Tech News

  • The FTC is suing to block Nvidia’s $40 billion purchase of Arm
    Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of Arm just ran into another massive hurdle: the Federal Trade Commission, which announced today that it’s suing to block the merger from going through due to concerns that the combined companies would “stifle competing next-generation technologies.” The suit comes after an FTC investigation into the deal following complaints from Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm shortly after the merger was
  • Tune Therapeutics launches with $40M in funding, aims to fine-tune activity of genes in cells
    Tune CEO Matt Kane. (Tune Photo) A new biotech startup with operations in Seattle and Durham, N.C., has launched with $40 million in new funding and a leadership team peppered with veterans of Seattle cell therapy biotechs. Tune Therapeutics is deploying technology to fine-tune the activity of genes in cells. The company has developed a proprietary platform called TEMPO that it calls an
  • General Fusion lands $130M from Bezos and others as fusion energy sector keeps heating up
    Artist’s rendering of the Fusion Demonstration Plant that General Fusion is planning to build at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Culham Campus near London. (General Fusion Image) The news: The fusion energy field just keeps getting hotter. British Columbia’s General Fusion on Tuesday said that it has raised $130 million in funding to develop its ambitious clean energy technology. And the announcement teased
  • Apple’s ‘notebook upgrade program’ could get businesses new M1 Macs for $30 per month
    Apple has apparently introduced a business-only program that enables members to obtain and eventually upgrade computers for a relatively low monthly fee. A tweet from writer Max Weinbach shows an image of Apple’s “New Mac Notebook Upgrade Program” promotional material that popped up for a customer with access to a business portal (via MacRumors). The deal appears to be in partnership with CIT
  • Jack Dorsey’s Square is changing its name to Block
    Square, a financial services company co-founded by now-former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is changing its name to Block, the company announced Wednesday. Square has grown beyond just offering financial services — it took a majority stake in the music streaming service Tidal this year, for example — which Block is using as the justification for the new name. “The change to Block acknowledges
  • NetBase Quid acquires social media analytics startup Rival IQ
    Rival IQ, a Seattle-based startup that helps clients analyze social media data, has been acquired by Santa Clara, Calif.-based consumer and market intelligence company NetBase Quid. Founded in 2012 by former GridPoint exec John Clark, Rival IQ lets companies compare their social media strategy with competitors across major social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. It also analyzes internal social marketing
  • Funding news: Upbound raises $60M for cloud infrastructure, competitive intelligence startup Klue lands $62M
    Upbound founder and CEO Bassam Tabbara. (GeekWire File Photo) The news: Seattle-based cloud management platform startup Upbound has raised $60 million in new funding. Upbound helps enterprise customers consolidate and streamline their workflow in the cloud. The gist: Upbound has built a “Universal Cloud Platform” for users to manage multiple cloud vendor environments and switch to different clouds, such as between Amazon Web
  • StormSensor raises $10M for rain management tech amid severe flooding across the world
    Heavy November rains repeatedly flooded areas of Washington and British Columbia. Floods in Bellingham, Wash. led to road closures on Nov. 28. (Photo courtesy of City of Bellingham) Record-setting rains this fall have created disasters around the globe. It drowned thousands of cows and livestock and cut off a major city in the Pacific Northwest, while half-a-world away, downpours flushed scorpions from their
  • Climate tech funding news: BattGenie works its magic; lithium refining startup gets Gates’ support
    BattGenie team, from left to right: Manan Pathak, Chintan Pathak and Venkat Subramanian. (BattGenie Photos) Here’s the latest funding news for climate tech startups across the Pacific Northwest. BattGenie The news: BattGenie — a startup on the short list for best names because, let’s face it, batteries are kind of magical — was chosen for an accelerator that provides $250,000 in non-dilutive funding.
