Roundup: UIEvolution, Shippable Score Funds; Outerwall Layoffs & More
Following the big $32 million funding round for Chef, another Seattle-area company working on automating software development—Shippable—has scored funding. Also in this week’s roundup: More investment for UIEvolution; cost- and job-cuts at kiosk operator Outerwall; a changing landscape in Seattle’s broadband market; and a development partnership for Optimum Energy. Read on for details:
—Kirkland, WA-based UIEvolution has raised $8 million from Intel Capital, which led the round, and Shaw Communications affiliate Shaw Ventures. The company provides a technology platform for broad application delivery, branding, and marketing across screens found everywhere from connected cars to cruise ships. UIEvolution says it will use the new capital to build out its offerings for specific industries, including automotive and retail, hospitality, and restaurants. The company’s automotive products—marketed to vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers—do things like connecting smartphone apps for use in the car. UIEvolution also offers cloud-based content delivery across smartphones, TVs, and digital signs, for customers such as Princess Cruises.
—Shippable, a Seattle-area startup incubated in the 2013 Techstars class, has raised $2 million to pursue its software development workflow automation tools. Founders Co-op led the round with Divergent Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, and angel investors joining. The company’s tools are geared specifically to work with the Docker open-source project that packages applications as containers that can scale up from a laptop to a virtual machine to a public cloud and beyond. “Containerized software development is going to change DevOps as we know it and we are at the forefront of this transformation,” co-founder and CEO Ari Cavale says in a statement. The company’s tools are in public beta and poised for commercial release early next year.
—Bellevue, WA-based Outerwall (NASDAQ: OUTR), has cut 251 jobs—8.5 percent of its staff—as it drops new ventures and takes other cost-reduction measures. Formerly known as Coinstar, the company’s primary business is kiosks, including the Redbox game and DVD rental service, and Coinstar, which converts coins to donations, gift cards, or paper money. It is discontinuing new kiosk concepts that dispense fresh ground coffee and prepared foods, and act as photo booths. Meanwhile, Anne Saunders, president of Redbox, has left the company.
—CondoInternet, acquired earlier this year by broadband provider WaveDivision Holdings, is expanding to Ballard, just as hopes for a broad deployment of high-speed connectivity by Gigabit Squared are dimming. CondoInternet, which offers gigabit speeds to multi-family buildings, adds the fast-growing Northwest Seattle neighborhood to its existing service area, which includes Belltown, South Lake Union, Pioneer Square, the U District, and Bellevue, and reaches some 15,000 homes. Today, GeekWire reports that the Gigabit Seattle project, which aimed to bring high-speed access to Seattle neighborhoods via unused city fiber-optic cable, is facing delay and financing problems.
—Optimum Energy, which helps building owners manage their HVAC systems to maximize efficiency, is teaming with The Data Guild on improving Optimum’s software. The Data Guild, based in Palo Alto, CA, will apply machine learning and predictive maintenance algorithms to some 250 years of accumulated real-world operating data from Seattle-based Optimum.