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Optify hits the wall, lays off staff

What’s up at Optify? From what we’re hearing, the company is on its last legs. Multiple sources informed us on Friday that the company — a maker of inbound marketing software — laid off a number of staffers in advance of a closure. Chief Marketing Officer Doug Wheeler declined to comment, referring us to CEO… Read More

Stephen Purpura

Data analytics startup Context Relevant scores $7M series A from Madrona, Bloomberg and others

Context Relevant has reeled in $7 million in fresh funding, money that the Seattle company will use for continued development of its advanced analytics software. Investors in the round include Madrona Venture Group, as well as new investors such as Bloomberg Beta and Paul Allen’s Vulcan. Seattle angel investor Geoff Entress also made a large… Read More

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Report: Portland’s AppFog to be acquired by Savvis

Portland platform-as-a-service startup AppFog is set to be acquired by Savvis, the big co-location and data center operator that’s owned by CenturyLink, according to a report in GigaOm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But it could mark an exit for three Seattle venture capital firms — Ignition, Madrona Venture Group and Founder’s Co-op…. Read More

Julie Sandler.

Q&A: Madrona’s Julie Sandler on startups, women in tech and getting promoted at Seattle’s top VC firm

Venture capitalists tend to have sharp elbows and prickly demeanors. But Julie Sandler, who joined Madrona Venture Group two years ago after a stint on Amazon.com’s Kindle team, is taking a different approach as she builds bridges in the Seattle entrepreneurial community. “Our entrepreneurs rave about working with Julie,” says Madrona’s Greg Gottesman. “One of… Read More

Sunny Gupta

Apptio raises $45 million at a hefty valuation, plans to accelerate ‘on all fronts’

Apptio is not playing small ball. Just 14 months after raising a $50 million venture round, Bellevue-based Apptio is back with a little more cash in its pocket. The company, which offers on-demand software and services for managing corporate IT departments, today is announcing that it has raised another $45 million in series E funding. It marks… Read More

guestrin

Heralded UW computer science professor scores $6.75M for GraphLab, looking to make better online recommendations

It was a major coup last summer when The University of Washington hooked computer science professor Carlos Guestrin, a leading data scientist and expert in machine learning. What wasn’t widely known at the time was that the Guestrin-led open source project, an ambitious undertaking known as GraphLab.org, would soon sprout into its very own startup. But that’s… Read More

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GeekWire Awards: Vote for Startup of the Year

We’re nearing the end of the voting for the GeekWire Awards, and today we’ve got a big category on hand: Startup of the Year. To qualify for Startup of the Year, companies had to be three years or younger, and on a fast-track to success. We’re expecting a tight competition in this field of contenders,… Read More

geekwireawards55

GeekWire Awards: Vote for Startup Deal of the Year

OK, geek fans, we’re back for another round of voting in the GeekWire Awards. And today’s category promises to be a fun and competitive one: Startup Deal of the Year, presented by UK Trade & Investment. We’ve got some top-notch companies and firms in the running this year, and we’re curious to see how this one… Read More

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After series of pivots, Haiku Deck scores $3 million to make presentation tools fun

Haiku Deck has reeled in $3 million in fresh funding, money that the Seattle startup will use to continue to build out its easy-to-use presentation tools. Trilogy Partnership led the round, with Madrona Venture Group, Founder’s Co-op, entrepreneur Sarah Leary and others also participating. The TechStars Seattle grad, led by former Cranium executive Adam Tratt,… Read More

indochino1111

Men’s fashion site Indochino sews up $13 million to help guys sharpen their style

Indochino, the Vancouver, B.C.-based men’s fashion site, has pulled in $13 million in fresh funding that it will use to build out its e-commerce site for suits, shirts, and other custom menswear. The deal was led by Highland Consumer Fund, with existing investors such as Madrona Venture Group, former Yahoo executive Jeff Mallett and others participating… Read More

bigdataauthors

How big data will transform politics, education and just about everything else

Big data requires big thinkers. And some of Seattle’s top minds — from University of Washington computer scientist Oren Etzioni to Context Relevant CEO Stephen Purpura to Amazon.com’s Charlie Bell — turned out this week as Madrona Venture Group hosted a round table discussion on the topic with authors Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier. Madrona’s Matt McIlwain,… Read More

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Madrona backs Mobilewalla, team relocates to Seattle

Mobile analytics startup Mobilewalla has raised $4 million in new funding, including a cash infusion from Madrona Venture Group and several angel investors. As a result of the financing, the founding team behind Mobilewalla are relocating to Seattle, setting up temporary offices in the venture capital firm’s downtown Seattle offices. A spokeswoman for Madrona describes… Read More

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Ignition’s Cam Myhrvold: The problem in Seattle isn’t money, it’s the entrepreneurial talent

What’s the missing ingredient in Seattle’s startup community?  Is it a lack of smart money? Or a lack of solid entrepreneurs? Well, for one of Seattle’s top venture capital firms the answer is pretty clear: It’s the entrepreneurs.  Cam Myhrvold of Ignition Partners delivered some bitter medicine about the Seattle startup community in remarks Wednesday afternoon at… Read More

joker

Hey, engineers: Don’t forget to add some personality

“Why so serious?” — The Joker in Batman Returns. If you are fortunate enough to be building software for a living, do us this small favor: Put a little more personality into your products. The best products pay deference to their creators. They’re functional, but they also can be fun at times, whimsical, punchy, interesting, sexy… Read More