Roundup: Madrona Invests in LUMO; news from Glympse, Carena, Sandglaz

12/19/12Follow @bromano

As the year wanes, Seattle investors and companies are still closing some interesting deals. Here are a few highlights from recent days:

—Madrona Venture Group, continuing its busy fourth quarter, is making its first investment in a consumer hardware company. The Seattle firm is leading a $5 million Series A investment in LUMO BodyTech, a quantified self company based in San Francisco. Other backers include Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.

Kickstarter-supported LUMO’s first device, LUMOback, addresses the desk-worker’s scourge: bad posture. It tracks and records movement and posture, and vibrates when the wearer is slouching or sitting too long. A Bluetooth connection sends data to a mobile app that offers analysis and suggests small behavioral changes.

Madrona managing director Scott Jacobson says LUMO differentiates itself from the other self-measurement sensor companies by offering real-time feedback. “This is where the quantified self movement is headed,” he says in a statement.

—GPS giant Garmin is partnering with Seattle company Glympse to add real-time location sharing features to some of its products. Users of Garmin StreetPilot Onboard for iPhone, and NAVIGON for iPhone and Android, will be able to click a Glympse icon to immediately share their location with a recipient while navigating to a destination.

—Seattle TechStars 2012 graduate Sandglaz closed a $500,000 seed round. The Toronto, ON, company makes planning and task management software designed to be easier to use by small, agile teams. It is the third company from Seattle’s most recent TechStars class to announce a completed funding round.

—We don’t normally cover new product or service introductions, but Carena’s new service sounds like a very good example of the kind of innovative healthcare applications that could be enabled by high-speed broadband Internet access—which is the University of Washington’s role the Gigabit Seattle project announced last week.

The Seattle company is making its CareSimple phone and secure video healthcare service available outside the confines of the large companies and health systems that have been using it since 2010. At $10 a pop during the service’s beta test, people in Washington and California can consult local, board-certified nurses and doctors—employed by the CareSimple medical group—anytime of the day or night to determine whether an ailment requires scheduling an in-person visit with their usual provider, or a trip to the ER.

Carena, a 12-year-old company that took on $14 million in Series C funding in June, trains the providers to consult, diagnose, and even write prescriptions, over the phone and via Web cams.

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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