Seattle Startup Funding Tidbits: Blokable, Zenoti, PTO Exchange
Keep up with venture capital funding activity in the Seattle area with recent news from three local startups. The companies—Blokable, Zenoti Software, and PTO Exchange—are developing software and other tech-enabled products for three very different industries: housing, spas, and finance. Read on for details.
—Blokable, a Seattle-based startup that designs and manufactures modular housing components that can be stacked and connected together, raised $23 million in new funding. Vulcan Capital led the Series A round, and other participating investors included Building Ventures, Kapor Capital, Launch, Motley Fool Ventures, Ten Eighty Capital, and individual investors such as Marc Benioff, the founder and co-CEO of Salesforce (NYSE: CRM).
Aaron Holm, a former manager at Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), founded Blokable in 2016 and leads the startup alongside co-CEO Nelson Del Rio. The firm outfits its housing components, or “Bloks,” with electricity, plumbing systems, and appliances, and markets the system as an alternative to building a fully customized new home. The company also integrates sensors and software to monitor issues in the home, ideally reducing maintenance and insurance costs.
Blokable plans to use some of the new cash to expand its product development team, according to a news release. It also plans to open a second manufacturing plant in Sacramento, CA, as it targets the California homebuilding market. Blokable currently manufactures components at a satellite office in Vancouver, WA.
—Zenoti Software, a startup headquartered in Bellevue, WA, that developed cloud-based software for spas, salons, and health clubs, said it raised $20 million from Steadview Capital to fund sales and marketing efforts in the UK and other markets outside North America.
Zenoti’s software helps users manage appointment bookings online, track inventory, and process payments, among other features. The startup, which launched in 2010, says that organizations in more than 50 countries use Zenoti’s digital tools. In May, the company announced it had raised $50 million as part of a Series C funding round.
—PTO Exchange is developing software to allow people in the US to convert unused paid time off from work into money they could direct to pay down student loan debt, add funds to a retirement account, or make a charitable donation, among other uses. Now, PTO Exchange has $3 million in seed capital from WestRiver Group to support the Woodinville, WA, company’s growth.
Workers in the US let a combined 768 million vacation days go unused in 2018, according to a US Travel Association estimate. PTO Exchange is among the businesses that see an opportunity in helping workers ensure their paid time off does not go unused, and convert their PTO in a way that doesn’t incur undesirable tax consequences. PTO, which launched in 2013 and says its products can be used in any US state, plans to funnel proceeds from the funding round into product development.