(Joylux Photo) , a Seattle startup that aims to improve women’s sexual health with a wellness device, has raised an additional $7 million. Joylux plans to use the money to bolster its sales team and scale the company. Colette Courtion. (Joylux Photo) The additional Series A financing brings total funding to $12 million, with backing from the Alliance of Angels, Belle Capital, Portfolia, Sofia Fund and Kimberly Clark. Joylux first launched its flagship product, the , a little over a year ago. The vFit uses a combination of red light therapy, heat and sonic vibration to help restore healthy sexual function. It’s an at-home device that can be used on its own or in combination with in-office treatments. Joylux is now in 200 physicians’ offices and available through some retailers. The company’s business model pulls a page from the Sonicare toothbrush or Clarisonic pore cleanser, selling to customers through physicians. Goop, the wellness company started by Gwyneth Paltrow, last month. , CEO, said Joylux is filling a blind spot that has been overlooked by male entrepreneurs. “There’s been no innovation in this space in decades,” she said. “Imagine raising capital from a majority of men,” Courtion added. “It takes a lot of brave investors.” Courtion has a background in medical aesthetics and started Joylux with the goal of applying techniques that are commonly used in skincare to sexual health. The company has 12 employees with plans to grow to 20 by the end of 2019. Joylux is also working on gaining FDA approval for vSculpt, a device to treat incontinence and vaginal atrophy. The vSculpt is already approved as a medical device in Canada and Europe.
The TerraClear team poses with the farmland rock picker that is part of what they’ve been developing. Founder and CEO Brent Frei is second from right in second row. (TerraClear Photo) TerraClear’s bid to upend the farming industry by using advanced technology to help farmers clear rocks from fields is producing a reliable crop — cash. The startup just closed a $6.1 million funding round led by Madrona Venture Group to bring its total capital raised to more than $13 million since launching in December 2017. Based in Bellevue, Wash, and in the farming community of Grangeville, Idaho, TerraClear was founded by Brent Frei, the former CEO of Onyx Software who co-founded Smartsheet in 2005. Born out of a desire to take the heavy lifting out of vital farm work and prevent damage to expensive machinery, Frei’s team and technology have been growing steadily. TerraClear will add Madrona Managing Director Matt McIlwain to its board of directors and has just hired Trevor Thompson, a former U.S. Navy SEAL and Rhodes Scholar, as president. The new funds will help to accelerate hiring, product development and testing as the company brings more automation to the $5 trillion global agriculture industry. PREVIOUSLY: McIlwain was the first venture investor in Smartsheet, the publicly-traded software company that helps automate key work processes. “The value that he and the team at Madrona brought to Smartsheet was significant,” Frei said. “He had exceptionally good advice along the way, he was very good at mentoring the leadership and our strategy. So in a lot of ways when he said he was interested in being on [TerraClear’s] board, I felt honored. We’re still at a very small stage right now relative to the things he’s involved in. To get his focus on this, there’s just nothing but upside.” For his part, McIlwain called Frei a “visionary leader” and said the TerraClear team is drawing on their “deep understanding of both the life and work of a farmer as well as expertise with robotics and software-enabled machine learning to change how fields are cleared and planted.” TerraClear’s Dwight McMaster addresses a group of farmers in Grangeville, Idaho, during a demonstration of the company’s rock-picking machinery. (TerraClear Photo) With 15 employees now and positions currently open, Frei said he wouldn’t be surprised if the team is double the size at this time next year. The company formally opened a fully outfitted lab and