  • Cyber Monday spending was reportedly down due to early shopping
    Cyber Monday sales were down 1.4 percent year over year, according to a report from Adobe Analytics. Shoppers spent $10.7 billion this year, $100 million less than the $10.8 billion consumers spent in 2020. Amazon’s holiday shopping report only backs Adobe’s claims that Cyber Monday sales took a dip — the commerce giant didn’t report that this year’s Cyber Monday was the “biggest”
  • Cannabis analytics startup Headset, led by Leafly founders, raises more cash
    Headset co-founders, left to right: CEO Cy Scott, Chief Technology Officer Scott Vickers, and Chief Design Officer Brian Wansolich. (Headset Photos) The news: Cannabis analytics company Headset on Tuesday announced that it raised $8.6 million in funding. That includes $3 million of venture capital from a round led by Althea, as well as the conversion of $5.6 million of bridge notes issued in
  • GeekWire 200 update: Deal mania shakes up rankings of top PNW startups
    This year’s “deal mania” shook up the ranks of companies on the GeekWire 200, our index of the Pacific Northwest’s top privately-held startups. A flurry of M&A, IPO and SPAC deals moved several top 10 companies off the list— they “graduate” after going public or getting acquired — which created room for new entrants. With the latest monthly update, more deal-making seems on the horizon for
  • Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEO
    Update: Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO of Twitter, with Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal taking over. Dorsey will remain on the company’s board through “May-ish.” Original story follows. Jack Dorsey is expected to step down as CEO of Twitter “in the near term,” according to CNBC’s David Faber, who cited “a number of different people familiar with the situation.” Faber said he doesn’t
  • This startup is helping Microsoft and others figure out how to cut their carbon footprint
    Carbon Direct Chief Product Officer Danan Margason, left, and CEO Jonathan Goldberg. (Carbon Direct Photos) People can’t see or smell carbon dioxide or methane gas. But saving the Earth from the worst effects of a warmer world require us to identify the sources of these climate pollutants and stop their emissions. And top tech companies and other corporations in recent years have been
  • The new pro football NFT marketplace has a name: NFL All Day
    It has been less than a year since NBA Top Shot served as an introduction for many sports fans into the world of NFTs, and now the NFL is lining up a similar arrangement. In September, the league announced a partnership with the company that runs Top Shot, Dapper Labs, and now we know the name of the service that will distribute the
  • US banking regulators are looking to clarify crypto rules in 2022
    The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (or FDIC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have issued a joint statement announcing a plan to clarify the rules and regulations around how banks can use cryptocurrencies over the next year (via Bloomberg). The agencies say they’re focusing on setting expectations for what banks can do when it comes to holding crypto,
  • Tech Moves: Accolade appoints execs; Vacasa adds board member ahead of SPAC deal; and more
    Carolina Lobo (left) and Eve Stacey. (Accolade Photos) — Health benefits platform Accolade hired Carolina Lobo as chief marketing officer and Eve Stacey as chief customer officer. Lobo was most recently chief people and brand officer at Interim HealthCare. Stacey was most recently a VP at Microsoft and previously VP of global strategy and operations at SAP Concur. Accolade is based in Seattle
  • Cloud governance software startup Corestack lands $30M
    The CoreStack team. (CoreStack Photo) The news: Seattle-area startup CoreStack raised a $30 million Series B round led by Avatar Growth Capital. The gist: CoreStack sells “cloud governance” software, helping companies manage the cost, compliance, consumption, and other aspects of their cloud infrastructure. CoreStack is a co-sell partner with Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. The metrics: The startup has more than 100 enterprise
  • We asked seven venture capitalists if the metaverse is the next big thing or just a lot of hype
    Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg uses a haptic glove research prototype intended to create a realistic sense of touch in the metaverse. (Meta Photo) What is the metaverse? How far off is it? And will this represent a tectonic technological platform shift — along the lines of the internet and mobile revolutions — or is it simply a lot of hot air? We’ve certainly
  • Funding roundup: Nick Hanauer’s Second Avenue backs gift-box venture; support for Alzheimer’s app
    Laura Jennings, CEO and founder of Knack. (Knack Photo) Here’s our latest rundown on recent startup investment news in the Pacific Northwest. — Online gift-giving startup Knack announced a $3.5 million Series A investment round led by Second Avenue Partners. As part of the deal, Nick Hanauer, Second Avenue’s co-founder and a champion of economic equity, will join Knack’s board of directors. Other
  • Tile is selling its Bluetooth tracking business to Life360 for $205 million
    Tile popularized marking items and tracking them from your phone with its small Bluetooth tags, but suddenly faces more competition from giants like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung. The company that started out of an incubator and crowdfunding campaign has announced it will be acquired by Life360, which calls itself a “leading family safety platform.” The deal is valued at $205 million and
  • GM acquires 25% stake in Seattle’s Pure Watercraft to accelerate future of electric powerboating
