Fundraising Notes: Walk Score, Demand Energy, Mad Fiber, Rover, WISErg

1/13/12Follow @curtwoodward

Seattle-based Walk Score, an online service that ranks rental properties, cities, and neighborhoods by how pedestrian-friendly they are, has raised $2 million in a Series A round that could still grow slightly. The company’s recent federal regulatory filing says 11 investors were involved, although more money was added since the form was filed with the SEC. The paperwork also says the total includes some equity being converted from an earlier note.

Walk Score CEO Josh Herst says Seattle angel investor Geoff Entress led the round, which also included “a great group of entrepreneurs and local angels.” Walk Score intends to use the money for operations and growth—it’s adding to its eight-person team right now.

“At the highest level, we’re riding a massive wave of change in the real estate market that’s being driven by the housing crisis and rising gas prices,” Herst says. People are renting more these days, and those renters—especially younger ones, Herst says—are keenly interested in neighborhoods that can let them get around without firing up the car.

The company provides its walkability scores by capturing data from around the U.S., and in Canada and Australia as well, and rating a rental property’s access to nearby services. Walk Score is also incorporating public transit data into its searches. Herst says a network of more than 10,000 real estate sites, including Zillow and John L. Scott, use the company’s data.

Also showing up in the fundraising files in the past couple of days, which I found via FormDs.com:

Demand Energy Networks, based in Liberty Lake, WA, (a suburb of Spokane), has raised $5.2 million of a round that could increase to about $7.7 million from a dozen investors, according to the SEC filing. Demand Energy Networks sells a device that can help balance electricity use by storing power in batteries during times of surplus electricity, and release it back to the grid during times of higher demand. The company noted that the sale was for shares and warrants of Series B preferred stock.

—Seattle’s Mad Fiber, which designs and makes carbon-fiber bicycle wheels, has raised $2.7 million from 46 investors, according to the SEC filing. Some of the equity is tied to the company converting from an LLC to a corporation. The SEC filing indicates the round could grow to about $4.8 million. The company is led by president Ric Hjertberg.

Rover.com, a website that pairs up dog owners with available dog-sitters, has raised $1.8 million out of a round that could grow to about $4.3 million. Two investors are listed on the SEC filing. The company was started by Madrona Venture Group managing director Greg Gottesman at a Startup Weekend event, and is led by CEO Aaron Easterly, a former Microsoftie. (Coincientally, this is the second dog-sitting service I know of that was spawned at a Startup Weekend in the past year.)

WISErg, of Redmond, WA, has raised just over $1.5 million from 15 investors in a round that could grow to $2 million. WISErg uses compostable organic waste to make fertilizers and biogas. The company is led by ex-Microsoftie founders Larry LeSueur and Jose Lugo.

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

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