Seattle Week in Review: Startup Diversity, Apptio, LumaTax, & More

It’s late into what has felt like a really long week. We’re catching up on a handful of news items from Seattle tech including: a new survey of startup founders on diversity; Apptio’s IPO pricing plans; LumaTax, a spinout from Pioneer Square Labs; 10 startups selected for Microsoft’s next startup accelerator; Chinese digital advertising company iPinYou’s new Bellevue, WA, office; and a fresh $125 million debt facility for broadband provider Wave.

—The majority of 680 startup company founders surveyed on behalf of Techstars and Chase for Business see a diverse workforce as important for the companies, but they’re not sure how best to improve on that score. The survey data provide a look at how this corner of the tech industry is doing on recruiting and retaining women and under-represented minorities.

Apptio would raise up to $103.5 million in its proposed initial public stock offering if shares are priced at the high end of its range of $13 to $15. The Bellevue, WA-based company revealed a plan to go public last month and earlier this week set a price range for its planned sale of 6.9 million shares in an SEC filing.

Pioneer Square Labs, the year-old company-building effort based in Seattle’s original downtown, announced the funding of one of its first spinout companies, LumaTax. The startup, focused on helping small businesses and accountants handle sales taxes, announced a $2 million funding round from Madrona Venture Group, Greycroft Partners, and other angel investors.

LumaTax, headed by Robert Schulte, is based in Seattle with a development office in San Diego. Its first market is California.

Madrona is an investor in Pioneer Square Labs (PSL), headed by Madrona venture partner Greg Gottesman, along with Geoff Entress, Mike Galgon, and Ben Gilbert.

PSL says it has two additional spinout companies that it intends to reveal soon.

Microsoft’s Seattle startup accelerator has selected its fourth class of companies, many of which have established businesses. The software giant says the selected companies—working on a range of technologies and verticals—have an average of $3 million in recurring revenue.

The companies, where they’re based, and brief descriptions:

  • Plymetrics, New York City, applies neuroscience to recruiting to help match employees to careers. It offers “predictive hiring, internal mobility, and sourcing platforms.”
  • KenSci, Seattle, is building a risk management platform “that can predict who and how one might get sick, in addition to what the most effective treatment would be.”
  • Tvision Insights, Boston, aims to passively measure television audience attention and reactions using computer vision and share that information with the TV and advertising industry.
  • Cycle Computing, New York City, San Francisco, Boston, makes software for managing cloud-based high-performance computing.
  • DataRPM, Redwood City, CA, makes “cognitive predictive maintenance and analytics” technology for the industrial Internet of Things.
  • Datometry, San Francisco, helps ease deployment of applications using cloud databases.
  • LoginRadius, Vancouver, Canada, helps small and mid-size enterprises manage customer identity and access.
  • Metric Insights, San Francisco, tracks data from a range of business tools to call out anomalies that users need to address.
  • Shareablee, New York City, serves the advertising and marketing world with social media measurement and analytics.
  • Versium, Redmond, WA, offers predictive marketing that draws on consumer and proprietary data.

—Chinese digital advertising company iPinYou (which apparently has nothing to do with wrestling) has opened a new U.S. office in Bellevue, WA, as it aims to help more North American companies advertise to customers in China. The local office is headed by Sara Ye, president of international markets.

Wave, the Kirkland, WA-based broadband communications services company, says it has secured an additional $125 million in debt to finance gigabit fiber networks along the West Coast, and to fund acquisitions.

The company says in a news release that it has acquired a pair of communications services companies serving parts of central Oregon and communities along the Columbia River Gorge. They are CoastCom and SawNet, respectively.

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