    A Pure Watercraft electric motor on the back of a boat. (Pure Watercraft Photo) A Seattle startup with a vision for electric powerboating is joining forces with a legacy automaker that is shifting its own gears toward sustainability in a deal announced Monday. General Motors has acquired a 25% stake in Pure Watercraft, a company that has been working on all-electric boating solutions
  • Modumetal founder Christina Lomasney takes tech transfer role at Pacific Northwest National Lab
    Christina Lomasney. (PNNL Photo) Christina Lomasney, the co-founder and former CEO of high-tech metal startup Modumetal, has joined The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a government-backed research center based in Eastern Washington. As director of technology deployment and outreach, Lomasney will help take PNNL’s research out of the lab and into the real world, commercializing the intellectual property developed by world-leading scientists and
  • Spam smackdown: Hiya claims ‘massive step forward’ using AI against illegal phone calls
    Hiya is adding the new Adaptive AI phone-spam detection technology to its Hiya Protect product. (Hiya Image) Seattle-based tech company Hiya says it has achieved a new milestone in the battle against spam phone calls, using artificial intelligence to detect 20% more illegal and unwanted calls than existing technologies do. The company is rolling out the Adaptive AI technology as part of its
  • Washington Dept. of Commerce helps launch ‘Equitable Innovations Accelerator’
    Find Ventures co-founder Elizabeth Scallon (WeWork Labs Photo) A new program aims to provide early-stage funding for Washington state tech startups founded by entrepreneurs who are Black, women, refugees or from other historically marginalized communities. The new endeavor, the Equitable Innovations Accelerator, will support ten tech startups with up to $100,000 in philanthropically-funded grants, programming and access to mentorship. The accelerator is a
  • BitTitan hit with layoffs following Idera acquisition
    Idera is laying off BitTitan employees following its acquisition of the Bellevue, Wash.-based cloud service provider. A new WARN filing with the state of Washington indicates that 70 workers will be laid off in January. That’s a majority of the company’s workforce in the Seattle region. BitTitan employs more than 200 people total, according to LinkedIn. The company also has an office in
  • Real estate startup Place comes out of nowhere with $100M round, led by Goldman at $1B valuation
    Real estate startup Place offers technology and services for agents and brokers, in addition to a consumer portal. (Place image) Real estate technology and services company Place just raised the first outside capital in its history: a $100 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Never heard of Place? That’s not a
  • Funding news: Angel conference backs brain device startup, weapons detection company lands $15M
    BrainSpace CEO Caitlin Morse. (LinkedIn Photo) The news: Five startups jostled for $200,000 in funding in the final round of the Seattle Angel Conference, with new medical device company BrainSpace rising to the top. The crown: BrainSpace will use the new cash to support development of its automated external ventricular drain, a type of device that relieves pressure in the brain from trauma,
  • Seattle appraisal startup Aloft lands $20M from real estate heavyweights
    The Aloft team in Seattle. (Photos courtesy of Aloft/Zack Phillips Photography) The news: Seattle-based real estate startup Aloft raised $20 million to grow its software platform used for home appraisals. The gist: Founded less than a year ago, Aloft aims to make the appraisal process more efficient and accurate with the help of technology. It gives appraisal quotes in two minutes, and facilitates
  • Here are the Washington state companies that made Deloitte’s annual list of fastest-growing firms
    Some of the Washington state companies that made Deloitte’s annual Fast 500 list. (Deloitte Chart) Seattle’s reputation as a technology and innovation hub was further cemented by the release of Deloitte’s 2021 “North American Technology Fast 500.” Deloitte’s rankings are a yearly account of the fastest-growing North American companies in tech, as measured by revenue growth from 2017 to 2020.   Not surprisingly,
  • Articles by Henry Wilhelm – GeekWire
    GeekWire Newsletters Subscribe to GeekWire’s free newsletters to catch every headline Geek Real EstateSee More Dining Rooms Meant for Entertaining: Meadowmeer Circle $1,200,000 | 4 Beds | 2.5 Baths Featured SponsorSee More Send Us a Tip Have a scoop that you’d like GeekWire to cover? Let us know. Job Listings on GeekWorkSee More See MoreMember Message Kalungi: The world’s only full-service B2B SaaS Marketing
  • Ford and GM are getting into chip development to help deal with the shortage
    A year into the computer chip shortage that’s heavily affecting vehicle production, Ford announced a collaboration with chipmaker GlobalFoundries Inc., as The Wall Street Journal first reported. Ford’s press release about the non-binding agreement is light on specifics but mentions plans “to advance semiconductor manufacturing and technology development within the United States.” Without committing to building any plants, the two companies say they
  • The NFL is attaching NFTs to some tickets this season, and the Lions Thanksgiving game is on the list
    Along with their usual dose of sports, beer, and violence, NFL fans will also get a digital token included with the purchase of tickets to certain games this season. Yes, they are NFTs from the NFL. The first Virtual Commemorative Ticket game already happened on November 7th when the Cardinals played the 49ers, and the next one is scheduled for Thanksgiving during the
