Amazon Buys SnapTell, Madrona Backs Animoto, MDRNA Works Out Tech License, & More Seattle-Area Deals News

It has been a fairly busy start to the summer in the Northwest. In the past week, we’ve seen a number of deals in software, Internet, displays, biotech, and energy.

—Portland, OR-based Reductive Labs raised a $2 million Series A round led by True Ventures in Palo Alto, CA. Reductive, whose founders are in Salt Lake City and Nashville, TN, but are relocating most of the company to Portland, has developed open source software to help companies automate the management of their IT systems. True Ventures is also an investor in Seattle-based 1000 Markets and RescueTime.

—Redmond, WA-based Microvision (NASDAQ: MVIS), a maker of display technologies, received a $15 million investment from Taipei-based Walsin Lihwa, in the form of a common stock sale to Walsin’s subsidiary, Max Display Enterprises Limited, and a warrant to buy more shares.

—Bellevue, WA-based LiquidPlanner, a collaborative software startup focused on online project management, raised $1 million from angel investors, including $235,000 from the Seattle-based Alliance of Angels’ new seed fund. Angel investor Geoff Entress has joined LiquidPlanner’s board of directors.

—Luke reported that Bothell, WA-based MDRNA (NASDAQ: MRNA), a developer of RNA interference drugs, renegotiated a key technology license with Denmark-based RiboTask. MDRNA now has full control and no longer needs to make payments for the technology, which could make RNA interference drugs more stable and less likely to cause inflammation. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

—Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group led a $4.4 million funding round for Animoto, a New York-based video and slideshow software startup. Amazon is also an investor in the company, which has raised a total of $5 million since its founding in 2006. Animoto was started by four Bellevue High School grads, including CEO Brad Jefferson, a veteran of Bellevue, WA-based Onyx Software.

—Eric reported that Seattle stealth startup raised $4.5 million from undisclosed investors. Directors of the company include Jim Heckman, the former chief executive of, and Michael Barrett, the former chief revenue officer of Fox Interactive. 5to1 didn’t comment on what it is working on yet.

—Optimum Energy, a Seattle cleantech software company, secured a commitment of up to $4.5 million in equity funding led by Columbia Pacific Advisors. Founded in 2005, Optimum Energy develops software that helps large commercial buildings manage heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to be more energy efficient, as Rachel reported back in April.

—Eric reported that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) acquired Palo Alto, CA-based SnapTell, a mobile image matching startup. Terms of the deal were not announced. Amazon bought the company through its Palo Alto-based subsidiary, A9, which runs ads on Amazon and provides search technology.

—Bellevue, WA-based Doyenz, which makes cloud-based software for managing virtual IT infrastructure, raised $1.5 million in new cash from undisclosed investors, as Eric reported. In connection with the financing, $2.8 million of debt is being converted into preferred stock worth $3.3 million. Founded in 2007, Doyenz targets IT consultants who manage remote servers and other virtual appliances for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

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