Amazon Gets Into Games, Getty Grabs Jupiterimages, ZymoGenetics Settles a Suit, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

10/28/08Follow @gthuang

The leaves have changed, the World Series is winding down (hang in there, Tampa Bay), and the deals continue to flow in the Northwest. Digital media, software, and biotech were well represented in the last week.

—Seattle-based HyperQuality, which makes software to improve call centers and customer experience, secured $7.6 million of a $12.1 million Series C round, according to PE Hub. HyperQuality has previously raised $17 million in investments led by Ignition Partners and Miramar Venture Partners.

—In one of the bigger acquisitions of the year, Seattle-based Getty Images bought Jupitermedia’s online image business, Jupiterimages, for $96 million in cash. Getty, which previously tried to acquire its smaller rival in early 2007, was itself bought this summer by an affiliate of private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman.

—ZymoGenetics, the Seattle-based biotech firm, accepted a $21 million lump-sum payment from Bristol-Meyers Squibb to settle a patent dispute over lg fusion proteins, as Luke reported. ZymoGenetics dropped its patent lawsuit against Bristol and granted the company a non-exclusive worldwide license for the technology, which is used in a rheumatoid arthritis drug.

—Seattle-based Amazon acquired Reflexive Entertainment, a developer and distributor of casual games based in Lake Forest, CA. The terms of the deal were not released, but the move seems to signal Amazon’s increasing interest in the game distribution market, particularly for casual and social games.

—Luke reported that Vancouver, BC-based Sutus, a telecom company that targets small businesses, raised $4.5 million in venture and debt financing. BDC Venture Capital and Growthworks Capital invested $2 million, while MMV Financial provided $2.5 million in debt financing.

—Earth Class Mail, a Seattle-based company that digitizes paper mail and delivers it through the Internet, raised $5.1 million in angel investment, led by the Keiretsu Forum. The company primarily targets corporate and government customers.

—Not a deal, but a hint of deals to come, in cleantech: At the second annual Algae Biomass Summit in Seattle, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla spoke about the potential of algae-based biofuels, and Bob Nelsen of Arch Venture Partners and Jim Long of Gabriel Venture Partners discussed their high-profile investments in the space. The next day, Al Gore (who’s a venture partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) heard about cleantech and the University of Washington’s new College of the Environment from UW Tech Transfer head Linden Rhoads.

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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