November 7, 2013 in Business, technology

Venture capitalists invest in Liberty Lake’s 2nd Watch Inc.

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Liberty Lake technology company 2nd Watch Inc. has landed $23 million from venture capitalists.

The new money from Columbia Capital and Madrona Venture Group brings the total investment received by 2nd Watch to $28 million since its launch in 2010, CEO Kris Bliesner said.

2nd Watch helps businesses use cloud-based technology to manage the costs of computing, networking and data storage.

Customers include area firms Red Lion and Ecolite as well as major tech companies such as Adobe and Lenovo.

The money will expand the firm’s existing offices in Liberty Lake, Seattle, San Francisco and New York.

The plan includes adding offices in Atlanta, California, Texas and the Midwest, Bliesner said.

Madrona, out of Seattle, has already invested in 2nd Watch.

And Columbia Capital, based in Arlington, Va., has made major investments in other cloud-services companies. It initiated this new cash infusion into 2nd Watch.

The firms didn’t disclose how much each invested.

Bliesner said the money will also expand 2nd Watch’s managed services team and its sales and engineering groups.

“Our enterprise customers need more local access to cloud experts, and we are using our latest funding to continue to invest in our customer relationships and our ability to support them in their move to the cloud,” he said in an email.

This is not Madrona Venture Group’s first Eastern Washington investment. It played a role in a major investment in World Wide Packets, a networking company launched by Bernard Daines. In 2008, World Wide Packets was acquired by Ciena Corp.

Cloud services generally include a wide range of computing and information-gathering operations that companies use to manage their own networks.

With the availability of broadband access anywhere and users wanting information from different devices, cloud-service providers allow big and midsized companies to move their information networks into data centers.

Companies using cloud services have the flexibility to manage and change the amount of cloud processing or storage they need as conditions require.

In its marketing materials, 2nd Watch says, on average, its customers realize savings of 50 to 70 percent of what they spent using on-premise IT solutions.

“Columbia believes that 2nd Watch is well-positioned to grow as more large and midsized enterprises choose to make this business transformation and select a leader who can help manage the risk and capture the ongoing benefits,” said Jason Booma, a principal partner with Columbia Capital.

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