RevenueLoan Pushes New Funding Model, Tippr Expands in Group Buying, Microsoft and Google Lure Startups, & More Seattle-Area Deals News
OK, things have started to pick up in terms of deals news around the Northwest. This week was headlined by the activities of a trio of well-known characters in the Seattle tech scene.
—Xconomy had an exclusive in-depth interview with entrepreneur Andy Sack about his new company, RevenueLoan, which has raised $6 million from Voyager Capital, Summit Capital, and Founder’s Co-op. The idea is to make “revenue-based” investments in mostly tech startups. That means instead of taking an equity stake in a company, RevenueLoan will get paid a percentage of the company’s future revenues up to a certain multiplier of its investment (typically 3-5x). I first wrote about this investment model, and how it could shake up the VC ecosystem, last fall.
—Seattle-based BigDoor Media, the Internet startup run by Keith Smith and Jeff Malek, raised $5 million in Series B funding led by Boulder, CO-based Foundry Group. BigDoor has developed a software platform that lets Web publishers add videogame-like mechanics to their sites—things like reward points, leader boards, and virtual goods and currencies—with the goal of boosting traffic and revenues. It’s all part of an increasing trend towards “gamification” of the Web, as led by companies like Zynga and Foursquare.
—Seattle-based Tippr.com, the online group-buying site led by Martin Tobias, acquired Chitown Deals, based in Chicago, for an undisclosed amount. Tippr is now active in 10 cities around the U.S. including Chicago, the hometown of deal-of-the-day giant Groupon. Tippr rolled out its website in February, after acquiring the patent portfolio of Mercata, a former dot-com backed by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital.
—Not exactly deals per se, but it’s interesting to note that Microsoft and Google are appealing to tech startups and developers in new ways. Bing Maps is providing a software development kit for startups to build location-based applications on top of its maps. Meanwhile, the Google Apps Marketplace added another Seattle-area company’s software to its list of offerings. Napera Networks, which makes network management and security software for businesses, earned that distincition from Google.