PV Powered Bought for $90M, Adaptive TCR Raises $4.5M, Microsoft and Ford Join Forces, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

3/31/10Follow @gthuang

It was a fairly quiet week for deals in the Northwest, as the event season is kicking into high gear. But there was a huge cleantech acquisition, and some notable deals in biotech, software, and mobile.

Microsoft and Ford Motor Co. are teaming up to implement online energy management software on electric vehicles. Ford is the first automaker to say it will use Microsoft’s Hohm software to help electric vehicle owners figure out the best times to charge up, starting with its Focus Electric next year.

—Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks, the nonprofit collaborative that’s spurring an open-source movement in biology, has formed a multi-year collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Merck, as Luke reported. Financial terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, but it will enable Sage to hire some more staff. Data from the collaboration will be available exclusively to Merck until one year after the collaboration ends, when all the data will get poured into the public domain.

—Luke broke the news that Seattle-based Adaptive TCR’s had raised $4.5 million in angel funding to develop new tools for studying the adaptive immune system. Adaptive TCR is a spinoff from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The company’s scientific advisory board includes distinguished researchers from the Institute for Advanced Study, the Benaroya Research Institute, and the University of Washington.

—Erin caught us up on five Northwest startup financings from last month that you probably hadn’t heard of. These are our monthly “under the radar” deals (less than $1 million), and February had some interesting activity in wireless (Eden Rock Communications), Internet, cleantech, and biotech.

—The week’s biggest deal came from Oregon: Bend, OR-based PV Powered has been acquired by Colorado-based Advanced Energy Industries for up to $90 million in cash, stock, and earn-out pay. PV Powered makes solar energy components called inverters that convert the electricity from solar cells into a form that homes and businesses can use. Cleantech experts say the deal is a very good sign for the mergers and acquisitions market.

—Seattle-based Voyager Capital participated in a $3 million follow-on financing for Placecast (also known as 1020), a San Francisco-based mobile marketing company. Other existing investors Quatrex Capital and Onset Ventures also participated in the funding, which is an add-on to a $5 million Series B round last November. Placecast is a location-based marketing platform for publishers and advertisers.

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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