Bing Powers Yahoo Search, City Teams Up With Ford, Startup Investments Drop from June to July, and More Seattle-Area Deals News

8/31/10

Most of the local tech deals we’ve seen recently have involved strategic partnerships, rather than financings. Over the last week, two big Internet and software players made some strides in a search partnership that was over a year in the making, a couple of partnerships were forged in the clean energy space, and a local online startup offered to buy up a popular website from a big-time media company. Take a look at the highlights.

—After more than a year of partnership negotiations between Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), and months of transitional work, Yahoo’s English search in the U.S. and Canada is now fully powered by Microsoft’s Bing. The ten-year, $150-million agreement finalized last July puts Microsoft in charge of search engine technology for both companies, and Yahoo in charge of sales and distribution of advertising for both search engines.

—The City of Seattle teamed up with the Ford Motor Company, based in Dearborn, MI, to prepare the city for a future that will presumably feature more electric vehicles, which place new demands on the electrical grid. The partnership, part of Ford’s 14-city “Charging into the Future Tour,” includes consumer outreach and education programs to introduce the community to electric cars, as well as joint work with local and state governments on issues surrounding permitting, regulations, and legislation, such as tax incentives to support electric vehicle purchases.

—Renton, WA-based Quantum Engineering and Development agreed to be acquired by Framingham, MA-based energy-efficiency services company Ameresco (NYSE: AMRC). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Quantum, which provides energy and water auditing, engineering, construction, and commissioning services for public, commercial, and industrial customers, will be joining Ameresco’s 650-person staff here in the Northwest as part of the company’s expansion efforts in the region.

—For the second week in a row Seattle-based I Can Has Cheezburger has made the deal roundup list without actually inking a deal, financing round, or partnership. This week the humor network’s CEO Ben Huh jumped into a debate between user-generated news aggregation site Reddit, and its parent organization Condé Nast, surrounding Condé Nast’s refusal to post advertisements in support of California’s Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana for individuals 21 and older, on the site. Joining in on one of his own sites, The Daily What, Huh offered to buy Reddit from Condé Nast and incorporate it into the Cheezburger family.

—This also isn’t exactly a deal, but it does speak to the financing climate for regional startups both in tech and biotech. In our monthly roundup of all industry deals in the Pacific Northwest last week, we took a look at the local financing figures for July, compared them to June’s figures, and found some interesting trends. In July local Washington companies brought in $81.7 million in financing, down from $104.3 million the month before.  $62.5 million out of the $81.7 million went to the healthcare sector.

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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