Amazon Teams Up With Google, MOD Systems Scores $35M, RescueTime Raises Series A, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

9/30/08Follow @gthuang

Coming off a turbulent week in the financial markets, there were still plenty of deals getting done in Seattle with software, digital media, and biotechnology companies.

—Amazon’s MP3 music store will be pre-loaded onto the G1, the first mobile phone to run Google’s Android operating system. The deal is being viewed as a push by Google and its partners to win market share from the iPhone, iTunes, and Windows Mobile. The G1 will be available in the U.S. from T-Mobile starting October 22.

—MOD Systems, a Seattle maker of digital-media technology that allows retail stores to sell videos and music in portable form, raised $35 million in equity capital from Toshiba, NCR, and others. MOD’s partnerships with consumer electronics companies could allow more retailers, airports, and other outlets to sell downloadable content from store kiosks.

—Omeros, a Seattle company developing a treatment to boost the effectiveness of arthroscopic knee surgery, raised as much as $20 million in debt financing from BlueCrest Capital Finance, as Luke reported. Omeros, which raised $63 million in venture capital in 2007 from Arch Venture Partners and others, filed to go public earlier this year but hasn’t gone through with it.

—Seattle-based Pressplane raised a $1.7 million Series A round from Second Avenue Partners and a slew of individual investors. Led by Kelly Smith, co-founder of Curious Office Partners and Imagekind, Pressplane is still in stealth mode, but says it’s creating a “buy and sell marketplace…around designers and creative content serving businesses.”

—RescueTime, a Seattle startup that makes Web-based time-management software, raised a Series A round worth $900,000. The financing was led by True Ventures and included several angel investors. RescueTime’s software keeps track of how much time you spend on various websites and applications during the course of a workday.

—Voyager Capital co-founders Bill McAleer and Enrique Godreau talked about their investment strategy around the theme of “connected computing,” the confluence of software, wireless, and digital media. Given the current state of the financial markets, they also discussed longer-term horizons for investments and the need for companies to form partnerships.

—Lastly, we reported some sad news about one of the region’s leading dealmakers. Second Avenue Partners’ Keith Grinstein died on Sunday at age 48. In addition to his founder’s role at Second Avenue Partners, Grinstein served as strategic advisor to Madrona Venture Group and chairman of Coinstar, among other duties. The Grinstein family, in a statement, said Keith died of natural causes.

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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