Midweek Roundup: AdXpose & Griptonite Sold, Clearwire Reaches for LTE, Fundraising Tidbits

8/3/11Follow @curtwoodward

Online advertising company AdXpose is the latest Seattle-area tech firm to get snapped up by a bigger company, joining forces with comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR) in a transaction worth $22 million, mostly in comScore stock. And it sounds like the AdXpose team doesn’t have to sweat layoffs because of the buyout: CTO Greg Harrison tells Brier Dudley at The Seattle Times that AdXpose will keep expanding its staff.

AdXpose has been through plenty of changes over the years. The company, founded in 2005 and formerly known as Mpiremade the switch from an eBay seller-tool business to an ad network in 2006, with the debut of Widgetbucks. Mpire then unveiled the AdXpose optimizing technology in 2009, and dropped Widgetbucks less than a year later to focus on the optimization side. The company changed its name to AdXpose in April, when it also announced a $3 million investment round.

AdXpose’s technology helps ensure that online ad campaigns perform more effectively, while also protecting brands from fraud and appearing next to inappropriate content such as porn. ComScore expects the buyout to close in about two weeks, and not have any real effect on its revenues. Here’s a comScore blog post if you want more details.

And, just one day after we reported on Sucker Punch Productions joining Sony, we have another game studio in the area being acquired. Kirkland, WA-based Griptonite Games, which produces games for consoles, smartphones, and handheld game devices, will join San Francisco’s Glu Mobile (NASDAQ: GLUU) in a stock deal worth around $28 million at Wednesday’s prices.

Griptonite has about 200 employees, including an art and development office in Hyderabad, India. A notable part of Griptonite’s expertise is developing games for licensed characters, including franchises like Harry Potter, The Simes, Lord of the Rings, and Spider-Man. The studio was previously a part of Foundation 9 Entertainment.

Clearwire (NASDAQ: SCLWR) moved its transformation forward a little bit by officially stating its intent to adopt the Long-Term Evolution, or LTE, wireless technology. That’s opposed to the WiMax standard that Kirkland-based Clearwire built its existing network around. Clearwire, which has been been going through a big makeover this year, has previously tested LTE and said it was open to a switch, but cautioned such a move would require more money. In Wednesday’s announcement, the company says it now has an “LTE implementation plan, which is subject to additional funding.”

Meanwhile, here’s a some rapid-fire fundraising news to catch up on:

Airbiquity, a provider of connected-car services, raised $4 million in debt and option financing. A company spokeswoman says the money, to be used for growth, comes from existing investors Acorn Ventures, Ignition Partners, Kirnaf Ltd., and Shell Internet Ventures.

Simply Measured, a social media analytics startup, has raised $750,000 in an equity round. The investors weren’t disclosed, but Andy Sack of Founder’s Co-op and Mark Sugarman of MHS Capital are listed in an SEC filing as members of the board.

Lockerz, a social networking and virtual commerce startup targeting young people, says it’s added $6 million to an ongoing series C round previously pegged at $30 million. Investors in Lockerz include DAG Ventures, Live Nation, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

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

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