Big Fish Gets Big Funds, UIEvolution Emerges, Targeted Growth Targets Biofuels, Healionics Dogs It, & More

9/16/08Follow @gthuang

As fall approaches, the Northwest deals (and other news) are starting to pick up. In the past week, we’ve seen plenty of action in mobile, gaming, biotech, and biofuels—including Washington state’s biggest venture deal of 2008 so far.

—Seattle-based Big Fish Games has raised a whopping $83.3 million in Washington’s largest venture deal of the year, as Bob reported. The round was led by London, UK-based Balderton Capital, and also included General Catalyst Partners of Cambridge, MA, and Salmon River Capital of New York. The funds will be used to accelerate the casual game maker’s global expansion. Big Fish, which reels in some $50 million in annual revenues from games such as Mystery Case Files, is already profitable.

Not all is golden in gaming land, though. Mobile-game startups Mobliss and Reaxion, both based in Seattle, announced they are merging into a new company called PressOK Entertainment. The firm will focus on casual games for the mobile market, and will be led by Reaxion CEO Colin Prior. The deal could be a sign of consolidation in the mobile entertainment industry.

—Redmond, WA-based Healionics has signed a deal to manufacture bioengineered materials for Chandler, AZ-based TR BioSurgical, as Luke reported. The deal could provide Healionics with revenues of more than $10 million. The company’s biomaterial is designed to allow the body to heal around implantable medical devices; TR BioSurgical will use it to make an implant for dogs with glaucoma, available in the first quarter of 2009.

—As Luke reported from a biotech summit in Vancouver, B.C., Seattle-based Targeted Growth is working to commercialize a high-yield source of raw material for biodiesel refiners. Late last year, the company also licensed its plant gene-modification technology to a top global seed company, to boost crop yields. Targeted Growth has raised $32 million in venture capital since May 2006, from the likes of Capricorn Management, AllianceBernstein, and local investors Integra Ventures and WRF Capital.

—Ontela, a Seattle-based maker of mobile software, announced it has partnered with 14 additional wireless carriers (including United Wireless and Cellcom) and eight more social websites. The deals allow Ontela to automatically deliver camera-phone pictures to wireless subscribers’ e-mail inboxes and to photo-sharing sites such as Facebook, Flickr, and Friendster.

—Bellevue, WA-based UIEvolution has raised a Series A round that is worth some $5 million. The round was led by Intel Capital, with help from Itochu. UIEvolution makes multimedia publishing software for mobile phones and other consumer devices.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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