NewPath Picks Up $30M, Asemblon Raises $2.9M, Amazon Buys Lexcycle, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

4/28/09Follow @gthuang

It was another busy week for deals in the Northwest, with lots of action in cloud computing software, mobile, and healthcare. Xconomy even got into the act, inking a partnership with The Seattle Times (see below).

—Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) acquired Lexcycle, an e-book startup based in Portland, OR, and Austin, TX. No financial terms were given. Lexcycle makes an online bookstore application called Stanza for desktops and the iPhone. The move is viewed as part of Amazon’s effort to consolidate its position in the e-book reader market for mobile devices.

—Seattle-based Symform, a cloud data storage startup, raised $1.5 million in Series A financing from OVP Venture Partners in Kirkland, WA. Symform, founded in late 2007, has developed an online data backup service for small to medium-sized businesses that is fast and relatively cheap. It is in public beta trials and plans to release its full service later this year. OVP’s Mark Ashida talked about the deal and some broader issues in investment strategy.

—Opscode, a stealthy Seattle startup working on cloud computing infrastructure for businesses, closed $2.5 million in Series A funding, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Founded last year, Opscode says it will use the new cash to hire engineers and other key staff as it gets ready to launch its core cloud service this year.

—Seattle-based PATH, a global health nonprofit, received two grants worth $52 million to combat the spread of HIV, as Luke reported. The three-year grants are from the U.S. Agency for International Development ($35 million) to strengthen communities’ response to HIV in Ethiopia, and from the Canadian International Development Agency ($17 million) to aid HIV prevention efforts.

—Seattle-based LookStat, a maker of Web-based analytics and workflow automation software for the microstock photography industry, raised $500,000 from Seattle’s Founder’s Co-op and individual investors. LookStat is in public beta trials and looking to sell its service to photographers who want to know what kinds of photos are selling where, for example. Co-founder Rahul Pathak talked about what his company is doing, and provided some more context around the deal.

—Ryan reported on the Northwest’s second-biggest financing deal of 2009 so far, Seattle-based NewPath Networks’ $30 million funding led by Charterhouse Group in New York, with Denver-based Meritage Funds also participating. NewPath, founded in 2004, designs and operates wireless technologies such as antenna networks and underground fiber-optic cables for carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, who need to provide wireless coverage in remote and difficult-to-access places.

—Bingen, WA-based Insitu, a developer of drone aircraft, received a one-year, $30 million contract from the Canadian government to ship small, unmanned aerial vehicles in support of Canadian military operations in Afghanistan. Insitu was acquired by Boeing (NYSE: BA) for about $400 million last summer.

—Hillsboro, OR-based Kryptiq, a maker of collaborative software for healthcare providers, sold off its health plan network management software line, called Choreo, to Portico Systems in Blue Bell, PA. Financial terms were not announced. Kryptiq’s core product helps providers share information with patients, labs, and pharmacies.

—Luke broke the news that Redmond, WA-based Asemblon has raised $2.9 million in the first installment of a Series C financing, led by London-based RAB Capital and Japan’s Sojitz Trading. Asemblon is working on a novel technology for storing hydrogen fuel using organic carrier molecules that can release hydrogen on demand, enabling the fuel to be stored at room temperature and without high pressure.

—Lastly, Xconomy has formed a partnership with The Seattle Times, whereby the Business/Technology section of Seattletimes.com gets an automatic feed of news and features headlines from Xconomy Seattle, as Luke announced. This syndication deal comes on the heels of another partnership we formed with the Seattle P-I back in December to share online stories.

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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