Prepared Response Raises $6.3M, Cell Therapeutics Loses Debt, RealNetworks Gets Into Netbooks, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

Deals in the Northwest have slowed down a bit in the past week. But there were some new partnerships formed, as well as a trickle of funding deals, in software, entertainment, cleantech, and biotech (the biggest deal came this morning).

—Seattle-based NanoString Technologies raised $30 million in a third-round venture financing led by new investor Clarus Ventures, as Luke reported this morning. Existing investors OVP Venture Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson also participated. NanoString, founded in 2004, makes advanced genetic analysis tools.

—Eric reported that Seattle-based MOD Systems, a digital media delivery startup, signed deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Music, along with other independent labels, to sell music and movies to customers in retail stores, free of digital rights management. Financial terms of the partnerships were not disclosed.

—Luke reported that Bothell, WA-based Alder Biopharmaceuticals broadened its four-year-old partnership with Schering-Plough, the Kenilworth, NJ-based drug giant. The deal is for Alder to develop new targeted therapies against an undisclosed target on cells associated with a common (but unnamed) neurological disease. Financial details weren’t given, but the deal provides upfront cash, milestone payments, and royalties on sales if Alder’s technology leads to an approved product for Schering-Plough.

—Bellevue, WA-based Coinstar (NASDAQ: CSTR), the coin counting and prepaid services company, formed a partnership with gaming companies WildTangent, Spare Change, Rixty, and Aeria Games, to sell prepaid online gaming cards at 500 Cumberland Farms retail locations this summer. Terms of the partnerships were not given. Coinstar’s digital entertainment products will also include prepaid cards for Facebook and MySpace applications.

—Portland, OR-based SplashCast, a startup focused on social TV, is looking to get acquired. I got the story from CEO Michael Berkley, who said SplashCast has had difficulty raising a Series B funding round, and is now in M&A talks with a few larger companies. Berkley added that any acquisition will play out in the next two or three months. SplashCast syndicates TV shows to customers’ Facebook and MySpace pages through a partnership with Hulu.

—I caught up with Robbie Cape, the founder and CEO of Seattle-based Cozi, to hear about the software startup’s recent deal with computer maker Dell. Cozi’s Web-based calendar and family-activity software comes pre-loaded on Dell’s new Studio One 19 touch-screen desktop. Cape said Dell machines account for almost half of Cozi’s signups—a significant boost to his company’s business.

—Seattle-based Prepared Response, a crisis management and emergency preparedness company, raised $6.3 million out of an $8.7 million equity offering, as Eric reported. Most of the funding came from angel investors, with the rest footed by Benaroya Capital. The money will be used to develop Prepared Response’s software products, as well as expand sales and marketing reach overseas.

—Luke reported that Seattle-based Cell Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CTIC), a maker of cancer drugs, is modifying an auction process in an effort to get rid of its $118.9 million in debt. The company hopes to capitalize on the rising demand for its shares after it released data on its lead drug candidate for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the American Society of Clinical Oncology last week.

—Seattle-based EnerG2, a developer of advanced materials for ultracapacitors and other energy storage devices, raised an additional $2.5 million in equity and options from existing investors OVP Venture Partners and Firelake Capital Management, Luke reported. Back in November, we broke the news of EnerG2’s initial $8.5 million funding round, and detailed the company’s technical approach and business strategy.

—RealNetworks (NASDAQ: RNWK), the Seattle-based digital media and entertainment company, signed licensing agreements with a slew of operating systems vendors to power software applications like Real Player on netbooks. Financial terms were not released, but now Real will play on both Windows and Linux-based devices. The move is viewed as an effort to gain traction on open-source netbooks.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] Follow @gthuang

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  • Greg; I would like to be introduced to some senior management in Seattle’s Open Source community. Please with first hand knowledge and experience in the dual license model. Also, I would like to know who in the local venture community has knowledge experience in these business models. Can you refer me at all? rcl