Startups News

ApoGen raises additional $4M, adds three biotech vets in pursuit of better cancer treatment

Biotech startup ApoGen, which is researching solutions to drug-resistant cancers, is moving into a new phase of development. The company announced Thursday that it has raised an additional $4 million as part of its series A round, bringing the total in that round to $11 million. The additional funding comes from M Ventures, the venture investment arm of German multinational healthcare company Merck KGaA, which shares a name with the American drug manufacturer. ApoGen said the funding will help the startup grow its team and establish its first independent lab and office in Seattle. The company was incubated by Accelerator… Read More

Can drones make better wine? Pollen Systems launches service to analyze vineyards from the air

While many wine makers would explain that growing grapes is as much an art as a science — a harmonizing of soil, sun and water — the startup Pollen Systems is hoping to infuse some technology into the process to boost efficiency. The concept for the Bellevue, Wash.-based company began fermenting two years ago and officially launched one year ago. This month, Pollen Systems made its public debut at the Auction of Washington Wines event where CEO Keith McCall unveiled Pollen Scout, their first product. Pollen Scout is a service using aerial drones to quickly survey and photograph vineyards on a regular… Read More

Underwear maker TomboyX raises $4.3M, aims to tackle ‘lack of inclusivity’ in fashion industry

TomboyX just raised another round of investment to make more gender-neutral underwear. The Seattle startup reeled in a $4.3 million Series A round led by TAU, with participation from Redbadge Pacific and SBI Investments Korea. Total funding is $6.3 million to date. Founded in 2013 by married founders Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez, TomboyX targets “plus-sized, gender non-conforming and specialized tradespeople” with its apparel products. “TomboyX was founded to combat the lack of inclusivity in the fashion industry. We created products that are highly functional, of premium quality, and wearable by all,” Dunaway said in a press release. TomboyX was… Read More

Porch acquires another home services startup as it aims to be ‘one of the next great Seattle companies’

It’s been quite the roller coaster ride for Porch. The Seattle-based home services company grew rapidly and raised $100 million less than two years after it came out of stealth mode in 2013. But just months later, Porch reduced its headcount from 500 to 250 as the company was forced to repair the business. Porch looks to be back on track. On Wednesday it announced the acquisition of Serviz, a smaller home services company that focuses on appliance repair, plumbing, electric, handyman, and carpet cleaning. It’s the company’s third acquisition in the past two years. Revenue will more than double… Read More

Spocket raises $1.2M for platform that allows anyone to become an e-commerce retailer

This week, Spocket closed a $1.2 million fundraising round to double the Vancouver, B.C., startup’s team and push further into social media e-commerce. Plug and Play Ventures, Panache Ventures, 7 Gate Ventures, and Mistral Venture Partners participated in the round. Spocket takes care of inventory and on-demand shipping for small online retailers. The startup wants to be the world’s largest marketplace for dropshipping, a retail fulfillment method. Dropshipping has emerged as a new way for online sellers to get up and running. When a customer buys a product, the retailer purchases it from a third party and has it shipped directly,… Read More

Intel acquires Seattle-based deep learning startup Vertex.AI to bolster artificial intelligence efforts

Intel has acquired Vertex.AI, a three-year-old Seattle startup whose tools let developers add deep learning capabilities to their software. Founded in 2015 by Choong Ng, Jeremy Bruestle, and Brian Retford, Vertex and its 7-person team will become part of the Movidius team within Intel’s Artificial Intelligence Products Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “With this acquisition, Intel gained an experienced team and IP to further enable flexible deep learning at the edge,” Intel said in a statement. Vertex is the developer behind PlaidML, an open-source portable deep learning engine. Intel will continue developing PlaidML and transition it to the Apache 2.0 license,… Read More

MirrorCache raises cash for smart hotel mirrors as hospitality industry uses more tech

More and more technology is making its way into the hospitality industry, and Seattle startup MirrorCache is the latest example. The company is raising $750,000 to further develop its smart mirror product, which has grabbed the attention of giant hotel chains such as Disney, Marriott, Hyatt, Sheraton, and others. The smart mirror functions as a smart safe with a touchscreen mirror that enables access to hotel concierge, room service, video, in-room audio and temperature control, and personalized content. MirrorCache makes money from unit sales, service agreements, and revenue sharing with local businesses that surface content on the mirrors. The product… Read More

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