Washington Companies Scored $53M in Equity Financing for March, Led by nLight, Tier 3 & Physware

4/29/11Follow @curtwoodward

Washington state companies collected about $53 million in equity financing from venture capitalists and angels in March, led by an $11 million VC round for Vancouver, WA-based semiconductor laser manufacturer nLight Photonics, according to data compiled by research firm CB Insights.

nLight still had another $4 million left to sell from the offering, according to last month’s SEC filing. The investors in nLight’s March financing round weren’t disclosed, but the company website lists Mohr Davidow Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, Menlo Ventures and Adams Capital Management as its backers. nLight has been around since 2000 and has manufacturing facilities in Hillsboro, OR, Finland, and China. Along with lasers, the company also supplies optical fiber products.

The second-largest investment in March went to Tier 3, the Seattle-based cloud-computing provider. It was the company’s first publicly announced investment round, with Ignition Capital and Madrona Venture Group supplying the money. Microsoft is among nearly 100 customers for the expanding company, which was founded in 2006.

Coming in third for large equity investments was $6.9 million for Physware, a Bellevue, WA-based provider of software for designing the circuitry in computer systems and other electronics. The company was founded by Vikram Jandhyala, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Washington. Physware also has an office in Mountain View, CA. Investors were not disclosed.

Another Bellevue company, Visible Technologies, was among the top investment hauls for March with a $6 million infusion from Investor Growth Capital, Centurion Holdings, Ignition Partners, WPP Group, and In-Q-Tel, according to CB Insights’ data. Visible provides social media monitoring for businesses—a growing field that helps companies sort out what customers are saying about them online. Visible has offices in Seattle, London and New York, and relationships with companies like Microsoft, Xerox, and Boost Mobile.

Rounding out the top five equity investments was Powerit Solutions, a cleantech company that provides energy management and conservation for industry clients, which landed a $5 million investment led by Black Coral Capital. Powerit’s Seattle branch is part of a larger company, which includes an office in Sweden. Powerit also announced last month a new CEO for its North America and Northern Europe divisions— Matthew Schiltz, formerly of Seattle-based DocuSign.

You can check out the rest of the March financing data here, including several more deals less than $5 million and one debt financing.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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