Zulily, OpsCode, Clearwire: Your 1-Minute Weekly Roundup of Seattle Tech Headlines
One of Seattle’s hotter tech startups, Zulily, has been operating fairly under the radar in recent months, even as competitors in the daily deals/private sales sector court tons of publicity.
That modesty ebbed a bit last week, when Zulily announced that it had raised $43 million in venture financing to help fuel its growth in the mom-and-baby deals category. CEO Darrell Cavens talked about Zulily’s quick ramp-up, its plans for the future, and why putting together a boutique discount site each morning is like publishing a newspaper.
We got our fill of new CEOs last week as well, with several new appointments at companies around the region. At OpsCode, a cloud-computing management company, the new chief is Mitch Hill, who was founding CEO of the tech services firm Avanade. Co-founder Jesse Robbins sounded genuinely happy to bring a seasoned operator on board: “I’m sleeping better at night, to be honest.”
Clearwire interim CEO John Stanton made good on his pledge to not make the job permanent when the Kirkland, WA-based wireless company handed over the reins to Erik Prusch, who previously served as Clearwire’s chief financial officer and chief operations officer. He’s got quite a job: Clearwire needs to raise around $1 billion to finish its WiMax network and transition to LTE technology. Stanton remains involved as executive chairman.
DocuSign, the electronic signature verification company, has another new CEO in Keith Krach, who also is the company’s chairman. Krach replaces Steve King, who took over as CEO in January 2010. DocuSign didn’t give explicit reasons for the change, but noted that Krach took previous company Ariba public and would help DocuSign navigate higher growth.
Wade Roush checked in from Xconomy San Francisco with this profile of Nebula, a Silicon Valley company with an engineering office in Seattle (sound familiar?) that has its sights set on cloud-computing leaders like Amazon as it aims to “disrupt and democratize” the field. The company was born out of its founder’s work developing the OpenStack open-source software to help NASA and other government agencies build up their cloud infrastructures.
Staying in the cloud, we had some funding news that turned into expansion news: New York’s Apprenda, a cloud platform company that works with Microsoft’s .NET framework, is planning to open an office in the Puget Sound region after a new $10 million round of financing led by Ignition Partners.
Amid a crazy, volatile period on the stock markets, Concur Technologies (NASDAQ: CNQR) CEO Steve Singh appeared on CNBC to offer some perspective on the long-term prospects for tech companies like his. His overarching point: the stagnant economy will continue to put a premium on productivity and efficiency gains, which is exactly what tech companies can deliver.
Washington state VCs were seen traveling south of the Columbia River for a pair of deals, investing in Cedexis and AppFog. Meanwhile, revenue-based financing startup Lighter Capital was lighting the fuse on an “explosive” promotion, pledging to invest in at least one qualifying company that applied for a loan in August.