Seattle (Location) Roundup: Dwellable, Buuteeq, Medio Systems
It’s all about location this week. Two Seattle-based companies doing interesting things with location, Placed and Glympse, raised eight-digit venture rounds this week. Meanwhile, we saw a couple of Seattle-based travel companies, Dwellable and Buuteeq, raising capital and being acquired, respectively. Also getting its M&A on was Medio Systems, which is being acquired by HERE, a company focused on—wait for it—navigation, mapping, and location. The details:
—Placed, which tracks the locations of 175,000 Americans, providing advertisers and publishers with insights into how well their marketing campaigns drive people into physical stores, raised $10 million from Two Sigma Ventures and prior investor Madrona Venture Group. Today, Glympse, which allows users to share their location in real-time with family, friends, and co-workers, announced a $12 million new investment from UMC Capital, Verizon Ventures, and others.
—Seattle-based vacation rental app Dwellable raised nearly $2 million through a convertible debt offer from several top local names including Version One Ventures and Maveron, which led the seed round, and Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, artificial intelligence expert and Farecast founder Oren Etzioni, and Rob Solomon, a former board member of HomeAway, another vacation rental service. Dwellable has been bootstrapped since it unveiled its mobile apps in 2012. The company was founded by Adam Doppelt, of Urbanspoon fame, and Nathan Kriege, who has Snapvine to his credit. The funding will be used to accelerate growth. Upwards of 300,000 properties are currently listed for rent on Dwellable, the company says.
—Online travel giant The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN) went on a shopping spree this week, buying Buuteeq, a Seattle-based startup providing cloud-based digital marketing services for hotels, and then restaurant reservations company OpenTable (NASDAQ: OPEN). Priceline is not saying how much it paid for the former; it’s dropping $103 per share, or $2.6 billion, for the latter. Buuteeq, founded in 2010 by Forest Key and Adam Brownstein, had raised about $17 million, most recently through a $10 million round in 2012 led by Madrona Venture Group and Concur, the travel and expense management software company. Buuteeq will be an independent business inside of Priceline.
—Medio Systems, which makes tools to monitor and analyze mobile traffic to websites and apps for improved customer acquisition, retention, and marketing, is being acquired by HERE, a unit of Nokia, focused on navigation, mapping, and location. HERE, based in Berlin, calls Medio “a pioneer in the emerging field of real-time predictive analytics,” a capability the company plans to use for making contextual maps and services that update depending on an individual’s current situation. Terms of the deal, expected to close in July, were not disclosed, but a HERE spokesman says Medio will become a wholly owned subsidiary, still based in Seattle, with all employees becoming HERE employees. Medio, which is nearly 10 years old, began as a mobile search provider. It now has about 60 employees. The company raised about $30 million in 2006 from investors including Frazier Technology Ventures; Mohr, Davidow Ventures; Trilogy Equity Partners; and Accel Partners.