Under the Radar Financings in the Northwest: Foodista, PhotoRocket, EnergySavvy, and More

5/28/10Follow @gthuang

OK, usually when we pull out our monthly “under the radar” deals, it’s companies we haven’t heard much about before. Not so this time.

I’ve been lamenting the relative dearth of financing deals for early-stage software startups around Seattle lately. This month’s news won’t really change that, but at least there are a few intriguing companies on the list that we’ve had our eye on. We define “under the radar” deals as financings worth less than $1 million, in innovation areas like software, Web services, networking, medical devices, diagnostics, and energy. The latest stats, which list six companies for April, were provided by our partner CB Insights, a New York-based private company intelligence platform.

One of the familiar companies on the list is Seattle-based Foodista, a wiki-based online encyclopedia for cooking, which has raised $750,000 in equity funding from undisclosed investors. The company was founded by Amazon veterans Barnaby Dorfman and Sheri Wetherell, and rolled out its website in December 2008. It raised $550,000 from Amazon and angel investors in 2009.

Another company we’ve been watching is PhotoRocket, the new stealthy photo-sharing company led by Scott Lipsky of Amazon, aQuantive, and GalleryPlayer fame. PhotoRocket has raised more than $377,000 on its way to a $1.25 million first-round close.

EnergySavvy (formerly called Evoworx) is an energy-efficiency startup focused on home energy use. It raised about $320,000 in debt financing last month, according to CB Insights. The company is led by CEO Aaron Goldfeder, a former Microsoftie and newly named “Pivotal Leader.” It also has Leo Shklovskii and Karl Siebrecht involved as co-founders.

Last but not least, I wanted to mention Shelby SuperCars of West Richland, WA. Normally we probably wouldn’t report on a car maker. But these are supercars (they look pretty cool).

So here’s the list of our “under the radar” company financings from April:

CoCo Communications Seattle,              WA A maker of software for interoperability between radios, cell phones, and computers Debt* $953,453
Foodista Seattle,               WA A provider of an editable, online cooking encyclopedia Equity $750,000
PhotoRocket Seattle,              WA A stealthy photo-sharing startup Equity $376,917
EnergySavvy Seattle,              WA A Web company that aims to improve home energy efficiency Debt $320,450
Shelby SuperCars West Richland, WA A maker of supercars Debt $200,000
StreamiT Bend,                  OR A stealthy online video company Equity $135,000

*Includes options and/or warrants

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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