  • Funding news: AI-fueled drug discovery startup and auto safety company raise cash
    Variational AI CEO Handol Kim. (Variational AI Photo) The news: Variational AI, a Vancouver, B.C.-based company leveraging artificial intelligence to help develop new small molecule drugs, has raised $3.5 million in seed funding. The tech: Variational AI’s Enki software generates novel molecular structures using its algorithms trained on a set of compounds screened against drug targets from both experimental and computational sources. The
  • Portland’s peer-to-peer adventure van renter GoCamp acquired by leading vehicle modifier
    “Vanlife” has become a hot trend in travel and recreation. (GoCamp Photo) GoCamp, a Portland-based company whose platform enables camper van owners to rent their vehicles to other adventurous types, has been acquired by Storyteller Overland, a Birmingham, Ala.-based company that builds out the sought after modes of transportation. Founded in 2017 by Deborah Kane, the company’s CEO, GoCamp was designed to bring
  • Q&A with James Gwertzman, Seattle gaming vet who just joined Andreessen Horowitz as an investor
    James Gwertzman. Silicon Valley investment firm Andreessen Horowitz is bringing on its first-ever general partner based in the Seattle region. The famed venture capital firm announced this week that gaming veteran James Gwertzman has joined its consumer investing team. Gwertzman sold gaming infrastructure startup PlayFab to Microsoft in 2018 and has been at the tech giant since then, helping guide its business serving
  • Robinhood says hackers also got thousands of phone numbers
    Robinhood has revealed that “several thousand entries” in a list obtained by hackers included phone numbers, indicating that a November 3rd security breach compromised more information than the company originally reported. More precisely, the list contains around 4,400 phone numbers according to Motherboard, which reportedly obtained the list from a “proxy for the hackers.” Earlier this month, Robinhood reported that an employee falling
  • Theranos drained $96 million from an experienced investor — plus some blood
    Getty Images In their meetings, Elizabeth Holmes did most of the talking Brian Grossman had 20 years of experience in the healthcare space — but his firm, PFM Health Sciences, invested $96 million in Theranos anyway. On the stand, he explained that his firm had relied on Elizabeth Holmes’ information about Theranos, as well as financial models provided by the company, to make
  • Seattle startup calls Meta’s VR glove prototype ‘substantively identical’ to its own patented tech
    Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg uses a haptic glove research prototype intended to create a realistic sense of touch in the metaverse. (Meta Photo) Meta made a big announcement Tuesday about how it hopes to bring touch to the virtual world through the use of haptic gloves developed by the company’s Reality Labs Research. But the news came as a bit of a backhand
  • Tech Moves: Payscale CEO steps down; a16z adds Seattle-based partner; Madrona hires investor
    Scott Torrey (left) and Alex Hart. (Payscale Photos) — Scott Torrey stepped down as CEO of compensation data company Payscale. A SAP Concur veteran, Torrey took over as CEO from longtime leader Mike Metzger in 2019. The company’s new CEO is Alex Hart. He was most recently CEO of digital payments provider 2Checkout, which was acquired by Verifone. He is based in Atlanta.
  • Universal’s new contracts will make it more difficult for artists to rerecord their work
    Universal Music Group is modifying its contracts to extend the period in which an artist can rerecord their music, The Wall Street Journal reported. The move comes after the success of Taylor Swift’s rerecorded albums and the music label’s effort to gain more rights from artists who decide to rerecord their work. Before, a standard contract stated that an artist couldn’t rerecord their
  • Why the future of work is the future of travel, with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky
    Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky prides himself on thinking very differently than other CEOs, and his answers to the Decoder questions about how he structures and manages his company were almost always the opposite of what I’m used to hearing on the show. Airbnb is pretty much a single team, focused on a single product, and it all rolls up to Brian. That’s very
  • Univ. of Washington spinout aims to detect eye and body movement using sensors embedded in paper
    Rendering of Somalytics’ prototype gesture mat. (Somalytics Image) A new company out of the University of Washington launched this week with technology to sense human gestures, body functions and eye movement.    Somalytics has developed ultrathin, flexible sensors that are built from tiny carbon nanotubes embedded in paper. The sensors attach to glasses to directly measure movement of the eye. The company has
  • Andreessen Horowitz leads $5M round for new blockchain gaming startup led by Microsoft vets
    Rahul Sood. A new Seattle startup led by longtime entrepreneur Rahul Sood is combining a flurry of the latest tech trends — NFTs, blockchain, machine learning, metaverse — into futuristic gaming experiences. Irreverent Labs caught the attention of Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz, which just led a $5 million round and has funded at least 50 crypto startups as part of a huge bet on
  • Canoo moves to Walmart’s hometown
    EV startup Canoo is moving its headquarters from California to Walmart’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas — though it didn’t announce any deal with the retail giant. Canoo said it will open a new manufacturing facility in Bentonville but didn’t say much about what will be done there or who will build it. The startup also said Monday that it is moving up its
