Amazon Teams Up With Microsoft for E-Books, Bing Goes Real-Time, Revolution Computing Reels In $9M, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

10/27/09Follow @gthuang

It was a big week for big companies. Amazon’s stock soared, and the e-commerce giant made a deal with Microsoft that should make Kindle e-books even more popular. There was also interesting deals news from Bing and a few Northwest venture firms and startups.

—Kennewick, WA-based Infinia has raised $3.25 million in debt and options out of a total financing round worth as much as $10.5 million, as Luke reported. The investors were not disclosed. Infinia, which (before this latest round) has raised $84 million from a syndicate that includes Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital and Vinod Khosla, is developing novel solar power systems.

—Seattle-based Bezos Expeditions, the venture firm run by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, re-upped with an investment in Aviary, a design software startup based in Long Island, NY. The $7 million Series B round was led by Boston-based Spark Capital. Aviary makes cloud-based software for graphic design, audio editing, and other creative digital services.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is teaming up with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) to release Kindle for PC, a software application that will let people read Kindle electronic books on Windows personal computers. No financial terms were announced. The free application will be released next month.

Revolution Computing, which has offices in Seattle and New Haven, CT, raised $9 million from North Bridge Venture Partners of Waltham, MA, and Intel Capital, based in Santa Clara, CA, as Wade reported. The startup, which provides software and support for the statistical programming language known as “R,” also announced that Norman Nie, a veteran of the data mining software firm SPSS, is its new CEO.

—Kirkland, WA-based OVP Venture Partners led a $12 million investment in RedSeal Systems, a security software firm in San Mateo, CA. Existing investors Venrock Associates, Jafco Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Leapfrog Ventures also participated in the deal, which brings RedSeal’s total funding to more than $43 million. OVP managing director Mark Ashida has joined the company’s board.

—Bellevue, WA-based AudienceScience confirmed it has raised $20 million from Silicon Valley investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Meritech Capital Partners, and Integral Capital Partners. The online advertising firm said it will use the funding to hire new staff, do R&D in targeted advertising, and expand internationally. Luke previously reported that AudienceScience (formerly called Revenue Science) had closed a $15.1 million funding round involving equity, debt, and preferred stock, which had the potential to go up to $20 million, based on an SEC filing.

Microsoft is integrating real-time status updates from Twitter and Facebook into its Bing search engine, as Thea Chard reported in her first freelance story for Xconomy. The Redmond, WA, software company has formed non-exclusive partnerships with the two social media networks, as part of Microsoft’s plan to fuse the “real-time Web” with its search engine to create a new kind of social-media focused reader. Bing’s access to tweets is now in beta form, while the Facebook deal, which will grant the search engine access to all publicly shared information from the social network’s users, will be effective at a later date, according to Microsoft senior vice president Yusuf Mehdi.

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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