Rain in Seattle: Major Funding for Julep, Avvo, Cardiac Dimensions

4/16/14Follow @bromano

Three Seattle-area companies—Julep Beauty, Avvo, and Cardiac Dimensions—have announced significant new later-stage investments this week, totaling $87.5 million.

Add that to the $42 million funding round Beaverton, OR-based Act-On Software announced on Monday, and it’s been a pretty active run here in early spring, particularly compared to a typically slow start to the year for Pacific Northwest venture financing activity.

In the first quarter, there were 23 venture investments made in Washington companies totaling about $151 million. Oregon saw six deals for a total of almost $18 million, according to New York-based venture capital research firm CB Insights. So, in the course of half a week in April, we’ve seen three-quarters of the venture investment that graced Northwest companies during the entire first quarter.

Some details of the funding deals:

Julep Beauty attracted Azure Capital, Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group, and Altimeter Capital to its $30 million Series C funding round, which was also joined by existing marquee investors Andreessen Horowitz and Maveron.

The modern, e-commerce beauty brand founded in 2007 by former Starbucks executive Jane Park has now raised $56 million to push its model of applying social media and crowd-sourcing approaches to the cosmetics business. The company also borrows tech-industry techniques including A/B testing, iteration, and agile development, leading to rapid, customer-responsive new product development, the company says.

“Julep has truly figured out how to deeply engage women where they already are—social, mobile, and web—and leverage those channels to bring customers into the product innovation process,” Madrona principal Julie Sandler says in a statement.

Avvo, an online marketplace for finding lawyers, has raised $37.5 million in a Series D round led by Coatue Management, with participation from Benchmark Capital, Ignition Partners, and DAG Ventures.

The funding will support international expansion and product development for the Seattle-based company, also founded in 2007 by CEO Mark Britton.

“Put simply, this additional capital allows us to accelerate. No matter what we have accomplished to date, we need to help more consumers make better legal decisions and find the right lawyer. We need to build more products that make navigating the legal profession as simple as it should be,” Britton says in a statement.

Cardiac Dimensions, a Kirkland, WA-based maker of devices to address heart failure, will use the $20 million it has raised to fund international commercial expansion and begin a new clinical trial of its Carillon Mitral Contour System for treating functional mitral regurgitation—a condition affecting some 20 million people worldwide in which blood flow to the body is limited by poor heart valve function. The company says the funding comes from an “international syndicate of institutional investors” led by M. H. Carnegie & Co. and Lumira Capital.

Cardiac Dimensions, which already has operations in Sydney, Australia, and Frankfurt, Germany, says the funding will support expanded operations in both countries, with Australia serving as a base for access to Asia Pacific markets and a research and development center.

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

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