  • Faraday Future launches investigation into financial fraud allegations
    Faraday Future is launching an investigation into recent allegations of financial fraud at the startup, including claims from a recent short-seller report by J Capital. The EV startup’s board of directors has formed a “special committee of independent directors,” which has hired a law firm to perform the investigation. J Capital had accused Faraday Future of lying about the number of reservations it
  • Apple’s Business Essentials subscriptions support small businesses that only use Apple
    This week Apple unveiled another beta program, but instead of offering early previews of software for your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, it’s a new initiative called Business Essentials. In line with Apple’s recent shift toward selling services, it’s a subscription package aimed at small businesses with three different plans and a move that has been anticipated since it acquired the device management platform
  • Funding news: New crypto firm; a real estate investing platform; hydrogen fuel; B2B marketing
    Cash Flow Portal founder and CEO Perry Zheng. (Cash Flow Portal Photo) Here’s our latest rundown on recent startup investment news in the Pacific Northwest. — Seattle-based real estate investment platform Cash Flow Portal has raised $3.5 million and was accepted to participate in the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator (though it hasn’t decided whether to participate). The investors were not disclosed. The gist: Cash Flow Portal
  • How this Seattle startup is helping shift HR diversity efforts from ‘touchy-feely’ to data driven
    Included co-founders, from left to right: Chandan Golla, Laura Close and Raghu Gollamudi. (Included Photo) The news: Seattle startup Included raised a $1.9 million pre-seed round from FlyingFish, SignalFire and Ascend. Putting data in DEI: In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, companies nationwide pledged to better support racial and ethnic diversity throughout their operations. Their own employees, customers and regulators have likewise demanded measurable
  • New ‘rolling’ investment fund led by Seattle tech vets targets startups capitalizing on 5G
    Jim Brisimitzis and Kevin Ober. Seattle-area tech veterans Jim Brisimitzis and Kevin Ober are leading a new investment fund targeting startups that go through the 5G Open Innovation Lab, a Bellevue, Wash.-based startup program. The 5G Open Innovation Lab Rolling Fund uses an investment model introduced by AngelList last year that lets fund managers accept new capital from accredited investors in quarterly commitments. The 5G
  • Rivian’s mega IPO is a good test of the meme stock craze
    ‘Lmaoooo 80B do they think we’re fucking stupid?’ Rivian’s hotly anticipated public debut is finally here, but the electric vehicle company is not generating the same kind of feverish online posting as its rival Tesla or other EV startups — and that’s probably a good thing. Don’t get me wrong. The company’s IPO, which will net $12 billion on an $80 billion valuation,
  • Sony reportedly making even fewer PS5s due to component shortage
    Sony is struggling to make PlayStation 5 consoles and has internally lowered its production forecast for the current financial year, according to a report in Bloomberg. While the company was expecting to assemble 16 million units between April 2021 and March 2022, that figure is reportedly now at around 15 million. Sony had publicly predicted that it would sell 14.8 million PS5 consoles
  • Tech Moves: OfferUp adds diversity chief; Convoy engineering VP departs; ex-Twitter VP joins Kraken
    From top left, clockwise: Melinda Starbird, Tim Prouty, Mike Davidson, Jim Castillo, Dana Storms and Jake Stone. — Mobile marketplace OfferUp announced Melinda Starbird as the company’s first chief people and diversity officer. Melinda Starbird. (OfferUp Photo) Starbird previously was VP of people and employee experience at Auth0 and held senior recruiting and HR roles at Avanade, Whitepages and Hiya. “I consider myself
  • Rapid COVID-19 test maker Anavasi Diagnostics lands funding from National Institutes of Health
    Anavasi’s AscencioDx COVID-19 test system. (Anavasi Photo) The gist: Woodinville, Wash.-based startup Anavasi Diagnostics will advance the commercialization of its rapid COVID-19 test with $14.9 million in funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the company announced Tuesday. The startup also has raised $6 million from individual investors. The product: According to the company, its AscencioDx COVID-19 test system yields results equivalent
  • Gut health startup Viome raises $54M to develop cancer diagnostics and sell microbiome kits
    Viome Kit. (Viome Photo) Viome Life Sciences has raised $54 million. The funding will bolster the company’s efforts to develop cancer diagnostics and support its separate consumer product division, said CEO Naveen Jain in an interview with GeekWire. Viome’s consumer division offers services to analyze the microbiome, the collection of microbes in the gut and other parts of the body. The Seattle-area company
  • Screenshots reveal what extra information the Robinhood hackers accessed
    Screenshots obtained by Motherboard reportedly show the internal Robinhood tools that a hacker used to access “more extensive account details” for some of the trading platform’s accounts. The heavily redacted screenshots show that hackers had access to buttons labeled “Disable MFA” (multi-factor authentication) and “Add to Trusted Device Email Code Whitelist,” along with information about what devices were logged into the account, and
  • Rivian goes public in one of the biggest IPOs ever
