Roundup: Funding for Rover, Union Bay, Conductiv, Powerit, & More

7/30/13Follow @bromano

A handful of Seattle-area tech companies have landed small financings in the last week, including dog-sitter site Rover.com, a quiet new effort of F5 Veterans called Union Bay Networks, retail software maker Conductiv, and industrial energy efficiency technology company Powerit Solutions. Meanwhile, Amazon is adding fulfillment center jobs and INRIX measures an uptick in U.S. traffic congestion, suggesting economic recovery.

Rover.com, the Seattle online service matching dog owners with dog sitters, has raised $3.5 million from a key strategic investor, Petco. The retailer is leading the new funding round, and will promote Rover’s services in an exclusive partnership. The funding round—which follows a $7 million raise in February— was joined by existing Rover.com investors Madrona Venture Group, CrunchFund, and Rolling Bay Ventures. Rover CEO Aaron Easterly says in a statement that the company’s revenue is up 20-fold from a year ago.

—F5 Networks veterans have raised $1.85 million for Union Bay Networks, which aims to “enable the next generation of networking for cloud computing and software defined datacenters,” according to the startup’s Web site. Investors in the round include Madrona Venture Group, Greylock Partners, and Divergent Partners. The company is headed by Thomas Hull, who left F5 in 2007 as senior vice president of worldwide sales.

Conductiv, the Bothell, WA-based maker of applications for retailers, has raised $9.8 million from five investors, according to an SEC filing. The company, which makes a cloud-based software suite including mobile point-of-sale, inventory and order management, and customer relationship management, raised $5.6 million last November. We’re seeking comment from Conductiv and will update this post as appropriate.

Powerit Solutions, which provides industrial companies with technology to manage energy demand, has added $1.5 million to the Series C round it raised in 2012, bringing the total to nearly $7.1 million. Black Coral Capital led the financing announced in December, but it was unclear whether the new funding came from Black Coral or another investor. The company declined to offer further details.

—Ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Amazon’s fulfillment center in Chattanooga, TN, today, the company announced it would be adding upwards of 5,000 full-time jobs at its warehouses across the country. It also has some 2,000 customer service openings. Obama used the visit to Amazon to re-launch a proposal for lowering the top corporate tax rate to 28 percent—25 percent for manufacturers—while shutting tax loopholes and creating jobs through infrastructure investment, job training, and manufacturing innovation. Amazon already employs more than 20,000 people in its U.S. fulfillment centers.

—June marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year increases in traffic congestion across major U.S. cities, as measured by Kirkland, WA-based traffic monitoring company INRIX. The company positions its INRIX Gridlock Index—which found the average trip took about 7 percent longer this June than last—as an economic indicator to consider alongside job growth, consumer confidence readings, and gross domestic product. “Last year at this time we saw a 19 percent year-over-year decrease in traffic congestion levels,” INRIX CEO Bryan Mistele says in a statement. “Yet we turned a corner in December. Aside from a slight pullback in March, we’ve seen higher levels of consumer spending and employment lead to dramatically higher levels of gridlock on our roads nationwide.” Congestion increased more in the Northeast, West, and South during June.

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

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