Datacastle Gets $5.3M, Geospiza Goes Gene-Sifting, Bsquare Buys TechQuest, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

Heading into the holiday season, it was a fairly slow week in the Northwest for deals. But there was still some substantial activity in software and biotech—and some activity about the activity (see immediately below).

—Bellevue, WA-based software and services firm Bsquare (NASDAQ: BSQR) acquired TechQuest, a test-automation software maker in Minneapolis, MN, for $2.2 million. The news spawned some spirited discussion by Bsquare founder Bill Baxter (now at Seattle-based Cozi) and current CEO Brian Crowley over the deal’s significance.

—Luke reported that Geospiza, a Seattle bio-software firm, acquired the “Genesifter” technology developed by Seattle-based VizX Labs, which helps researchers analyze massive amounts of genomic data. Terms of the purchase weren’t announced.

—Seattle-based Datacastle closed a $5.3 million Series A financing round led by the Australian venture firm CM Capital Investments. No other investors were disclosed. Datacastle, founded in 2005, makes data-protection software for businesses.

—Not a deal per se, but Beaverton, OR-based semiconductor firm Ambric announced it is shutting down operations while it looks for a corporate buyer. Ambric has developed parallel processor chips for wireless, medical, and military applications. It was backed by OVP Venture Partners, Northwest Technology Ventures, and other investors.

—Lastly, we posted an update on where a lot of local deals are (unofficially) being made. We added a few more anecdotes to Xconomy’s Greater Seattle Coffee Cluster, a list of 46 (and counting) area cafes, together with the entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators who frequent them, in the form of an interactive map.

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