Urbanspoon Exits, Likewise Lands $10M, Zymo Licenses Drugs to Startup, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

5/5/09Follow @gthuang

It was a pretty busy week for deals in the Northwest, with activity in consumer Internet, security software, gaming, and biotech.

—The most talked-about deal in the Seattle startup community was Urbanspoon’s acquisition by New York-based IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), which owns dozens of popular websites like Citysearch and Evite. Financial terms were not disclosed. Urbanspoon, an online restaurant guide and iPhone application, will remain autonomous, said co-founder Ethan Lowry. New-media expert Warren Gouk of Cascadia Capital added some analysis about what the deal means for consumer Internet startups.

—Luke reported that Seattle-based ZymoGenetics (NASDAQ: ZGEN) licensed the rights to eight of its drug candidates to a new startup called Seattle Life Sciences, in exchange for an equity stake in the company. It’s all part of ZymoGenetics’ strategy to cut R&D costs on programs outside its core business, while it looks to push sales of its drug for surgical bleeding and development of its treatment for hepatitis C.

—Bellevue, WA-based Intelius acquired Spock, a people search engine in Redwood City, CA. Financial terms of the deal were not given. Intelius provides identity theft protection and background checks, among other services.

—Seattle-based Wetpaint, a social publishing startup, formed a partnership with MSN Entertainment to create fan sites that will start rolling out this quarter. Financial terms of the partnership were not announced. MSN will use Wetpaint’s software to power social websites where fans can create content and connect with each other.

—Seattle’s Big Fish Games gobbled up Grubby Games, a development studio in Vancouver, BC. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. Grubby Games makes titles like Incredibots, Professor Fizzwizzle, and My Tribe. Big Fish says it plans to release a new brand based on Grubby’s technology next quarter.

—Ryan reported that Likewise Software, based in Bellevue, WA, raised $10 million in Series C funding from existing investors Ignition Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Intel Capital. Likewise makes software that helps companies track and secure access to computer networks.

—Seattle-based Geospiza, a bio-software startup, inked a partnership with Carlsbad, CA-based Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) to help genomic researchers store data and access it in the Internet cloud, as Luke reported. Financial terms were not disclosed. It’s the first time a major gene sequencing company has taken the leap into cloud computing.

—Seattle startup Vigilos closed $1.4 million from Northwest Venture Associates, and is in the process of raising $300,000 more. Vigilos makes security software that helps organizations like the FBI, U.S. Navy, and Washington State Department of Transportation monitor sites remotely.

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. Follow @gthuang

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