Three Dealmakers Make Moves, MicroGreen Gets Moolah, SonoSite Buys Visualsonics, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

6/1/10Follow @gthuang

The past couple of weeks have been slow-going for company financings and acquisitions in the Northwest. We’ve seen some high-profile personnel moves at Microsoft, as well as at Accel Partners and Founder’s Co-op (see below), but little in the way of money changing hands. Nevertheless, there was some action in the worlds of software, advanced materials, and medical devices. Here were the most notable deals:

—Arlington, WA-based MicroGreen Polymers raised $6.9 million in Series B funding, from new strategic investor Waste Management (NYSE: WM), based in Houston, TX, and existing backers WRF Capital, Northwest Energy Angels, and other private investors. MicroGreen is a spinout from the University of Washington that makes advanced plastics that use less material than conventional plastics, such as a special kind of thermally insulated, recyclable coffee cup. The company will use the new money to accelerate its move into the consumer market for food-service applications.

—Bothell, WA-based SonoSite is acquiring Visualsonics, based in Toronto, for $71 million, as Luke reported. SonoSite (NASDAQ: SONO) makes portable ultrasound machines. The company is looking to use Visualsonics’ ultra high frequency ultrasound technology to image microscopic details like the inside of blood vessels, all with a miniaturized, portable device.

RF Surgical Systems, a Bellevue, WA-based developer of medical device technologies, raised $2.5 million in equity financing out of a $5 million round from existing investors. The company was founded in 2004 and has raised more than $20 million since its inception. It makes an FDA-approved system for detecting and preventing retained surgical sponges in patients undergoing surgery.

—Not a deal per se, but a trio of notable dealmakers are on the move. Rob Glaser, the founder and former CEO of Seattle-based RealNetworks (NASDAQ: RNWK) has joined Accel Partners, the Silicon Valley-based VC firm, as a part-time venture partner. Glaser will remain in Seattle, and is looking to help connect Accel with Seattle-area entrepreneurs working in digital media, social media, and mobile technologies.

Not to be outdone, Geoff Entress, the prolific and popular angel investor (and VC with Voyager Capital), has joined Seattle-based Founder’s Co-op as a managing partner, where he will help ramp up the firm’s seed-stage tech investments. And Ron Wiener, the founder and former CEO of Earth Class Mail, has formed a new group, Seattle-based Venture Mechanics, which is looking to reshape the process of starting tech companies from the ground up—beginning with three new startups he introduced last week, in the areas of mobile, business software, and Internet.

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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