Roundup: Tango Card, VoloMetrix, Glider, Chirpify Score Funds, & More
Call this the “torrid springtime heatwave” edition of the Seattle tech news roundup, because that’s what’s in the forecast from now through the weekend. Meanwhile, a handful of tech companies in the region have made it rain. Details:
—Tango Card, which allows people to redeem gift cards for other gift cards, charitable donations, or cash, has raised $4.1 million from Allegro Venture Partners, Floodgate, Swan and Legend Ventures, and existing investors. The Seattle company is targeting enterprises, with integration into business software platforms and what it calls “rewards as a service.” The funding will be used for enterprise sales and marketing, and international expansion.
—VoloMetrix, a Seattle company using big data and social analytics to help businesses better use employees’ time and improve collaboration, has raised $3.3 million in a Series A round led by Shasta Ventures. Shasta put an initial $1.6 million into VoloMetrix a year ago. The company says it will use the funding to develop its “Social Enterprise Intelligence” software platform, and pursue new markets.
—Social network payments company Chirpify has landed another $2 million from Seattle-based Voyager Capital. The Portland, OR, company allows people to make purchases, payments, and donations directly in Twitter and Facebook. The company, which moved into new offices in downtown Portland this year, has raised $3.3 million.
—Glider, a 2012 Seattle TechStars company making software tools for managing contracts, has raised $1 million from investors including True Ventures, CrunchFund, TechStars, and Portland Seed Fund. The Portland company is using the money for hiring and product development.
—The assets of Tippr.com and Groupalicious.com, Martin Tobias’ Seattle-based efforts in the group buying business, were purchased by Atlanta-based nCrowd. Having acquired a score of sites in the last two years, nCrowd has consolidated its way to third place in the local coupon business, behind Groupon and LivingSocial. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Tobias says in a statement there is an equity and cash component. Tippr, which aimed to be a white-label provider of group buying technology, had assets including patents acquired from Mercata, a former Paul Allen company.
—Wavii, the Seattle startup acquired by Google, is discontinuing its app, billed as a Facebook-style navigational layer for information from across the Web. “While we won’t continue to offer this particular service, we’ll be using our natural language research at Google in ways that may be useful to millions of people around the world,” Wavii CEO Adrian Aoun says in a message on the company’s site. My colleague Curt Woodward tries to make sense of the recent acquisitions of newsfeed providers, including Wavii, Pulse (by LinkedIn), Summly (by Yahoo), and Zite (by CNN in 2011).
—BuzzTable, a New York City startup making apps for restaurant waiting lists, has taken a strategic investment from Microsoft’s Bing Fund. It’s the sixth investment for the angel fund launched by Microsoft last July, and the third to come out of New York.
—Efficient grocery delivery services can cut greenhouse gas emissions by half or more compared to individual shopping trips, University of Washington researchers find. Engineering professor Anne Goodchild and doctoral candidate Erica Wygonik made a detailed model of emissions from individual household trips to the grocery store across King County, including urban and rural areas. The emissions and fuel savings were greatest when grocery deliveries were made by full trucks bound for households close together. The research [17-page PDF], published in the Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, could underpin new marketing messages from providers such as AmazonFresh, Safeway, FreshDirect, and new efforts including Geniusdelivery, a startup by UW graduates.
—Washington state is in the running to host one of six Federal Aviation Administration civil unmanned aircraft research and testing facilities. Innovate Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, among 10 other government and private sector partners, are proposing the facility be based at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, WA, though testing would also be conducted elsewhere in the region, including over the ocean off of Grays Harbor. The FAA is expected to select the six sites—authorized by Congress in 2012—by the end of the year.