Seattle Roundup: Moz, PitchBook, Cedexis, Corbis, Getty, Nimia
A pair of Seattle companies, Moz and PitchBook, announced $10 million funding rounds this week and were both refreshingly forthcoming about things that private tech companies typically keep close to the vest: revenue and valuations. Meanwhile, Portland-based Cedexis raised $22 million, and some big deals went down involving Seattle-based digital image licensing giants Corbis and Getty Images, as well as upstart Nimia. Read on for details:
—Moz, the Seattle online marketing software company, announced a $10 million Series C investment from Foundry Group at a pre-money valuation of $120 million. The company has lately expanded its offerings from search engine optimization and inbound marketing. With Moz Local, it’s helping small businesses manage and improve their online presence, and with Moz Content, it’s improving the way marketers produce blog posts and other content to enhance their brands.
“The fundamental relationship between organizations and their current and potential customers is changing,” writes CEO Sarah Bird in a blog post on the funding. “New marketing disciplines are emerging to take advantage of exciting changes in how we learn, communicate, make friends, and conduct business. Moz was founded to help marketers capitalize on these shifts.”
The new funding, which brings total venture investment in Moz to $29.1 million, will support Moz Local and other new efforts. Moz, which places a great deal of emphasis on its company culture, had about $38 million in 2015 revenue.
As part of the funding news, Bird said Foundry Group’s Brad Feld is stepping down from the Moz board to be replaced by Foundry’s Seth Levine.
—Seattle-based investment data provider PitchBook also announced a $10 million Series B investment from Morningstar Inc., which the company says values it at $160 million. PitchBook, which provides data for some 1,400 customers in private equity, venture capital, and M&A —as well as journalists covering them—will use the new capital to add features, coverage, and staff. It plans to hire upwards of 100 people in 2016, which would bring its total work force to more than 600 in offices in Seattle, New York, and London.
PitchBook, headed by founder and CEO John Gabbert, says it grew sales 68 percent in 2015 to $31 million, a pace it aims to continue this year. “Our growth stems from the continued focus on providing our customers with the best data, technology, and service in the industry,” Gabbert says in a news release. “We believe that when our customers have access to unparalleled private market information, they are able to find more opportunities and make better, data-informed decisions.”
Pitchbook raised $4.25 million in 2009, but has largely used its own revenue to fund growth to this point.
—Cedexis, a Portland, OR-based network monitoring company, which optimizes and measures content delivery on the Internet, announced a $22 million Series B investment led by Ginko Ventures, with participation from Foxconn, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), and Citrix Systems Ventures. The company’s Series A investors, Advanced Technology Ventures and Madrona Venture Group, also participated. The company plans to spend the new capital on expanded solutions for over-the-top (OTT) video, software-as-a-service, and Web applications.
—Corbis, the digital image and rights licensing company started by Bill Gates with the original aim of providing content for digital art frames, last week announced the sale of assets and brands of its Images division to an affiliate of Visual China Group (VCG). Getty Images, which, like erstwhile competitor Corbis, is based in Seattle, will have the rights to distribute the Corbis Images acquired by VCG affiliate Unity Glory outside of China.
Corbis’ divestiture is part of an ongoing transition to “an entertainment advertising business with a particular focus on product integration.” Last year, the company acquired Plaid Social Labs, which works on product integration for online video and social media, and WSM Communications, a London-based agency focused on sports marketing and sponsorship. Corbis says its Corbis Entertainment division, which also represents and licenses rights for celebrities such as Bruce Lee and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be rebranded later this year.
—Meanwhile, another Seattle-based competitor to those digital imagery giants announced a smaller tie up this week. Nimia, which licenses digital video for use by brands, ad agencies, and films, said it inked a content distribution partnership with National Geographic Creative. Content from more than 100 filmmakers will now be available on the Nimia service, which boasts streamlined and flexible rights management.