Twitter Buys Cloudhopper, Belkin Acquires Zensi, Mirina Raises Cash, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

4/27/10Follow @gthuang

A fairly busy week for deals in the Northwest. Twitter bought its first Seattle company. A prominent young mobile startup and a biotech company out of the Accelerator each got some important funding. But let’s start with the cleantech/energy news, of which there was plenty.

—Seattle-based construction firm McKinstry acquired the Enterprise Energy Management software group from its longtime partner Itron, the Spokane, WA, utility tech and smart grid company (NASDAQ GS: ITRI). Financial terms weren’t announced, but the move should strengthen McKinstry’s efforts in promoting energy efficiency in its buildings.

Verdiem, the Seattle energy-IT company, has teamed up with Cisco Systems to develop and market energy-management software for PCs and networked devices including IP phones and wireless access points. Financial terms weren’t given, but it sounds like a way for Verdiem to get its software into a wider array of products. The two companies have been working together for more than a year already.

—Seattle-based EnerG2, the University of Washington spinout developing nanomaterials for energy storage, raised another $3.5 million from an undisclosed investor. EnerG2 raised money from OVP Venture Partners and Firelake Capital in 2008, and last August it got a big grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a manufacturing plant in Oregon. The company focuses on materials for making better ultracapacitors for hybrid vehicles and other applications.

—Seattle-based Ground Truth raised a $7 million Series B round, led by new investor Emergence Capital Partners. OpenAir Ventures, Voyager Capital, and Steamboat Ventures also participated. Ground Truth came out of stealth in January and provides detailed data on how consumers use the mobile Internet. CEO Sterling Wilson told me about the startup’s culture and expansion plans.

Mirina, a developer of microRNA-based therapies out of the Seattle-based Accelerator, has secured another 12 to 15 months of funding led by Versant Ventures, as Luke reported. The amount was not disclosed. Other participants in the deal included Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Arch Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners, and WRF Capital.

—Seattle-based ExtraHop Networks formed a partnership with F5 Networks (NASDAQ GS: FFIV) to work on new products and marketing strategies together. Financial terms weren’t released. ExtraHop was founded in 2007 by F5 veterans Jesse Rothstein and Raja Mukerji, to help companies monitor and manage their applications environments and network transactions.

—Seattle-based Cloudhopper, a mobile messaging startup, was acquired by Twitter for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. Cloudhopper founder Joe Lauer has joined Twitter full-time but is staying in Seattle. His startup’s software, which optimizes the flow of text messages (among other things), is helping Twitter expand its SMS service around the world.

—OK, one more cleantech deal. UW professor Shwetak Patel’s energy-monitoring startup, Zensi, was acquired by Los Angeles-based Belkin for an undisclosed price. The company’s technology helps consumers monitor electricity use (and other resources) in the home. It was licensed from the University of Washington and Georgia Tech, where Shwetak did his Ph.D work.

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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