Top Five Venture Deals From Last Quarter, PetraVM Pulls In $1.5M, Maveron Backs TheWrap, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

1/27/09Follow @gthuang

After a relatively slow week, the deals picked up a bit in the Northwest during the presidential inauguration week. There was modest activity in software, media, and vaccines.

—Xconomy broke the news that PetraVM, a University of Washington software startup, raised $1.5 million in Series A funding from Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group and WRF Capital. The deal came about in part thanks to Madrona’s “office hours,” informal meetings between VCs and faculty held in the UW’s computer science and engineering building. PetraVM aims to make software that runs on parallel processors cheaper and more reliable.

—Seattle-based venture capital firm Maveron led an investment in TheWrap.com, a news site covering the entertainment and media business in Hollywood, CA. Financial terms were not announced. TheWrap.com rolled out its site yesterday.

—Luke reported that the Infectious Disease Research Institute, based in Seattle, licensed two key components of an experimental vaccine for leishmaniasis to research partners at the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paolo, Brazil. IDRI stands to receive royalty payments on sales, if its partners develop a marketable vaccine. Leishmaniasis infects about 500,000 people each year, and kills one-tenth of them.

—SAManage, a business software firm based in Redmond, WA, raised a Series A funding round from Kiryat Gat, Israel-based Xenia Venture Capital. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. SAManage specializes in IT management for personal computers.

—Seattle-based ThePlatform, an online video firm, formed a partnership with Australian publisher News Digital Media to manage video across 50 websites, including news.com.au and Vogue.com.au. Financial terms of the deal weren’t announced. ThePlatform is an independent subsidiary of Comcast.

—Not a deal per se, but Xconomy recapped the top five venture deals in Washington and Oregon from the fourth quarter of 2008, using data from a Dow Jones VentureSource report. Venture funding in Washington and Oregon declined by 45 percent compared with the previous quarter—and by a whopping 68 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. The bright spots in the Seattle area were BlueKai, EnerG2, Qwell Pharmaceuticals, Datacastle, and Kashless. Those companies each received at least $5 million in venture funding.

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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