Funding news: New crypto firm; a real estate investing platform; hydrogen fuel; B2B marketing

Cash Flow Portal founder and CEO Perry Zheng. (Cash Flow Portal Photo)

Here’s our latest rundown on recent startup investment news in the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle-based real estate investment platform Cash Flow Portal has raised $3.5 million and was accepted to participate in the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator (though it hasn’t decided whether to participate). The investors were not disclosed.

The gist: Cash Flow Portal acts as a matchmaker for real estate developers who are looking for money to fund new projects and folks who are ready to write checks and co-sponsor developments. The startup is positioning itself as “the first platform of its kind to offer passive real estate investors an all-in-one solution for discovering, evaluating and investing in real estate deals.”

The team: CEO Perry Zheng launched the startup in April 2020. He previously worked as an engineering manager at Lyft for more than five years, and as a software engineer at Twitter and Amazon. The company has 11 employees.

The business: Cash Flow Portal has more than 30 real estate developers on the platform who have raised more than $500 million for their deals, said Zheng. The platform costs developers $99 per month to list up to five properties. There are enterprise packages for larger users. People seeking investment opportunities use the site for free.

The startup has plans to expand its services. That includes developing underwriting software, adding legal services and helping investors vet real estate deals.

The competition: There are lots of software companies in the real estate finance arena. Cash Flow’s competitors include Cadre, which has raised more than $133 million; Investor Management Services, which was acquired for $55.6 million; and AppFolio, a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of nearly $4.7 billion. Others include SyndicationPro, Juniper Square, GroundBreaker and Investor Deal Room.

More deals:

Brooke Pollack.

Hutt Capital, a new Portland, Ore.-based investment fund for blockchain startups, raised $23.4 million for its first fund.

The firm describes itself as a “fund of funds,” as it invests in a portfolio of 15-to-20 other venture capital funds with different areas of expertise and focus across the blockchain/crypto ecosystem. It also reserves a small part of its fund to make direct investments in growth-stage companies.

The idea is to “provide our investors holistic exposure and access to a portfolio of early stage blockchain/crypto VC funds through a single investment,” said Brooke Pollack, founder and managing partner of Hutt who previously led blockchain/crypto efforts at a venture firm called Greenspring Associates.

“New industries are being spawned and crypto as a new asset class represents a once-in-a-lifetime innovation,” Pollack said. “We are seeing a rapid pace of innovation and growth across the industry. Not to mention the talent flowing into this space is incredible and the community is beyond passionate.”

— B2B marketing startup Inflection.io raised $1.3 million from Pienza, a startup studio based in Seattle. Inflection incubated at Pienza and recently spun out of the firm. The 15-person company is led by Dave Rigotti, a former employee at Microsoft, Marketo, and Adobe who also spent five years at Bizible, a Seattle marketing startup acquired by Marketo in 2018. Pienza founder Aaron Bird previously founded Bizible and is a co-founder and board member at Inflection.

Could Seattle City Light and the Port of Seattle start replacing dirty fossil fuels with clean hydrogen to power forklifts, trucks, cranes, tugboats, commercial fishing boats, ferries and other vehicles and vessels? The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $2.1 million to three government agencies to find out. The recipients are City Light, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Sandia National Laboratories.

Other deals we’ve covered this week at GeekWire:

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