Top 10 Northwest Venture Deals of the Third Quarter—and VC Color Commentary

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Seattle-based Dashwire ($1.2 million) and Bellevue, WA-based Smith & Tinker ($29 million). Jacobson also said performance advertising and IT business software remain promising areas.

On the topic of exits, Hodge pointed out that Seattle-based Omeros’s sinking share price in the wake of its IPO (in the first initial public offering in Washington since 2007) is “a function of the buyers of biotech—those buyers are still risk-averse…We think it’s going to be better next year, but we have to be ready.”

Jacobson agreed that the exit markets will be tough for a while. “Certainly the bar is higher,” he said. “It’s getting healthier, but it’s still somewhat stagnant. It’ll be the companies that are really executing and meeting a real strategic need that get acquired. There are still plenty of companies where there won’t be an exit.” Jacobson added that casual and social gaming is a promising sector for seeing some exits in the coming year.

To sum it up, venture capitalists are feeling “cautious optimism from a company performance and fundraising standpoint,” Jacobson said. Hodge concurred, adding, “It’ll be a slow pace of improvement.”

Here are the top 10 Northwest venture deals of Q3 2009 and their lead investors, according to the MoneyTree report:

1. Calypso Medical (Seattle), $50M, Skyline Ventures and Frazier Healthcare Ventures

2. Smith & Tinker (Bellevue, WA), $29M (total funding), DCM, Alsop Louie Partners, and others

3. ClearEdge Power (Hillsboro, OR), $15M, Applied Ventures

4. PhaseRx (Seattle), $15M, 5AM Ventures, Arch Venture Partners, Versant Ventures

5. Ensequence (Portland, OR), $14.5M, NextPoint Partners, Clay Mathile

6. Apptio (Bellevue, WA), $14M, Andreessen Horowitz, Shasta Ventures, and others

7. Uptake Medical (Seattle), $13M, Arboretum Ventures and others

8. Prometheus Energy (Redmond, WA), $10M, Shell Technology Investments

9. Advanced Inquiry Systems (Hillsboro, OR), $7.3M, Applied Ventures, Intel Capital, and others

10. Qliance (Seattle), $4M, New Atlantic Ventures and Second Avenue Partners

(The above deals don’t count two Seattle-area companies listed in the MoneyTree report as “confidential”—one backed by Ignition Capital ($13M total), the other by Frazier Healthcare and Technology Ventures ($9M total). The list also excludes a Montana company and an Idaho company, which lie outside Xconomy Seattle’s area of focus.)

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