Prometheus Partners with Big Oil, Qliance Raises $4M, Microsoft May Sell Razorfish, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

7/7/09Follow @gthuang

The activity in the Northwest picked up a little bit around the holiday weekend. In the past week, we’ve seen some interesting deals in alternative energy, healthcare, and software.

—Seattle-based Qliance Medical Management raised $4 million in venture capital led by Second Avenue Partners, with participation from New Atlantic Ventures and Clear Fir Partners, as Luke reported. Qliance provides basic healthcare to patients without involving health insurance companies, with the idea of paying doctors to spend more time with fewer patients. The company was founded in 2006 and has raised a total of $7.5 million. Luke first profiled the firm, which is led by CEO Norm Wu, back in December.

—Xconomy reported that Prometheus Energy, a Redmond, WA-based producer of liquid natural gas, raised $10 million from Shell Technology Ventures (managed by Netherlands-based Kenda Capital), with $10 million more coming down the road if Prometheus meets certain milestones. It’s a big deal for Prometheus, which has developed a novel method of producing alternative fuel from waste gases at landfills, coal mines, and other facilities. It’s also a big deal for Seattle cleantech and for the alternative fuels industry, which needs support from big oil companies.

R.W. Beck, a Seattle-based engineering and business consulting firm, has been acquired by SAIC (NYSE: SAI), the San Diego government contractor, as Eric reported. Financial terms weren’t given. SAIC performs research and services for U.S. intelligence, defense, and security agencies. R.W. Beck was founded in 1942 and focuses on the energy and infrastructure sectors.

—Seattle stealth startup Ground Truth raised $2.6 million in equity funding, according to an SEC filing. The investors include venture capitalists Tom Huseby and Erik Benson of Voyager Capital in Seattle, and Beau Laskey of Steamboat Ventures in Burbank, CA. Ground Truth is led by executives Sterling Wilson and Michael Libes.

—Burnaby, BC-based Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP) has teamed up with Bend, OR-based IdaTech to sell 310 hydrogen-fueled generators to ACME Tele Power, a wireless infrastructure company in India, as Eric reported. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed. The generators will help ACME produce backup power to maintain wireless networks during outages.

—The Financial Times reported that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is in the process of selling Razorfish, its Seattle-based online advertising subsidiary. The report, which has not been confirmed by Microsoft, claims Morgan Stanley has been appointed to find a buyer, and that Publicis, a French marketing firm, is a possible bidder. Microsoft acquired Razorfish in 2007 as part of its $6.4 billion purchase of aQuantive in 2007.

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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