HP Buys Melodeo, RumbleFish Partners With YouTube, Motricity Declines & More Seattle-Area Deals News

6/29/10

Although it hasn’t been the biggest deal week for Northwest tech companies volume-wise, there have been some sizeable transactions worth mentioning in the roundup. In the past week, we’ve seen three global companies take particular interest in our local startup scene, especially in some pretty unusual music and mobile ventures. Take a look at the highlights:

Kirkland,WA-based Clearwire raised another $290.8 million through a public rights offering. This additional lump sum of money comes only seven months after the Wireless Internet service company nabbed a $1.5 billion investment led by Sprint Nextel.

—Local mobile phone polling developer, Precision Polling, was acquired by online Portland-based survey big-timer Survey Monkey for an undisclosed amount. Part of the deal we do know: both of Precision’s co-founders, Gaurav Oberoi and Charles Groom, will be staying on board with Survey Monkey here in Seattle.

—In perhaps the biggest local story with national scope this last week, news broke that Seattle-based startup Melodeo was acquired by HP for between $30 and $35 million. The folks at Melodeo develop music media services for mobile devices, like their nuTsie and Mobilcast products. Another fun fact: Dave Dederer, from the local rock group The Presidents of the United States of America is their vice president of business development. But why a hardware company like HP is getting into mobile music, and what else they plan down the line, is a story yet to be told.

Seattle-based digital content and service marketplace DigitalScirocco nabbed $1.1 million in equity financing last week. The company aims to connect those wishing to republish outside content (whether it be a photo, article or multi-media element) on their websites to content owners through an automated marketplace where rights can be purchased easily. [nice clear description]

—Portland,OR-based music licensing company Rumblefish announced a partnership with global video community YouTube and the launch of their joint project, “Friendly Music,” a service that will allow the average user to purchase legal rights to use a song in a non-commercial video for $1.99 each. Friendly Music, which officially becomes available to consumers today, gives users access to over 35,000 tracks by independent artists and labels. And though it doesn’t yet contain any big-name artists, it does have me wondering if and how the easy availability of music rights will change the face of YouTube. Will people start paying $2 a pop to ensure that the soundtracks to their home movies are legally protected?

—This deal is more than a week old, but its ripple effect was certainly felt this week. Bellevue, WA-based Motricity completed a $50 million IPO at $10 share on June 18. That was a lot less money than the company had hoped to raise. So far, the IPO investors haven’t been able to chalk up any instant profits, either. The company’s stock has sunk since its debut, closing yesterday at $9.10.

Thea Chard is a correspondent for Xconomy Seattle. You can e-mail her at theachard@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/theachard. Follow @

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