test facility this spring in Grangeville, a town of 3,000 where Frei grew up and where his family still farms. Earlier this month they hosted a field day and invited a dozen farmers from the biggest and most advanced farms in the area and showed them end to end how TerraClear works. Fields are surveyed by drones, rocks are classified and localized by a neural network, rock size and location data is mapped, and finally the heavy lifting is done by automated machinery. “It was fantastic. It exceeded all of my expectations,” Frei said of the show and tell. “Both from the candidness of the input and the things that we learned all the way to the interest and the financial potential of the product and the business.” (TerraClear Graphic) Farmers can be a stubborn lot, a characteristic perhaps born out of having to locate and lift heavy rocks out of their fields by hand over generations. Finally showing those who have been relying on inferior processes that the tables have potentially been turned was eye opening for the farmers and Frei. “One of the farmers there, who I have a lot of respect for, when he first came in he said, ‘I’m interested in seeing what you’ve got, but we’ve got a process in place and we don’t really need anything, but I’m perfectly happy to give you advice.’ As we went through the process his opinion didn’t change much until ultimately he saw the thing working and he said, ‘Yeah, we probably need this.’ “That admission all by itself was a real checkmark in the box of ‘this has got legs,'” Frei added. “Because when you’ve got some of the more advanced farmers who have really worked on automating the expensive and mundane and routine processes and they’re looking at this going, ‘I could save a lot of time and money doing this’ … that’s meaningful.” Brent Frei holds a “field day” with farmers in Grangeville, Idaho, where TerraClear has established a production and test facility. (TerraClear Photo) With ready access to many thousands of acres of farmland around Grangeville, TerraClear plans to be all about testing this summer, with hundreds of hours in the field planned. The picker is mounted on either a human-driven piece of machinery, like a front-end loader, or could eventually be attached to an autonomous vehicle. If TerraClear’s engineers can collect and analyze data and innovate and iterate on the picker prototype quickly enough, the hope is to put a beta product in the hands of farmers next year and learn from real customers. “Right now it’s just making sure that that thing grabbing the rocks is as foolproof as possible,” Frei said. “The market is huge and we’re laser-focused on building exactly what farmers need to make their lives easier.”
Cyemptive CEO Rob Pike. (Cyemptive Photo) Seattle-area cybersecurity startup today announced the acquisition of (ATG), a 14-year-old IT consulting service company also based in the Seattle region. The ten employees working for ATG will join Cyemptive, whose headcount is now north of 65 people. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cyemptive came out of stealth mode , announcing a $3.5 million investment round from undisclosed investors. The company describes its cybersecurity software as an “automatic self-repairing reliable platform.” It sells products including an endpoint protection service and advanced perimeter firewalls, among others. Cyemptive’s executive team includes founder , who was previously an executive at Hitachi; , who was formerly chief information officer at Microsoft; and , who spent 30 years at the NSA, most recently as chief computer architect. The company plans to use ATG’s expertise in customer service and support to help serve its growing customer base of businesses and government clients. ATG founder and CEO Bryan Greene will join the Cyemptive management team. “Incorporating ATG’s already-established infrastructure of customer focus, service and support with our groundbreaking failsafe, pre-emptive cyber protection technologies is a natural next step in providing the best in cyber security solutions and support to them,” DuBois said in a statement.
