People often ask how I find the stories I write each day for GeekWire. The reality is that they emerge in all sorts of ways — emails, press releases, sources, industry newsletters, events, Twitter, Facebook, overheard conversations in the bathroom, etc.
But one way that things have changed on the startup beat in recent years is that young companies now file documents with the SEC when raising money, and those documents are accessible through the SEC’s website. That has taken a bit of the fun out of working the beat, but it’s far better than the old method where I’d have to subscribe to a service to retrieve the “paper filings” from some document warehouse back in D.C.
So these days I spend time digging through SEC filings online. They provide a glimpse of what’s bubbling up from beneath the surface in the startup world. But it’s hard to keep up.
Today we’re launching a new feature on GeekWire, rounding up the latest of these filings — Form Ds, as they’re known — from companies in the Seattle region. It is worth noting that I’ve not verified or confirmed the information in the raw filings, but I’ve added extra background and context where possible, and as you’ll see below, there are always some interesting new companies to discover.
I hope this becomes a useful resource for those interested in the startup ecosystem. Stay tuned for more new features on GeekWire that will dovetail nicely with this. Let me know if this approach is useful or not, and we can alter or change course as we go. Now, without further ado, here’s a look at are some of the companies that have filed Form Ds in recent weeks.
LogicMatter, a Seattle business intelligence company led by former CarDomain CEO Rajan Krishnamurty and computer scientist Kiran Hedge, has pulled in $100,000. According to the LogicMatter Web site, the company’s mission is to ”help companies improve their business performance by leveraging information that is ‘trapped’ within their enterprise.” Full filing.
Berh just sold $100,000 of a $500,000 offering. Little is known of the Seattle company, which lists former UW business school classmates Brian Erke and Ryan Halper as executives. They are connected through Berh to a Web site by the name of Gratafy, described as an early-stage social recommendation and gifting platform. Full filing.
SmartPlug Systems, which is developing safer and more efficient electrical cords and connectors for boats, is raising $2 million. The Seattle company is led by founder Kenneth Smith who came up with the idea after noticing that many boat fires originated from faulty shore power systems. SmartPlug says that its power systems include three weatherproof seals and multi-point locking systems in order to reduce the possibility of corrosion. Full filing.
Perlego Systems, an Issaquah company led by mobile veteran Steve Wood, attracted $3.3 million. Perlego has developed a technology that allows mobile phone users to trace the whereabouts of their mobile phones, and backup personal data and transfer it easily to new smartphones. Wood is the former CEO of SinglePoint and a former McCaw Cellular exec. He was also the sixth employee hired at Microsoft. Full filing.
Contour, the Seattle maker of helmet-mounted HD cameras used to chronicle the action in skiing, mountain biking and other outdoor sports, has raised $1 million. Contour CEO Marc Barros — who co-founded the company out of the University of Washington business plan competition in 2003 — described it as bridge funding round. Full filing.
CloudVisors – a Seattle company that helps small businesses switch email, calendars and contacts from Office Live to Office 365 – has raised $1.7 million in debt financing. The company is led by Evan Richman, Todd Schwartz and Bradley Young. Full filing.
Pepper Networks, which is working on a new personal history mobile application and cloud service, is raising up to $650,000. The Kirkland company is led by CEO Mary Ellen Heinen who previously co-founded Glassbook, an early maker e-reader software that was acquired by Adobe in 2000. Also on the team is Len Kawell, a former distinguished engineer at Microsoft who previously worked on Windows Phone and Xbox. He previously co-founded Pepper Computer with Heinen, and worked on early versions of Lotus Notes while at Iris Associates. Full filing.
Semble is raising up to $3 million. The company’s Web site shows a company logo with the tagline: “Investing Socially. Together.” It says a launch is coming in June. Executives listed in the filing are Todd Tarbert and Chris Walcott. Full filing.
StarbuckLabs, the stealthy online education startup from entrepreneur Bryan Starbuck, raised $50,000 of $2.7 million. We previously wrote about the company last fall. Starbuck previously founded TalentSpring, and before that worked at Microsoft for 11 years. Full filing.
Leopona, a Seattle music licensing company that does business under the name of Audiosocket, sounds off with $1.5 million of a $3.5 million round. Audiosocket describes itself as a boutique music licensing company, representing more than 1,800 bands and musicians. Directors include Seattle area entrepreneurs Rick Hennessey, Edward Ackerley and Mark DiSalle. Earlier this month, we reported on Corbis’ expansion in the field of music licensing through its GreenLight Music unit. Full filing.
Skycast Solutions, located in Seattle and led by attorney Peter Parsons and entrepreneur William Boyer Jr., raised $608,515 of a $3 million round. I previously wrote about Skycast’s TrayVu product, an in-flight entertainment system that integrates directly in the tray table, last September. Boyer is a former airline baggage handler and the creator of the digEplayer, the in-flight entertainment system used by Alaska Airlines. Full filing.
Cardeas Pharma, a Seattle biotechnology upstart led by former PathoGenesis executive and Corus Pharma CEO Bruce Montgomery, has raised $7.5 million. Investors in the company include WRF Capital, Avalon Ventures, and others. Approximately $5 million of the round was previously reported, and Xconomy noted last year that Cardeas is working on a drug and device combination. Full filing.
Clearshift has raised $1.8 million of a $2.8 million offering. The company lists executive officers of Daniel Elenbaas, Stephen Weyl and Ryan Petty. Elenbaas is the former CEO of Amaze, a video game maker that sold to Foundation 9 Entertainment in 2006. His LinkedIn bio shows him as CEO of Zerk. A welcome message on the site says: “We’re a new company with exciting possibilities.We’re “heads down” on this new venture as we believe it will truly live up to the mission of ”Changing how the world works.” It is unclear whether Zerk and Clearshift are connected. Full filing.
Opanga Networks has connected with $840,000 in debt financing. The company is working on a content delivery network known as NetRover to enhance the way video is distributed to mobile devices. Earlier this year, it inked a deal with Fisher Interactive to improve how viewers access news content from KOMO TV on smartphones, removing delays and other bottlenecks. Full filing.
Accelitec of Bellingham sold $600,000 of a $2.5 million offering. The company is working on digital coupons and online marketing solutions for grocery stores, including Top Food & Drug, Granite Falls IGA and Unifed Grocers. Full filing.