Amazon Invests in Engine Yard, PopCap Raises $22.5M, Omeros Goes Public, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

10/14/09Follow @gthuang

The deals rained down on the Northwest this past week. We saw some strong activity in biotech, gaming, and software.

Integrated Diagnostics, the new biotech company founded by Lee Hood, has secured $30 million in venture funding from Menlo Park, CA-based InterWest Partners, the U.K.-based Wellcome Trust, and Germany-based dievini Hopp Biotech holding, as Luke reported. The startup aims to detect cancer and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s in their earliest (and most treatable) stages.

Washington state’s venture funding numbers for the third quarter of 2009 fell to $144 million, down from $275 million in the previous quarter, as Bruce reported. And one deal in September, the $50 million investment in Calypso Medical, a Seattle-based developer of technology that pinpoints radiation therapy for cancer to minimize side effects, dominated the state’s third-quarter figures.

Decho, the Seattle-based subsidiary of EMC (NYSE: EMC), formed a partnership with British mobile network operator Vodafone to develop new data backup services for European markets. Financial terms weren’t given. The products will be built using Mozy, the online backup service operated by Decho.

—Redmond, WA-based Bionavitas formed a partnership with Seattle-based Blue Marble Energy to make biochemicals from algae, as Luke reported. Financial terms of the deal weren’t announced, and the companies didn’t say exactly what they plan to make under this alliance.

—Seattle-based Evri formed a partnership with media giant Hearst to power its new website and news aggregator, LMK (which stands for Let Me Know). Evri, a Paul Allen-backed startup that uses semantic analysis and natural language processing to find connections between entities on the Web, is providing the content-filtering software for LMK.

Omeros, the Seattle biotech company developing a treatment to improve recovery from knee surgery, completed its initial public offering last week, raising $68.2 million, as Luke reported. The state’s first IPO in more than two years was underwritten by Deutsche Bank and Wedbush PacGrow Life Sciences. Omeros (NASDAQ: OMER) opened trading at $10 a share and closed its first day at $8.73, giving it a market valuation of about $186 million.

—Seattle-based Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) participated in a $19 million Series C investment in Engine Yard, a cloud computing and software automation company based in San Francisco. Amazon was a previous investor in Engine Yard, along with Benchmark Capital and New Enterprise Associates. The latest deal also included new investors DAG Ventures, Bay Partners, and Presidio Ventures.

—Seattle-based PopCap Games raised $22.5 million in its first outside funding round since its founding in 2000. The investment was led by Meritech Capital Partners, based in Palo Alto, CA, and also included participation from investors Larry Bowman and John McCaw. The money will be used to help accelerate PopCap’s global expansion and distribution of its games.

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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