This week, Spaceflight Industries collected a major funding round, strengthening another player in the state’s commercial space industry. Meanwhile, startups Magicflix and PatrolTag raised smaller sums; Expedia continued its spending spree; Avalara picked up assets from a Brazilian tax company; Cambia Grove opened its doors; ChickTech is opening a Seattle chapter; EnergySavvy is collaborating with a competitor, Opower; and new funding is available for energy research. Read on for details:
—Spaceflight Industries announced a $20 million Series B funding round from RRE Venture Capital and Vulcan Capital to expand its staff and grow its business developing, launching, and operating small satellites. The investment, joined by Razor’s Edge Ventures, further bolsters the commercial space industry in Washington state, which is anticipating significant growth with the arrival of SpaceX. Spaceflight Industries includes Spaceflight Systems (known formerly as Andrews Space), Spaceflight Services, and Spaceflight Networks.
—Bellevue, WA-based Expedia continued its spending spree, this time through an investment in Latin American-focused Decolar.com. In addition to a $270 million purchase of a minority share of Decolar, Expedia says it will work more closely with the company on hotel room supplies, deepening a business relationship dating to 2002. The deal follows Expedia’s acquisitions of Orbitz and Travelocity earlier this year. The three deals, announced less than two months apart, are worth a combined $1.85 billion.
—Another week, another acquisition by Bainbridge Island, WA-based tax software provider Avalara. This time, the company scooped up tax content and technology for the Brazilian market from a consultancy based there called SuitePlus. “Brazilian taxes are some of the most complicated in the world for businesses to process accurately and efficiently,” says Avalara founder and CEO Scott McFarlane in a news release. “Our agreement with SuitePlus allows Avalara to address this complexity both within and outside of Brazil.”
—The Cambia Grove, a collaboration space for healthcare innovation in Seattle, opened its doors today. The 9,000-square-foot collection of open offices and conference rooms at 1800 Ninth Avenue is meant to be a place for large healthcare providers and insurers to meet up with smaller companies, entrepreneurs, and investors. We covered the announcement of the project in October.
—Magicflix, which provides a subscription streaming service of safe, curated online video for kids, announced a $500,000 funding round from investors including Geoff Entress and Andrew Wright. The Techstars Seattle 2014 graduate offers families videos without advertising or the temptation of the rest of the dirty Internet just a click away. It charges $4.99 a month.
—PatrolTag, a Seattle startup making an inexpensive home security system called Korner Safe for renters and middle-income homeowners, says it raised funding from members of the Alliance of Angels. CEO Steve Hollis would not disclose the amount of the investment. Last year, PatrolTag conducted a successful Indiegogo campaign, attracting $420,000 from more than 3,100 contributors.
—Seattle investors including Founders’ Co-op and Seattle Angel Conference invested in San Francisco-based mobile marketing startup GlimpzIt. The company announced a $1.1 million seed round. It makes a tool allowing marketers to have visual conversations in real-time with consumers.
—EnergySavvy, a Seattle company making software to help utilities manage customer relationships and electricity demand, says it will collaborate with Opower, an Arlington, VA-based maker of similar software. “By leveraging the Opower platform, we’re able to provide customers with a much richer solution on a faster timeline, avoiding the IT risk utilities confront with other approaches,” says EnergySavvy CEO Aaron Goldfeder in a news release. The companies have some 20 customers in common. Also, EnergySavvy landed a new customer with American Electric Power unit AEP Ohio.
—The Bonneville Power Administration, which markets power from federal hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and operates the regional electricity transmission grid, has some $5 million in research funding. The federal agency’s Office of Technology Innovation is accepting applications through March 27 for research and development proposals in areas including “transmission technologies, data intelligence, generation asset management, and next-generation energy efficiency and demand response technologies.”
—Portland, OR-based ChickTech, which supports women and girls in or considering technology careers, is opening a Seattle chapter as part of an expansion plan that will take the group to Chicago, New York, and elsewhere in 2015. The inaugural Seattle event is ACT-W, a combination career fair and conference scheduled for May 16 at Zulily. In November, the group plans to begin its ChickTech: High School program, which seeks to support up to 100 high school girls who have the aptitude for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers, but have not yet taken advantage of programs available to them.