Nokia Acquires Vulcan-Backed Plum, Uptake Raises Cash, Smilebox Buys Preclick, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

9/15/09Follow @gthuang

It was another fairly quiet week for Northwest deals, as summer officially winds down. Activity in wireless, software, and biotech led the way.

—The Oregon Angel Fund, based in Portland, said it has closed a new $3 million fund this summer, raised from 60 individual investors and the Oregon Growth Account, a state-run fund dedicated to startups. The angel group has made three new investments with its fund, putting $500,000 into Vancouver, WA-based ClearAccess, committing to invest $500,000 in Portland-based Giftango, and investing $405,000 in Portland-based Wicked Quick.

—Kirkland, WA-based Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) signed a collaborative agreement with UQ Communications of Japan and Yota of Russia to support international roaming between the three WiMax operators. Financial details weren’t given. Clearwire is rolling out WiMax, a next-generation wireless broadband service, in cities across the U.S.

—Mukilteo, WA-based CombiMatrix (NASDAQ: CBMX) received a $1.5 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to develop automated tools that can detect biological, chemical, and environmental hazards, as Luke reported. CombiMatrix makes genetic analysis tools, and has developed other products for the military.

Plum, a social media sharing and messaging service backed by Seattle’s Vulcan Capital and Levensohn Venture Partners in San Francisco, was acquired by Finnish mobile giant Nokia (NYSE: NOK). Financial details were not disclosed. Plum has about 10 employees in Boston and San Francisco.

—Seattle-based Uptake Medical raised $3.4 million out of a total equity offering worth $13.3 million, as Luke reported. The investors were not disclosed. Uptake Medical is developing a device that seals off access to diseased parts of the lung where air gets trapped, without leaving any implantable device behind.

—Redmond, WA-based Smilebox, a photo services startup, acquired Preclick, a Seattle and New Jersey-based maker of photo software for retailers like Walmart, Costco, and Walgreens, for an undisclosed price. Smilebox launched its service, which lets people create electronic greeting cards, photo albums, and slideshows, in 2006.

—Venture capitalists invested $25 million in four companies headquartered in Washington state last month, according to data from ChubbyBrain, a New York-based firm that develops tools for investors, startups, and entrepreneurs. Bellevue, WA-based Apptio led the way with its $14 million Series B financing from Madrona Venture Group, Greylock Partners, and new investors Shasta Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz Fund.

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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