Seattle Fundraising Notes: Contour, Adapx, Jawfish, Solavei, Motiga
Updated 11:45 am with more on Motiga
Who said summer was a time for taking vacation? Around the Seattle region, it appears, startup companies have been putting the finishing touches on some fundraising. Here are the highlights from a recent flurry of financing paperwork reported to the SEC from companies in the area:
—Contour, the personal video-camera startup that helps action-sports enthusiasts capture their exploits in full HD glory, has filed paperwork for about $2.7 million in funding. It looks like debt and/or option financing, and the SEC form indicates the round could grow to nearly $5.7 million.
I’ve reached out to Contour to get some more details on the fundraising, but haven’t heard back yet.
Contour has strong ties to the University of Washington, having got an early boost from the school’s annual business plan competition. It now makes several lines of personal video cameras, including waterproof models and versions equipped with GPS tracking.
—Adapx has added $3 million in financing and retired Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli to its board. Adapx (pronounced `adapts’) makes software and related systems that can capture physical note-taking digitally. So a field worker can take handwritten notes, mark up a chart, or sketch a new design, and then digitize those strokes by connecting the pen to a PC.
The new funding is from existing investors OVP Venture Partners, Pelion Ventures, and Paladin Capital Group, and brings the total invested to $30 million, according to a news release. Adapx, based in Seattle, has strong military and intelligence ties: It started as a supplier of user interface technology to DARPA, and has counted In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s quasi-private research and development branch, as a previous investor.
The company says 1,000 customers around the globe have used its flagship software, called Capturx.
Jawfish is led by CEO Phil Gordon, a technology entrepreneur and retired professional poker player. It doesn’t look like Jawfish is focusing on the online gambling aspect of casual and social games, but that arena is looking very promising for developers around the world—so keep an eye on this one.
—Solavei, a Bellevue-based wireless startup, has raised $3.6 million. The startup takes an unusual approach to marketing wireless services: It pays customers back for signing other people up to contracts—what’s known as “multi-level marketing.”
As Brier Dudley of The Seattle Times wrote, that makes Solavei “kind of like the Amway of wireless companies.” GeekWire’s John Cook notes that the company has attracted “intense discussion from critics and supporters alike.” (Just look at the comments on his post.)
Solavei is led by CEO Ryan Wuerch, who was fired from the top job at Motricity last year. It operates on T-Mobile’s wireless network.
Co-founder and CEO Chris Chung says that’s the total amount the gaming company has raised to date (see this 2011 report from VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi that said Motiga had raised nearly $2 million from angels and a corporate investor). “We raised the funds from a number of angels and a couple of online game companies out of South Korea: Neowiz and Smilegate,” Chung says via e-mail.
Motiga is stocked with industry veterans, and had been trying out the double-barreled approach that some other game startups have embraced: Building both its own titles and a technology service or platform for other developers to use.
But Chung also says there have been changes in focus. Earlier this year, the startup shifted away from publishing mobile games and decided to put its efforts into a seemingly old-school arena: PC online games. The company is now working on an unnamed PC online game “that will ship in a couple of years,” Chung says.
“We concluded that the existing mobile platforms and ecosystems are not conducive for creating the type of online games we wanted to create,” he says.