Visible Raises $6M, Vulcan Goes Deep with BiPar, IdeaScale Serves White House, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

It was a relatively light week for deals in the Northwest, perhaps owing to the holiday weekend. But there was still action in biotech, marketing software, and alternative energy.

—Kennewick, WA-based Infinia raised $14.1 million in debt financing out of a $50 million offering. The company, which is backed by Vulcan Capital, Khosla Ventures, and other investors, develops solar power generation technology that uses free-piston Stirling engines and power systems.

—Luke reported on the story behind Vulcan Capital’s investment in BiPar Sciences, the Brisbane, CA-based cancer biotech firm that was recently sold to Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis for $500 million. Vulcan led the seed financing round for BiPar back in 2005, and pumped $13 million in capital into it through its lifetime. The sale will earn Vulcan more than $100 million in cash, which managing director Steve Hall says has helped put the firm in the top 10 percent of all U.S. venture funds over the past five years. BiPar’s drug, BSI-201, could be a fundamental advance against breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other tumors.

—Bellevue, WA-based Visible Technologies, a startup that makes software for online brand reputation management and customer service, raised $6 million in debt financing. Visible Technologies was founded in 2003, and is backed by Bellevue-based Ignition Partners and New York-based WPP.

—Seattle-based Survey Analytics, a marketing and customer relations software startup, scored a partnership with the White House to power the Open Government Dialogue website, which seeks to solicit ideas from the public on how the government can be more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. Financial terms of the deal were not given. Survey Analytics, which has been bootstrapped since 2004, has developed a software platform for hosting and managing feedback communities called IdeaScale.

—Luke reported that Seattle-based Uptake Medical, which is developing minimally invasive technology to treat emphysema, raised $3.1 million in a debt financing. Uptake makes a device that seals off access to diseased parts of the lung where air gets trapped. The technique does not leave an implantable device behind. The latest funding adds to the $3 million bridge financing the company raised for its clinical trials in December.

—HealthUnity, a Bellevue, WA-based maker of software for connecting healthcare IT systems, raised $2 million out of a $4 million equity financing, Luke reported. The company was founded in 2004 and is led by CEO Prem Urali, a former group manager in the BizTalk Server division at Microsoft.

—Luke also reported that Oncothyreon, a Seattle-based developer of cancer drugs, received commitments from several investors to buy new shares and warrants for $11.1 million. The deal was underwritten by Boenning & Scattergood. Oncothyreon (NASDAQ: ONTY) has been diversifying its pipeline, and has gotten renewed interest from investors in its cancer immunotherapy program, since Seattle-based Dendreon has had recent success in that field.

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