Founders’ Co-op Managing Partners Chris DeVore and Aviel Ginzburg. (Founders’ Co-op Photo) More investment dollars are flowing into the Pacific Northwest startup ecosystem thanks to a new fund from . The Seattle-based early-stage venture capital firm just closed a $25 million fund, its fourth and largest ever since launching in 2008. Founders’ Co-op will follow the same playbook it has used in years past: being the first institutional check and anchor tenant in the seed round for companies it bankrolls. The firm focuses on writing checks in the $250,000-to-$750,000 range for budding startups across the Pacific Northwest. It has backed more than 90 startups, including companies such as Remitly, Outreach, Auth0, Crowd Cow, Apptentive, and others. Those companies have collectively gone on to raise more than $1.5 billion in follow-on capital. “We aren’t thematic investors but are focused on technical founding teams solving hard problems into which they have unique insights, which tends to lead us to enterprise software, from developer tools up through workflow automation and systems of intelligence,” DeVore told GeekWire last week. GeekWire previously reported on this fund , when Founders’ Co-op raised the initial dollars. The last clocked in at $20 million four years ago, which followed a $7.7 million fund in 2012 and a $2.7 million original fund. DeVore and Andy Sack started the firm in 2008, along with partner Rudy Gadre, a former Facebook and Amazon.com executive. Sack stepped away from day-to-day duties several years ago, leaving the Seattle firm in the hands of DeVore, who recruited Seattle entrepreneur , co-founder of Simply Measured, to the team as a venture partner. Ginzburg was promoted to general partner last year. Sack and Gadre are still involved as venture partners. Many in the Seattle tech economy have the lack of homegrown capital available in the Pacific Northwest over the years. DeVore is one of the biggest advocates looking to change that imbalance. “Somehow, all of a sudden, it’s ten years later,” DeVore wrote in a blog post. “We’re still doing the same thing we’ve always done, but the world has changed around us.” In his blog post, DeVore noted the growth of Seattle as a tech hub, with Amazon, Microsoft, and a flurry of remote engineering outposts helping increase the talent pool exponentially: “We’ve spent the last ten years honing our craft and building a community of founders, investors and mentors dedicated to our shared mission of making the Pacific Northwest the best place in the world to start a software company. Over the same period, our regional startup ecosystem has grown and changed in ways we never imagined, offering a more diverse and talented pool of potential founders than we’ve ever seen. As with our first fund back in 2008, it looks like we’re heading into another cycle of uncertainty in the global economy. We expect markets to slow, or even contract, over the next few years. We expect the last several years’ run of easy money for startups to end along with it. Putting that all together, we know for sure that the founders we back in this next cycle will be some of the best we’ve ever seen.” in Founders’ Co-op mostly come from the Pacific Northwest and are a mix of founders and tech executives, plus family offices and foundations. The State of Oregon, via its Oregon Growth Board, invested again in the fourth fund. DeVore also runs Techstars Seattle, which its 10th class in February. Ginzburg, meanwhile, leads the Alexa Accelerator, another Techstars program that Amazon helps operate in Seattle. Founders’ Co-op, Techstars Seattle, and the Alexa Accelerator are all run out of the University of Washington’s Startup Hall.
Dr. Sanford Markowitz, founder of Rodeo Therapeutics. (Case Western Reserve University Photo) Seattle-based startup is raising more cash for its work on tissue repair and regeneration. The company has reeled in another $4.3 million, according to , adding to an investment round that also included a $3.7 million cash infusion . Rodeo, which raised a $5.9 million Series A round in 2017, declined to comment on the new funding. The biotech startup is focused on creating treatments for inflammatory bowel disease as well as a drug that helps cancer patients’ cells grow quickly following stem cell transplants. Rodeo was started by gastrointestinal cancer expert Dr. Sanford Markowitz, stem cell and drug development specialist Dr. Stanton Gerson, and regenerative medicine expert Dr. Joseph Ready. Thong Le is the company’s CEO; he’s also president and CEO of Seattle-based Accelerator Life Science Partners, one of Rodeo’s investors. Thong Le, CEO of Rodeo Therapeutics. (Accelerator Corporation Photo) Regenerative medicine holds the promise of creating new tissues to replace damaged ones. Rodeo’s therapies could one day help the living with an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease, as well as the 22,000 who receive a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant . Rodeo’s investors include AbbVie, Lilly, Arch Venture Partners and Johnson & Johnson, among others. The new regulatory filing listed the following venture investors: Steve Gillis, managing director at Arch Venture Partners Asish Xavier, vice president of venture investments at Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation Joel Marcus, founder of Alexandria Venture Investments Tadataka Yamada, venture partner at Frazier Healthcare Margarita Chavez, managing director at AbbVie Ventures