    Electric vehicle startup Rivian is now a publicly traded company after executing one of the biggest initial public offerings in history. Rivian shares started trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange Wednesday at around $78 per share. That gave Rivian an overall valuation of nearly $80 billion and helped it net $12 billion in fresh cash, despite the fact that it only just recently
  • Seattle-area startup Inventprise gets more backing from Gates Foundation for pneumonia shot
    A worker at an Inventprise manufacturing facility. (Inventprise Photo) Inventprise has been slowly growing in Redmond, Wash., expanding into four research and manufacturing facilities to support early development of a host of vaccines since its founding in 2012. The company is now set to advance an investigational vaccine for pediatric pneumococcal disease into human testing with new funding from the Bill & Melinda
  • Ditch the dealership: Tred raises $25M to drive more car shoppers to its online marketplace
    Tred CEO Grant Feek. (Tred Photo) The news: Online peer-to-peer marketplace Tred has raised $25 million in new funding to further expand its platform aimed at making the entire process around buying and selling used cars faster and easier. The gist: Tred customers can arrange test drives, engage with sellers, pick up a car or have it delivered without having to visit a
  • Workhorse’s new CEO admits the startup’s electric van is no workhorse
    The new CEO of struggling EV startup Workhorse admitted Tuesday that he’s not sure the company’s C-1000 electric van can stand up to the kind of punishing work required by delivery companies. In other words, Workhorse’s EV isn’t a workhorse. “As I’ve talked to the big customers at UPS, FedEx, others, they expect to have these trucks last 15 to 20 years and
  • You’ll be able to pay for Amazon purchases with Venmo starting in 2022
    If you want to buy anything on, you’ll generally need a credit or debit card — but in 2022, the online retailer will begin accepting Venmo as well. Venmo parent company PayPal announced the news (via GeekWire) during its Q3 earnings call on Monday. We’re pretty sure that’s the first third-party payments platform Amazon has embraced in recent memory. You can’t use
  • Meet the startups that just joined Techstars Seattle’s 13th cohort
    Another batch of startups is ready to experience Techstars Seattle. The accelerator revealed its 13th cohort made up of 12 companies that will spend the next three months supercharging their business plans. The companies hail from a variety of industries such as e-commerce, travel, and meal delivery. They will receive $20,000 from Techstars in exchange for a 6% equity investment made by Techstars,
  • DreamBox Learning sells majority stake to private equity firm as annual revenue tops $100M
    Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO of DreamBox Learning. (DreamBox Learning Photo) Seattle-area education technology company DreamBox Learning sold a majority stake to Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., a tech-focused Silicon Valley affiliate of private equity firm Elliott Investment Management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2006, DreamBox sells software to K-12 schools. The company’s technology adapts to individual students based on their answers
  • Rivian will start selling electric vans to non-Amazon companies in 2023
    Rivian says it will start taking orders for its electric delivery vans in 2022 and will deliver them to fleet customers in “early 2023,” calling into question the status of Amazon’s exclusive rights to the vehicle. The buzzy EV startup — which is slated to go public this week at a valuation of $50 billion or higher — quietly announced the details about
  • Security software company McAfee acquired for $14 billion
    Security software company McAfee is going private via a buyout from an investor group in a deal valued at more than $14 billion, the company announced Monday. Bloomberg first reported last week that a likely deal was imminent. McAfee was founded in 1987 by John McAfee and became known for its computer antivirus software. McAfee, the founder, left McAfee, the company, in 1994,
  • Who’s raising cash? Helion, OctoML, WhyLabs, Symbl, Doorsey, Owl latest startups to land funding
    Here’s our latest rundown on recent startup investment news in the Pacific Northwest. Symbl co-founders Surbhi Rathore and Toshish Jawale. (Symbl Photo) — Seattle-based Symbl landed $17 million for its “conversational intelligence” software used by developers to build speech, text, and video services. The gist: The 52-person startup sells an API that allows companies to generate insights from conversations natively as part of
  • As interest in fusion energy ignites, Helion lands $500M from OpenAI CEO, Facebook co-founder
    Helion co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Chris Pihl (left) and founder and CEO David Kirtley at their facility in Redmond, Wash., where the company was founded in 2013. Helion’s headquarters more recently moved to nearby Everett. The startup this summer broke ground on a 25,000 square foot facility in the city. (Helion Photo) Fusion energy company Helion raised a whopping $500 million, with
  • EV startup Workhorse faces Department of Justice probe
    The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into struggling electric vehicle startup Workhorse, according to The Wall Street Journal. The probe is reportedly being led by the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, which often investigates financial crimes. Workhorse is already part of an investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission that first came to light in September,
  • Lime raises over $500 million, confirms plans to take its electric scooter company public
