Avvo Follows Amazon and Expedia, Ignition and General Catalyst Back Travel Startup, Gist Goes Networking, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

3/23/10Follow @gthuang

This was a busy week in the Northwest, with lots of action in consumer software, Internet, mobile, and biotech. The biggest startup deals involved former Expedia executives (see below).

—A stealthy Seattle online-travel startup, co-founded by former Expedia execs Rich Barton, Greg Slyngstad, Sunil Shah, and Simon Breakwell, has raised $9.8 million in equity financing. Ignition Partners is an investor, along with General Catalyst Partners, Benchmark Capital, and the founders. The startup’s placeholder name is NewTravelco.

—Seattle-based Avvo, the online lawyer directory and Q&A forum, raised $10 million led by new investor DAG Ventures, with existing investors Benchmark Capital and Ignition Partners also participating. Founder and CEO Mark Britton, a former Expedia exec and top lawyer, told me about how Avvo’s strategy and user interface takes a page from Expedia and Amazon’s playbooks.

—Bellevue, WA-based Limeade confirmed it has raised a $3 million funding round this quarter from undisclosed investors. The company also announced new customers and the addition of Marchex president John Keister to its board. Limeade is an online startup focused on employee health and productivity.

—Seattle-based Theraclone Sciences raised $1.5 million in equity financing from undisclosed investors, as Luke reported. The new equity follows its $29 million venture capital round in March 2007 from Arch Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, Healthcare Ventures, Amgen Ventures, MPM Capital, and Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Theraclone is a developer of antibody drugs.

—An interesting local deal came about when Seattle-based Gist acquired Learn That Name, an iPhone app created in a Startup Weekend event last summer. Terms weren’t disclosed, but Gist will incorporate Learn That Name into its own iPhone app, which helps business people keep up with news and information about their contacts. How did the deal come about? Good old-fashioned networking.

—Portland, OR-based Second Porch raised $1 million led by the Oregon Angel Fund. Second Porch, led by CEO Brent Hieggelke, is an Internet startup that lets consumers rent and trade vacation homes with people they trust, through Facebook.

—This isn’t a new deal, but a profile of a consumer software startup in the process of making some very interesting deals: Seattle-based Cozi is looking to deliver on its vision of helping families communicate better in and out of their homes, using software on mobile phones, netbooks, and other devices.

—Twitter, the San Francisco-based messaging company, has formed partnerships with a number of large websites, including Amazon.com, Microsoft’s Bing, and MSNBC, to allow consumers to tweet and follow others’ tweets from within these sites. Financial details of the partnerships weren’t given.

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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