New deals are in bloom as we await the arrival of spring in the Northwest. In the past week, we’ve seen a modest amount of activity in business software, Internet, gaming, health IT, and biotech.
—Seattle-based Presage Biosciences has raised $3.1 million from unnamed individual investors, as Luke reported today. Presage, a spinoff from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center founded by Jim Olson, has developed a device that could help doctors and drug developers distinguish cancer drug winners from losers at a much earlier stage. The company has changed up its business plan to focus on partnerships with drug developers rather than selling to doctors.
—There was some big news in the emerging field of semantic Web search. Seattle-based Evri acquired San Francisco’s Radar Networks, makers of Twine, for an undisclosed price. Both companies are backed by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, and the merged company has an interesting consumer strategy for combining real-time search and semantic understanding of text, as CEO Will Hunsinger told me in an interview. Google, Microsoft Bing, and others are no doubt watching closely.
—Seattle-based Alliance of Angels program director Greg Huey told me about some notable startup trends he’s seeing this year, coming off AoA’s record-setting investments it made in 2009. Huey said the 2009 numbers were surprising, and that investors are still looking to make some of their best bets—and see some returns—in 2010.
—Redmond, WA-based WildTangent formed a partnership with Playdom, a Mountain View, CA-based developer of video games for social networks like Facebook. Playdom is using WildTangent’s advertising platform, called BrandBoost, in its popular Facebook game, Tiki Farm, and the companies are splitting the ad revenues. WildTangent has made some progress in applying its advertising business model to online social games.
—Portland, OR-based ActiveTrak has landed a $500,000 first round of funding led by ProtectCell, a mobile security company based in Michigan. ActiveTrak, formerly known as GadgetTrak, makes software to help consumers recover lost or stolen laptops and mobile devices.
—Three Seattle-area tech companies have integrated their Web services with Google Apps and are selling them in the new Google Apps Marketplace. Concur, Skytap, and Smartsheet have each paid Google a one-time fee of $100 and have agreed to give the search giant a 20 percent cut of each app sale, in exchange for a massive distribution channel. One angle to think about is how startups can now use Google and Amazon’s various cloud services to develop and market their products, while these tech giants can start to challenge Microsoft in the realm of business software.
—Seattle-based Kinetix Living Corp. was acquired by Regence BlueShield of Washington state, the largest health insurer in the Northwest. Financial details weren’t announced. Kinetix, which was backed by Seattle VC firm Maveron, provides customized health and nutrition programs to corporate customers and individuals.
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