    Lime announced today that it raised $523 million in debt financing, a sign that investors are feeling more optimistic about the long-term survival of shared electric scooters in a post-pandemic world. Lime must be feeling more optimistic, too, because a spokesperson confirmed that the company plans on going public sometime in 2022. Last September, Insider reported that Lime was hoping to raise up
  • Amazon vets land $10M for WhyLabs, a Seattle startup that monitors machine learning models
    WhyLabs CEO Alessya Visnjic. (WhyLabs Photo) The news: WhyLabs, a spinout from the Seattle’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), raised $10 million and released a new tool to support machine learning applications. The problem: As more companies leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence, the need to capture and correct failures is becoming more urgent. Reliance on algorithms can lead to negative implications, as
  • Square is letting the teens use Cash App
    Square has announced that people over 13 years old can use Cash App to deposit and spend money or send it to friends. The app was previously only available to people aged 18 or older, and while minors will have to get their parent or guardians’ permission to use the app (and that parent-figure will have significant oversight), they’ll still be able to
  • Nintendo cuts Switch sales forecast due to global chip shortage
    Nintendo had a relatively quiet quarter for Switch sales, with 3.83 million units shipped between July and September. That’s a big drop on the same period last year, when the company moved 6.86 million units. Nintendo has now sold 92.87 million Switch consoles to date. Nintendo says “the extended impact of both COVID-19 and the global semiconductor shortage creates a state of continued
  • Pacific Northwest companies merge and raise cash to build energy efficient, modular construction tech
    Aaron Fairchild, left, and Bec Chapin will be co-CEOs of the newly merged company Green Canopy NODE. (GreenCanopy NODE photo) While COVID-19 and vaccinations have pushed many into us-versus-them camps, for Bec Chapin, the pandemic instead inspired an appreciation for how much we’re connected. “We’re in it together already,” Chapin said. “So let’s be together.” Chapin realized that togetherness in a newly announced
  • Tech Moves: Qualtrics hires Microsoft vet; Amazon voice tech leader steps down; Future For Us founders start new roles
    From top left, clockwise: Sage Ke’alohilani Quiamno, Princess Imoukhuede, Lisa Nelson, Seujan Bertram and Jean-Baptiste Agnus. — Future For Us co-founder and former CEO Sage Ke’alohilani Quiamno is now a diversity, equity and inclusion business partner for Amazon Prime Video and Studios. “I was drawn to the role because I saw it as an opportunity to create structural change within a large tech
  • Allbirds’ secret sauce: Early investor reflects on shoe company’s success as it goes public
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  • Univ. of Washington machine learning spinout OctoML raises $85M to expand its partnerships
    OctoML CEO Luis Ceze. (Photo courtesy of Luis Ceze) New funding: Machine learning startup OctoML has raised $85 million in new funding, the Seattle-based company announced Monday. The fresh cash brings the company’s total amount raised to $132 million, including a $28 million round in March. Maximizing machine learning: OctoML uses machine learning to help organizations build machine learning and AI models and
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    Magnify CEO Joshua Crossman. (Brooke Fitts Photo) New funding: Magnify, an enterprise software startup which will have operations in Seattle and Bend, Ore., has come out of stealth mode with $6 million in funding. The company is developing tools to help companies engage with software customers, and has backing from a high-powered array of Pacific Northwest tech executives. All-star backers: Investors include Madrona
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  • Go read this story about how online orders are burning out Chipotle workers
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  • Funding news: Microsoft vets land cash for new sales data sharing startup, and more PNW deals
    Groopit CEO Tammy Savage. (Groopit Photo) Here’s our latest rundown on recent startup investment news in the Pacific Northwest. — Seattle startup Groopit landed $2 million to help frontline sales employees share data with their extended teams and leaders. The gist: Groopit gives business leaders a way to get data from employees in the field who use the software to collect and share
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    Apple today posted strong earnings for its fourth fiscal 2021 quarter, reporting all-time highs for its services and Mac divisions. The company says it took in revenue of $83.4 billion, a year-over-year increase of 29 percent, and earnings per share of $1.24. That earnings number came in below Wall Street expectations of $84.85 billion. CEO Tim Cook told CNBC that supply chain constraints
  • Just call it deal mania: A look at this year’s booming market for M&A, IPOs, SPACs and VC
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  • Rad Power Bikes lands $154M, its second mega round this year, to boost e-bike business
    The RadCity 5 Plus debuted last month. (Rad Power Bikes Photo) The gist: Rad Power Bikes just raised $154 million to fuel growth of its e-bike business. The round comes after a separate $150 million cash infusion raised in February. Rad continues to see big demand, spurred in part due to the pandemic as more people bought e-bikes. The company has more than
  • GameStop memes even harder with “Web3 Gaming” and NFT job listings
