Bill Gates Backs Schrödinger, Bonanzle Lands Angel-VC Deal, Qliance Scores Big-Name Cash, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

5/4/10Follow @gthuang

Another relatively quiet week for deals in the Northwest, with some activity in software, e-commerce, healthcare, biotech, and medical devices. Let’s see if things pick up in the next few weeks—there haven’t been many new companies getting money lately.

—Bothell, WA-based SonoSite, a maker of portable ultrasound machines, formed a partnership with Redmond, WA-based Physio-Control, the big maker of heart defibrillators, as Luke reported. Financial terms of the deal weren’t given, but Physio-Control’s sales reps will help pitch SonoSite’s (NASDAQ: SONO) ultrasound diagnostic tools to emergency medicine workers.

—Erin gave our monthly rundown on “under the radar” deals in the Northwest. In March, our partner CB Insights tracked 11 startups in Washington and Oregon that each received financing of less than $1 million. The companies cut across a wide range of fields, including video games (Playteau), online travel (Yapta), mobile networking (HomePipe Networks), wind turbines (Skyron Systems), and genetic testing (Iverson Genetic Diagnostics).

—I broke the news of Kirkland, WA-based online marketplace Bonanzle’s new $1 million angel financing round, which (interestingly) also included three venture firms. Angel investor Geoff Entress led the investment, and was joined by a number of other prominent investors, including Seattle-area VC firms Voyager Capital and Ignition Partners, and Bay Area-based Matrix Partners. Bonanzle founder Bill Harding told me why he took the money after having bootstrapped the company to this point.

Bill Gates made a $10 million equity investment in Schrödinger, a New York and Portland, OR-based maker of chemical-simulation software for drug development and research. The company said the money will be used to support R&D projects to advance the state of the art in computer-aided drug design.

—Luke reported that Mirina, the microRNA drug developer at Seattle-based Accelerator, raised $3.9 million in an expansion round of financing reported earlier. The money should be enough to operate the company inside Accelerator for another 12 to 15 months. Mirina’s investors include Versant Ventures, WRF Capital, Arch Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners, and Elitech Group.

—Seattle-based Qliance Medical Management raised $6 million from an all-star list of investors including Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, and actor Drew Carey, as Luke reported. Existing investors Second Avenue Partners, New Atlantic Ventures, and Clear Fir Partners also participated in the deal. Qliance, which started in 2006, runs a primary care practice in Seattle that deals directly with patients and doesn’t accept health insurance.

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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