Seattle Roundup: Ignition Fund, Lighter Capital, WISErg, HBO, and More

The big news this week is that Ignition Partners, an active investor in business-focused startups, is gearing up for another venture fund that could come in at $200 million. We’re also tracking a new investment in Lighter Capital, WISErg’s Series B, HBO’s Seattle expansion, and a healthcare IT partnership for Caradigm.

Earlier in the week we brought you an exclusive look at changes happening in the University of Washington’s “innovation transfer” efforts, a view from the frontiers of the Internet domain name expansion bonanza, and a fantastic deep-dive into the world of gene therapy.

Read on for more details.

Ignition Partners has filed paperwork indicating it’s raising a $200 million sixth fund. The firm, now investing from a $150 million fund raised in late 2013, is currently headed by managing partners Frank Artale, John Connors, and Nick Sturiale, with offices in Bellevue, WA, and Palo Alto, CA. The 15-year-old firm scaled back at that time, focusing exclusively on enterprise software and services. Here’s an interview we did with Artale—who, like Connors, is a former Microsoft executive—a year ago covering the “business computing renaissance” underlying Ignition’s investment thesis. Ignition isn’t commenting on the new fund now. The firm’s local investments announced since late 2013 include Chef, Azuqua, Skytap, Tempered Networks, Glympse, Avvo, and TipBit. Here’s the SEC filing on Ignition Partners VI, spotted earlier this week by GeekWire.

—Lighter Capital, which provides revenue-based financing to technology businesses, has raised nearly $17 million in equity funding, according to an SEC filing. The Seattle company announced last September that it had “recently increased its total capital base to $17 million,” helping it substantially grow its funding activity. We’re checking with the company on whether this is just paperwork related to that increase and will update when we receive more info. [Update: Indeed that’s the case.]

WISErg, the Redmond, WA-based company collecting food waste from grocery stores and restaurants for conversion to organic fertilizer, added nearly $6 million more to the Series B funding round it first announced last summer, bringing the total to $10.6 million. WISErg says Second Avenue Partners led the round. Some 30 investors participated, according to the company’s latest SEC filing. Funding will support the company’s expansion beyond Washington state.

—Home Box Office (HBO) will more than quadruple its Seattle office space under a new lease reported this week. The Time Warner unit has about 90 employees here now, occupying about 25,000 square feet in the Metropolitan Park East building. It is planning to move to Hill7, a new office and hotel development planned where downtown, Capitol Hill, and South Lake Union meet. HBO will occupy some 112,000 square feet there, and is growing in Seattle to “further tap into the local talent,” the company said in a statement to The Seattle Times. HBO is building its Now streaming video service in Seattle. The company has posted five new job openings in Seattle this month, including a human resources manager tasked with helping a “growing team of software engineers.”

Caradigm, a Bellevue, WA, company that provides healthcare analytics focused on identifying and addressing clinical and financial risks, has landed a new partner in the Continuum Health Alliance. Caradigm says it will be added to Continuum’s platform, which provides a suite of services for healthcare providers to help manage practices, population health, and community care.

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One response to “Seattle Roundup: Ignition Fund, Lighter Capital, WISErg, HBO, and More”

  1. Margarid Takouhi Bagdoyan says:

    I work in WISErg. Investing in the company is not a good idea. I say this because I have seen the leadership here lying to investors and potential investors time and again. I’ve had enough and feel compelled to speak in some way. I feel pretty sleazy to see this kind of thing happens again and again without saying anything for fear of losing my job.

    The facts are: Leadership here WISErg continually tell potential investors who have found a way to turn food waste into compost using special “biotechnology”. They tell those who are already funneling money to the company that are right on the cusp of developing a real scalable and cost-effective process. They have been saying this for years, and I can not believe it works. Fertilizer actually is occurring here (quite expensive and inefficient, I might add), but I can promise that no food waste Harvestor involved.

    When I was hired here I was very optimistic about the company and I loved the spirit of recycling, but throwing money away on unscrupulous ex-techies is not wise.