Roundup: WhitePages, Contour, 9Mile Labs, Blue Rooster, Dwellable
It’s a busy week for startups in Seattle. Some of the news that has caught our attention lately: WhitePages’ buyout of its VC investors; the apparent revival of action-sports camera maker Contour; 9Mile Labs opening applications for its second cohort; Blue Rooster’s $3 million raise; and a strong coming out for vacation rentals startup Dwellable.
—WhitePages, the Seattle online directory company, has bought out its venture capital investors at a negotiated price of $80 million. The 16-year-old company, still headed by founder and CEO Alex Algard, used profits and debt to buy out Providence Equity Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures, which together invested $45 million back in 2005. WhitePages’ leaders are clearly bullish on their prospects. Earlier this month, the company launched a “Pro” business line, which provides WhitePages data to companies to help them identify customers.
—Contour, the maker of action-sports video camera that shut down abruptly earlier this year, is being revived by Clarke Capital Partners, reports GeekWire. Clarke, a Utah investment firm that held a position in Contour, bid $1.925 million to acquire the GoPro-competitor out of bankruptcy.
—9Mile Labs, the Seattle business-to-business startup accelerator, is accepting applications for it second cohort of nine companies, which will begin in January and last four months. The accelerator plans to accept nine companies, each of which will receive a $35,000 investment–an increase from the first cohort—as well as access to an extensive mentor network, workspace in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, and networking and social events, in exchange for 8 percent of a company’s equity.
—Blue Rooster, a Seattle interactive design agency, has raised $3 million from PFU Limited, a subsidiary of Fujitsu. The investment is described as the first outside investment in the 13-year-old, profitable company, and the first of multiple stages yet to be completed. The funding will back expansion to Hong Kong and New York City, and the creation of a strategy group to help customers with corporate intranets and mobile.
—Dwellable, the mobile-focused vacation rentals startup, says it is on pace to drive $10 million in bookings to property managers this year and is expanding its listings to Europe. The 2-year-old, bootstrapped Seattle startup competes with some big, established names including Airbnb and HomeAway, which landed a deal with Bellevue-based Expedia to carry some of its listings in a pilot project to begin early next year.