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Hardeep Walia

Bellevue-based Ignition Partners led a $20 million financing round in Motif Investing, a San Mateo, Calif.- based company founded by former Microsoft general manager Hardeep Walia and former hedge fund analyst Tariq Hilaly around the concept of investing in ideas. The deal, announced today, was also joined by existing Motif investors Norwest Venture Partners and Foundation Capital.

It’s a reunion of sorts for Walia and Ignition general partner John Connors, the former Microsoft chief financial officer who is joining the Motif Investing board as part of the deal.

“I was fortunate to work with Hardeep at Microsoft and witness first hand his accomplishments and growth across multiple roles and functions. When introduced to Motif Investing, I recognized its potential to have a major impact on how people invest,” Connors says in the news release.

The service, currently in private beta, will offer specialized investment vehicles, dubbed “motifs,” built around stocks that represent specific ideas. Examples cited by the company include cloud computing, mobile technologies and even democracy in the Middle East.

Motif, which previously raised $6 million,  says it will use the money to build out and market its investment platform.

The deal is the latest in a string of them for Ignition this year. The venture capital firm in 2011 has backed now nine companies in Silicon Valley and five in the Seattle region, based on our count.

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