The news: Brendan Wales, a longtime Bay Area tech startup investor, has joined Seattle-based venture capital firm Fuse Venture Partners as its third founding general partner. Fuse has also raised nearly $120 million for its first fund.
Fuse background: The firm launched last year as a spinoff from Ignition Partners. Wales will join former Ignition colleagues Kellan Carter and Cameron Borumand as the founding general partners. Others on the team include longtime Ignition managing partner John Connors and Seattle Seahawks star Bobby Wagner, along with Satbir Khanuja and Sara Lindquist.
Why Fuse? Wales said he relocated his family to Seattle “to help build an enduring technology investment firm.” The University of Georgia grad previously spent nine years with global investment firm e.ventures.
Though Seattle’s startup ecosystem pales in comparison to Silicon Valley — from company creation to venture capital dollars available — Wales sees big opportunity.
“Having a smaller — albeit fast growing — pond allows Fuse to become more ingrained in the ecosystem,” he said. “Though one can possibly achieve that in the Bay Area, it requires more time and capital.”
Why Seattle? “From a quality-of-life perspective, my family was attracted to the diverse geographical setting and down-to-earth yet ambitious and entrepreneurial culture that is omnipresent here,” Wales said.
Fresh cash: Two new SEC filings show that Fuse has raised at least more than $118 million for its first fund. Carter declined to comment on the specifics of the fundraise.
What’s next? Fuse is focused on B2B software investments across the Pacific Northwest. Wales said he’s bullish about startups building developer tools, open source software, marketplaces, and SMB business software. He led a recent investment for Fuse in Dendron, a note-taking startup based in Seattle that just graduated from Y Combinator.
“As we look to boost tech innovation in the underfunded Seattle ecosystem, Brendan’s experience in backing and building high-growth technology companies is not only a boon to FUSE, but to innovation in the Pacific Northwest,” Carter said in a statement.
Go deeper: Ignition Partners investors spin out new Seattle firm Fuse with Seahawks football star Bobby Wagner