RealNetworks Spins Off Rhapsody, Urban Airship and Swype Raise Cash, Winshuttle Buys A1, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

2/17/10Follow @gthuang

There were a bunch of small deals in the Northwest this week. Some hot spots were mobile, business software, and alternative fuels.

—Portland, OR-based Urban Airship, a mobile software startup, raised $1.1 million in a deal led by True Ventures. Seattle-based Founder’s Co-op also participated in the round. Urban Airship makes infrastructure for mobile messaging services that lets companies send news and alerts to iPhones and other mobile devices.

—Seattle-based Kashless, an online classifieds and local promotions startup, acquired the patent portfolio of Mercata, the former Bellevue, WA-based volume discount dot-com owned by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital. Terms of the deal weren’t announced, but Vulcan has gained an equity stake in Kashless. Using the technology, Kashless has rolled out a sister site, Tippr, focused on group-buying deals from local merchants.

—Seattle-based Swype, a mobile text-input software firm, raised $1 million in a deal led by Docomo Capital. The funding is an extension of Swype’s recent $5.6 million Series B round led by Nokia Growth Partners and Samsung Ventures. The new investment should help the company continue to expand into international markets and mobile platforms.

—Bothell, WA-based Winshuttle, a business software firm, acquired German company A1 Professional Software, whose team will remain in place as a subsidiary. Financial terms of the deal weren’t given. Winshuttle sells software to help corporations shuttle data and bridge the gap between Excel spreadsheets and other familiar programs and German giant SAP’s business-management software.

—Bellevue, WA-based SinglePoint acquired M2Junction, a mobile advertising startup based in Hyderabad, India, for an undisclosed price. SinglePoint makes a mobile software platform for delivering things like brand messages and interactive coupons within text messages. The deal should help the company sell its services to Indian content publishers, mobile operators, brands, and ad agencies.

Propel Fuels, the alternative fuel company founded in Seattle and now based in Sacramento, CA, raised $12 million in Series C equity financing led by new investor Craton Equity Partners, along with $8 million in debt financing. Existing investors Nth Power and @Ventures also participated in the equity round. The cash will help Propel expand its network of stations, which sell ethanol and biodiesel fuels, around California.

—Seattle-based RealNetworks and MTV Networks are spinning off their digital music service joint venture, Rhapsody, as a separate company. RealNetworks (NASDAQ: RNWK) will no longer be the majority owner and operator of Rhapsody; the new company will not have a single majority owner. The move looks to be a significant step in making Real more focused and profitable.

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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