investment opportunities to helping our existing companies scale,” said Madrona Managing Director Steve Singh.
Torrey and Singh have worked closely over the years, including at Concur, which Singh co-founded in 1993. Concur was acquired by SAP in 2014; SAP also acquired Qualtrics, and recently took the company public last month.
Torrey will also help Madrona make investments and support existing portfolio companies in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Madrona also announced Monday the hiring of Katie Chiupka as manager of business development and partnerships. She will help the firm identify partnership opportunities for Madrona portfolio companies. Chiupka was previously at Slalom Consulting and spent time at Microsoft and Zulily.
In addition to the second Acceleration Fund, Madrona in December raised $345 million for its eighth traditional fund — money that it will use to invest in 35-to-40 Pacific Northwest tech startups over the next several years.