Inrix, Zulily Battle for Top Spot in WA’s Q3 Venture Dollars
Microsoft traffic-data spinout Inrix and flash-sales startup Zulily led the field of Washington state-based companies raising venture capital in the third quarter, which yielded $192.5 million across 27 deals, according to the latest MoneyTree Report from the National Venture Capital Association and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Inrix‘s $37 million expansion round made news in late July. CEO Bryan Mistele said the profitable company added the funding to step on the growth accelerator, and followed through pretty quickly: Inrix wrapped up the acquisition of UK-based competitor ITIS Holdings the next month. After raising the dough, Mistele also said Kirkland, WA-based Inrix was eyeing an IPO “sooner rather than later,” although that was before the big swoon in the public markets.
Zulily ranked second for the quarter in the MoneyTree Report, which draws its data from Thomson Reuters. Seattle-based Zulily actually had a larger overall fundraising figure than Inrix, at $43 million. But it looks like the MoneyTree Report discounted that figure by the $10.5 million that was taken off the table in a share buyback, which is noted in the SEC filing. In any case, Zulily has been a very fast-growing success story in the moms-and-kids flash-sales arena. It’ll be interesting to see how long the company can keep up its pace, given all the hullabaloo over customer acquisition for email-based deals brands like Groupon.
Third place for Washington state deals goes to Avalara, a Bainbridge Island-based sales-tax software provider. The company closed out a $21.2 million round in mid-September.
Fourth was Bellevue, WA’s RF Surgical Systems, which filed paperwork for a $12 million round in September. As Luke wrote last year, the company is working to embed radio-frequency tags in surgical sponges, so hospitals and doctors can track whether the very common surgical accessories are left behind in a patient.
The fifth-largest financing in the quarter went to Seattle’s Immune Design, a biotech company working to make vaccines more effective and fine-tune the body’s immune response. The $10.6 million listed in the MoneyTree data was actually the second segment of an existing Series B round that the company announced last summer.