    After a rollercoaster of a year on the stock market fueled by WallStreetBets retail trading, GameStop is going full meme and looking to build a “Web3” platform, according to a flurry of job listings posted to its careers site on Monday. One of those ads, discovered by CoinDesk, is a LinkedIn listing for a “Head of Web3 Gaming” in which the company says
  • Seattle-area cloud migration startup BitTitan acquired by B2B software company Idera
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    Glymphatic clearance at work in a mouse brain. The brain is washed with fluid (visualized here in green) during sleep to remove waste, a process that also occurs in humans. (Jeffrey Iliff Image) During sleep, our brains are “cleaned.” Waves of fluid wash through the organ, collecting waste products from cells and sending them out via the circulatory system. Scientists believe this cleaning
  • This Seattle e-commerce startup didn’t raise any VC money and was just acquired in a nine-figure deal
    Pacvue co-founders Zhaohui Tang, chairman, and Melissa Burdick, president. (Pacvue Photos) A huge exit doesn’t always require venture capital money. That’s what Pacvue just demonstrated. Los Angeles-based e-commerce software company Assembly announced today that it acquired Pacvue, a Seattle startup that sells similar B2B e-commerce tools. Terms were not disclosed, but pegged the purchase price at nine figures. A spokesperson for Pacvue confirmed
  • Tech Moves: Unbounce names new CEO; Azure VP joins VMware; and more
    Felicia Bochicchio (left) and Rick Perreault. (Unbounce Photo) — Vancouver, B.C.-based landing page builder Unbounce announced Felicia Bochicchio as its new CEO. She was most recently the company’s president and previously chief revenue officer. Bochicchio succeeds co-founder Rick Perreault who will become executive chair of the board. After being diagnosed with cancer, Perreault took a leave of absence from his role as CEO
  • Founded last year, Mozart Therapeutics lands $55M to develop therapies for celiac and other diseases
    Mozart Therapeutics CEO Katie Fanning. (Mozart Photo) A year and a few months since its founding, Mozart Therapeutics has secured $55 million to develop therapies for celiac disease and other immune-related conditions, the company announced Tuesday. The Seattle-based biotech startup is developing compounds to quell overactive immune responses in celiac disease and other conditions. “We have an opportunity to really do something different
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    Qumulo CEO Bill Richter is our guest on the GeekWire Podcast. (Qumulo Photo / Andy Rogers) Everyone is closely monitoring the implications of remote work as we emerge from the pandemic, so it’s no surprise that one of the most widely read stories on GeekWire this week — right behind the Titanic’s disappearing bathtub and Facebook’s potential name change — was a story
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  • How becoming a venture capitalist helped this Seattle startup vet turn his life around 
    Kirby Winfield and his daughter, Kate. (Photo courtesy of Winfield) When it comes to startups, Kirby Winfield has seen the highs, and he’s seen the lows. The longtime Seattleite spent nearly 20 years in various leadership positions at four companies — two that went public (Go2Net, Marchex), and two that were acquired (AdXpose, Dwellable). The exits were worth celebrating. But going through the
  • Tesla offers a glimpse of a future without Elon Musk
    Elon Musk may seem inseparable from Tesla, but on Wednesday night, the company offered the first real taste of what it might look like without its billionaire CEO. Tesla held a regularly scheduled conference call to discuss its quarterly financial results, but — as he’d previously teased — Musk did not attend. His absence took what’s normally a venue for his rants and
  • Donald Trump’s new social media SPAC, explained
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  • Ex-Athira Pharma CEO Leen Kawas resigns and leaves board after image manipulation investigation
    Leen Kawas. (Athira Pharma Photo) Leen Kawas has formally resigned as CEO and president of Athira Pharma and is stepping off the board after an investigation found the biotech executive altered images in scientific papers she authored. Mark Litton, the company’s COO who took over day-to-day leadership responsibilities after Kawas was placed on leave in June, is now CEO and will join the
  • Tech Moves: Convoy names general counsel; startup founders land new gigs after shutdowns
    John Morrow. (Convoy Photo) — Freight marketplace Convoy announced John Morrow as its new general counsel, effective Nov. 1.  A Seattle tech vet, Morrow was an executive at Apptio for five years including through the software company’s IPO and later $1.9 billion private equity deal. He was most recently general counsel and secretary at Paymentus, a Redmond, Wash.-based electronic billing platform that went
  • Funding news: Aging-wellness startup lands $27M; fintech company Embed raises $60M pre-launch
    The Modern Age team, with CEO Melissa Earner on far right, back row. (Modern Age Photo) Here’s our latest rundown on recent startup investment news in the Pacific Northwest. — Can a startup help you combat aging? That’s the pitch behind Modern Age, which just landed a $27 million investment. The gist: Seattle-based Modern Age offers a proactive and holistic approach to health as
  • Amazon offers up more data to tell third-party sellers which items will be popular
    Amazon has announced a tool that will give sellers access to information about what shoppers are currently looking for and help make it easier to choose which products to create next. Amazon calls it the Product Opportunity Explorer and says that it’ll give sellers access to data and trends that will help them “identify opportunities to launch new, high-potential products to serve unmet