Seattle Roundup: Mazlo, Textio, Pixvana, Janrain, Innervate, Matcherino
‘Twas the week before Christmas,
And throughout the Northwest,
Tech companies scored funding,
For VR, e-sports, and being your best
Read on for details of new rounds for Mazlo, Textio, Pixvana, Janrain, Innervate, and Matcherino.
—Mazlo is trying to help people improve themselves through brief, focused practice sessions on things like public speaking, meditation, nutrition, and business writing delivered online, augmented with private coaching. The Seattle company announced a $10 million funding round led by co-founders Tim Kilgallon and Sharen Ross, and venture firm Polaris Partners. Mazlo builds on experience Kilgallon and Ross gained running Free & Clear, a tobacco cessation service, acquired in 2009 by Alere, a unit of Inverness Medical Innovations. Specifically, they found that successful quitters only needed a couple of weeks of help, after which they could stay away from smokes on their own. “Turns out, behavior change is largely in planning and experimentation,” Mazlo’s co-founders write. Their programs, which cost $99, pair two weeks of “asynchronous” personal coaching (via video messages or written communications) and daily activities to help people establish positive habits and learn new skills.
—Textio, a Seattle startup using machine intelligence and natural language processing to help people improve documents like job listings and recruiting e-mails as they’re writing them, has raised $8 million from Emergence Capital, Cowboy Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, and Upside Partnership, and plans to triple its workforce in the coming year. Here’s our story.
—Add Pixvana to the growing list of Seattle-area virtual reality startups. The company announced a $6 million funding round with Madrona Venture Group as lead investor and Vulcan Capital and angel investors also participating. Staffed by experienced startup leaders and technologists specializing in digital video and video effects, Pixvana is “building a virtual reality and augmented reality video processing and delivery platform in the cloud.” Co-founder and CEO Forest Key says in a statement, “It is clear that just as in the early days of web video, which was hard for consumers to configure on their devices and often stuttery and unsatisfying to watch, VR video is facing similar challenges.”
—Janrain, the Portland, OR, company making software to help companies manage online customer logins and profiles, announced a $27 million Series D funding round from HighBar Partners. Prior investors Millennium Technology Value Partners, Split Rock Partners, Epic Ventures, Emergence Capital, RPM Ventures, and DFJ Frontier also invested. The Oregonian has more details, noting that the funding round for the 10-year-old, 125-employee company—“once among the city’s most prominent startups”—was the largest for an Oregon company in 2015. Janrain’s 2014 revenue was $14.3 million, the paper reported.
—Two Techstars Seattle startups announced seed funding this week. Innervate, a Bellevue, WA, startup building software to help game publishers retain players and build their communities, has raised $1.3 million from Trilogy Equity Partners, Founders Co-op, and angel investors, GeekWire reports. Another gaming-focused startup from the 2015 Techstars class, Matcherino, has raised $1.25 million from Madrona Venture Group, with Vulcan Capital and angel investors also participating. Matcherino allows e-sports fans to draw their favorite streamers into head-to-head matches by crowd-fund prize purses.