Lockerz’s Latest $30M Haul Easily Tops April’s List of Washington State Equity Deals

5/16/11Follow @curtwoodward

Let’s count the juicy consumer-Internet trends piled up in Seattle startup Lockerz: Social networking, photo sharing, gamification, deals, and original content. That’s a mouthful, and investors apparently like what they see—Lockerz’s $30 million venture round is by far the biggest equity deal in Washington state for the month of April, according to data compiled by research firm CB Insights.

Lockerz is led by Kathy Savitt, a veteran of Amazon.com. Also in April, Lockerz added another former Amazonian, Mark Stabingas, as chief operating officer. The site claims 18 million users, who earn points for watching videos, uploading photos (Lockerz previously acquired Plixi) and other social-networking interactions. The aim is to redeem those points for deals on consumer products. Lockerz is very well-financed for a Seattle tech startup—it previously had raised $30 million.

There was a tie for second-largest equity financing in April, with two companies raising $6 million each. One was Decide.com, a stealth-mode startup that says it is focusing on online consumer electronics shopping. The company was co-founded by University of Washington professor and Internet search expert Oren Etzioni. It’s led by CEO Mike Fridgen. The pair worked together on Farecast, the airfare-prediction startup that was acquired by Microsoft.

The other $6 million startup in April was Spokane-based ReliOn, which makes commercial and industrial fuel cells based on “proton exchange membrane” technology. The company has been around since 1995, but went through a name change in 2004, according to the corporate website. ReliOn says it has about 3,500 kilowatts’ worth of cells worldwide, and serves public and private customers.

Coming in fourth was Xeround, which raised $4 million. Xeround, based in Bellevue, WA, offers cloud-computing software to help businesses, primarily in the telecommunications industry, to help them manage their data. The company says it has developed an “intelligent data grid” that allows customers to put all their information in one place instead of having it scattered across multiple databases.

Rounding out April’s top five was Mpire, a Seattle-based advertising company that raised $3 million. That wasn’t the end of the company’s news last month: Mpire also named a new CEO, and changed its name, switching over to AdXpose—adopting the moniker of its marquee product. That was the completion of a switchover that the company started about a year ago, when it announced it was ditching its previous Widgetbucks advertising network to focus on the AdXpose technology, which is dedicated to “optimizing” ad spending online.

Check out the table for the rest of the month’s Washington equity deals, and a few debt financings to boot.

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

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