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Want rewards? New Placed app offers incentives for having your location tracked

Some people would do anything to avoid having their location tracked via their mobile devices. But Seattle startup Placed today introduced a free app that encourages people to let companies track their location in exchange for possible rewards. It’s called Placed Panels, and it lets marketers create a unique panel for their company for free and recruit participants,… Read More

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Todd Sawicki departs Cheezburger, eyes next big thing

Cheezburger’s former chief revenue officer is moving on. Todd Sawicki tells GeekWire that he’s left the Seattle-based online comedy network, a move that comes just a month after he transitioned to a new role at the company. “I like the 2 people to 100 person ride — 100 to infinity is very different,” Sawicki tells… Read More

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Mobile security startup Mobilisafe acquired by Rapid7

Seattle startup Mobilisafe has been acquired in a deal of undisclosed size by Boston-based Rapid7, a heavily-funded security company that raised $50 million last year. The deal comes just four months after former T-Mobile USA engineers Giri Sreenivas and Dirk Sigurdson launched Mobilisafe, which was bankrolled by Madrona Venture Group and Trilogy. Sreenivas tells us that they weren’t looking… Read More

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Decide.com trumps outdated Consumer Reports, study says

Out with the old and in with the new — that’s what a study comparing Consumer Reports to Decide.com concludes. PricewaterhouseCoopers/AEV conducted research on the two recommendation agencies and found Consumer Reports several steps behind Decide.com in various areas like product availability and an up-to-date database. The study, which was sponsored by Seattle-based Decide, analyzed… Read More

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Cloud startup Tier 3 raises $10 million

Tier 3, a Bellevue upstart that helps businesses manage IT infrastructure in the cloud, has raised $10 million in new financing. Backers of the 50-person company include Ignition Partners and Madrona Venture Group, two of Seattle’s most prominent venture capital firms. Intel Capital, the venture arm of the semiconductor giant, led the round. “We are big… Read More

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Tech Moves: Optify hires Doug Wheeler; Starbucks vet joins Auction Edge; and more

Optify, a Seattle startup specializing in marketing software, has named 25-year- marketing vet Doug Wheeler to the position of chief marketing officer. Wheeler most recently worked at TappIn, which was acquired last year for up to $17 million by GlobalScape. Wheeler previously held executive roles at DocuSign, Citrix and Compaq. “Optify and its inbound marketing… Read More

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Madrona’s returns from the dot-com bust still shine

The late 1990s were tough times for many VC firms, which overextended themselves into money-losing (and often pointless) dot-com startups that eventually hit the wall. That caused big problems in the venture industry that are still being felt today. But not every firm took it on the chin. Case in point: Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group. Fortune’s… Read More

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Chart: VC returns on the mend

Earlier this year, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation issued a blistering report which said, among other things, that the majority of venture funds it had invested in over the years had failed to exceed returns available from the public markets. The report rattled the opaque VC industry, if for nothing more than its bluntness. Now, here comes a… Read More

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Optify lands more cash to boost marketing software tools

Optify has raised $2 million in additional financing from existing investors, money that comes in just a few weeks after tech veteran Rob Eleveld was tapped as CEO of the Seattle upstart. Eleveld, the former CEO of Shiftboard and Vykor, said that the money will be used to boost sales and marketing. “The inbound marketing software… Read More

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Tech Moves: Pearl Jam Web developer joins Seattle’s Yabbly; Rosenthal leaves Madrona; etc.

Ian Shafer has joined Yabbly, a new social decision making app created by former Marchex exec and Google product manager Tom Leung.  A 2001 graduate of the University of Washington’s computer science and engineering department, Shafer worked at Amazon.com as a software engineer before moving on to lead Web development for Pearl Jam’s online storefront. He… Read More

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Bad returns be damned: Venture capital fundraising jumps 31 percent in U.S.

We’ve seen a flurry of activity in recent weeks among Seattle area venture capital firms, led by Madrona Venture Group which raised $300 million last month and Divergent Ventures which pulled in $6.9 million of what partners hope will be a much larger fund. Meanwhile, SEC filings indicate that Frazier Healthcare and Voyager Capital — both of Seattle —… Read More

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Top posts: A sexually-charged video promoting Windows Azure leads the charts

Who knew that a video of a cheesy dance routine from a developer’s conference in Norway promoting Microsoft’s Windows Azure would grab so much attention. But that video, which we described as “raunchy” and GeekWire readers called “inappropriate”  and “weird,” led the charts for the month of June. The post set off an active discussion, touching on everything from… Read More

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From wine picks to stocks: Could the ‘big data’ geeks at newly-formed Context Relevant predict the future?

Big data might very well be the tech buzz word of the year. And just how hot is it? Consider this:  Data scientist Stephen Purpura — an expert in artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics who is studying for his PhD in information sciences at Cornell University — has received no fewer than 45 job offers… Read More

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Digital photo organizer ThisLife lands $2.75M from Madrona

There’s no shortage of places to store your digital photos, from Facebook to Flickr to Instagram to Google’s Picassa to Photobucket to a computer’s hard drive. And that’s exactly the problem that ThisLife — a Palo Alto, California upstart that’s announcing $2.75 million in funding today in a deal led by Madrona Venture Group —… Read More

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After executive overhaul, AdReady lands new cash

AdReady is a company in transition, but one of the firm’s earliest venture backers still believes in the core mission of helping small and medium-sized businesses bolster their online display advertising efforts. Madrona Venture Group, outgoing CEO Karl Siebrecht and others have pumped an additional $500,000 in cash into the company. The money comes a… Read More

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Newly-formed W Fund to pump $20M into university spinouts

Washington’s startup community is getting yet another shot in the arm, thanks to the efforts of a newly-formed venture capital firm whose goal is to mine universities and research institutions for the state’s very best business ideas. The University of Washington’s W Fund is launching today with about $20 million from private industry, leading venture… Read More