The PTO Exchange team. Sitting, from left to right: Rob Whalen, co-founder and CEO, and Tom Gemmell, vice president of operations. Standing, from left to right: Rob Schwend, vice president of products and services, and Todd Lucas, co-founder and chief technology officer. (PTO Exchange Photo) If you believe that The Go-Go’s got it wrong and vacation is definitely not “all I’ve ever wanted,” then may be just the software that you do want. The company based northeast of Seattle in Woodinville, Wash., is turning paid time off into something fungible. Employees of participating companies that use the startup’s product can swap their unused PTO for cash, to pay for student loans, make donations to nonprofits, contribute to a 401(k) or health savings account or even give it to a colleague who has health or family issues and needs extra time off. PTO Exchange co-founder and CEO Rob Whalen. (PTO Exchange Photo) “The problem that we have seen is that almost one-third of all vacation gets left on the books,” said PTO Exchange co-founder and CEO . Whalen himself had that experience. While working at Cisco Systems for less than five years, he accrued more than 240 hours of paid leave. Like many of his colleagues, Whalen opted for work over vacation because he had so much to do. After leaving Cisco, the company paid him more than $30,000 for that time. “We are firm believers that [PTO] is an earned wage and individuals should be able to self-direct it for what matters most to them,” Whalen said, “instead of having to wait for companies to pay out the benefits during transition or termination periods.” It can be a challenge for the companies when employees accumulate large amounts of PTO. The time represents a liability and can put a strain on an employer’s cash flow when it’s paid out. The PTO Exchange platform costs companies $3 per employee per month, with lower rates for larger customers. The startup also charges a 3-to-5 percent fee per transaction fee, though the fee is waived during the first year of service. Whalen wouldn’t name his customers, but said that they include businesses with between 200 and 55,000 employees. PTO Exchange is also partnering with the HR services company Alight, which has 22 million employees on its platform. Whalen co-founded PTO Exchange in 2013 with , who serves as chief technology officer. They met because their kids went to the same school. Whalen has years of experience in sales and was a co-founder of a software company in the early 2000s. Lucas has worked as a software engineer at companies including Wire Stone, which is part of Accenture, Infinium Labs (now Phantom Entertainment) and Microsoft. The 11-person company is finishing a seed investment round. Whalen declined to say who was investing and how much. Competitors in the space are mostly focused on offering loans against PTO, Whalen said. In January the insurance company Unum announced that, with the help of Fidelity Investments, it would allow employees to cash out PTO to pay for student debt. PTO Exchange has a patent on this service, said Whalen, and the program might infringe upon it. And what about people who would like more time and less money? Can PTO Exchange run the equation the other direction? Not yet, said Whalen, but they’re considering it. While the next year or two will be focused on customer accrual, the team is thinking about bigger ideas as well. They’re interested in exploring PTO for the gig economy — people driving for Uber or Lyft, making Amazon deliveries and other freelance jobs. Additionally, Whalen said the industry in general is looking at ways to bank PTO so that you can take it from job to job like you do a 401(k). He pushes back against the idea of unlimited PTO being offered by some employers. While it sounds great, it’s often the case that an employee can’t actually take three or four weeks of vacation. That means it’s not really a benefit at all, Whalen said. “Taking time away from your job may be more stressful if you are living paycheck to paycheck, are overwhelmed with student loan debt, or have health and medical bills,” he said. “Relieving stress is not just about taking days off.” We caught up with Whalen for this . Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire. Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: PTO Exchange allows employees to exchange the value of paid time off for goods, services and experiences. From student loan repayment, educational support, healthcare or retirement savings, funding family vacations, giving to nonprofits and sharing with colleagues in need. Inspiration hit us when: We came up the idea at an entrepreneur’s dinner at my house; steak and good wine are the usual ingredients necessary to create new ideas. VC, Angel or Bootstrap: I like them all because each one is necessary for scaling a business. Bootstrapping is necessary to get your idea vetted by the market, but when you need to invest in front of revenue like most SaaS companies, then angels and VCs are critical. Just make sure investors have the experience to bring the right value and can help with customer and go-to-market strategy. Our ‘secret sauce’ is: When we started the company, we really saw that there was something unique in what we were doing and how it was being done. We decided to patent some of the unique things that our platform does. It took us four years to get through the process, but we received our patent in October 2018. The smartest move we’ve made so far: Partnering with large human resource solution providers early. We were one of the first partners in Alight Solutions’ partner network and it has allowed us to shorten the sales process and get in front of Fortune 500 companies more quickly. The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: Sales cycle understanding. Selling to large enterprises (B2B) is a much longer sales process than to everyday consumers (B2C). Underestimating the process and the entrenched mindset within those organizations is probably one of the biggest hurdles we are learning to overcome. The PTO Exchange interface. (PTO Exchange Image) Which entrepreneur or executive would you want working in your corner? Lars Dalgaard, founder of SuccessFactors, or Aneel Bhusri, co-founder of Workday. Both have built incredible companies around helping enterprises manage human and financial capital. Their experiences and knowledge from building those companies would be extremely valuable in what PTO Exchange is trying to accomplish. Our favorite team-building activity is: Breaking bread together with family and friends! We work hard and long hours so adding the extended team (spouses, partners and family) to the mix is a way of building the broader team support for the company. The biggest thing we look for when hiring is: We like people who know how to problem solve and ask questions. Like most startups, the job is about wearing lots of hats. We have a motto: “We don’t manage, can’t manage and if you need to be managed, then you don’t belong here.” Ask questions, solve problems and make s*** happen. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: Be persistent, always think of the customer and remember the word “no” is just two letters and they do not define who you are as an entrepreneur or the company you are trying to build.
Vtrus’ ABI Zero drone is designed to conduct indoor inspections autonomously. (Vtrus via YouTube) Seattle startup has raised investment for a different kind of drone — one that’s designed to conduct precision inspections of industrial facilities. A published today shows a $2.9 million cash infusion for Vtrus. , the company’s CEO and co-founder, declined to comment on the new funding when contacted by GeekWire. Salas-Moreno was previously the co-founder of Surreal Vision, a computer vision startup that was , Facebook’s VR subsidiary. He went on to work at Oculus VR for more than a year as a research scientist in Redmond, Wash., then helped lay the groundwork for Vtrus, which he launched in 2017 with chief technology officer and chief design officer . The company, based near Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, has developed an indoor autonomous drone known as the ABI Zero that can navigate its way around the tricky surroundings of a warehouse environment without the need for a remote operator or GPS waypoints. ABI Zero can conduct an aerial survey for as long as 10 minutes, and then return to its base station for charging. The base also serves as a WiFi-enabled link for receiving streaming data from the drone and relaying it to Vtrus’ cloud service. Because Vtrus’ platform is designed exclusively for indoor use, it doesn’t have to satisfy the Federal Aviation Administration restrictions on outdoor flights of unmanned aerial systems. The company has been demonstrating its technology in a “pilotless” pilot program, and the newly-reported funding round should help Vtrus get further down the path to commercialization. Vtrus takes advantage of a computer vision technique called SLAM (Simultaneous Location and Mapping), which enables drones to build a high-fidelity map of their surroundings. Thirty times a second, the SLAM software keeps track of 300,000 depth points captured by an array of cameras and sensors. The drone market is expected to reach $100 billion by 2020, according to research from . Vtrus showed off its technology and said it was seeking investment. The startup has put together a variety of videos showing how the drone does its work. Check ’em out … and watch the (indoor) skies:
The Powerit team, from left to right: Chairman David Bluhm, Manufacturing Operations Director Bob Coyne, Research Scientist James Downar, Materials Chemist Dan Shaw, and CEO David Clark. (GeekWire Photos / Taylor Soper) As we’ve become more and more dependent on smartphones, keeping our devices charged up has become increasingly important. “Low-battery anxiety” , and according to some surveys, . It’s spawned the popularity of portable chargers, phone charging cases, and charging stations. That’s why a new innovation from Seattle startup is intriguing. The company has developed a charging device that is powered by air. The idea sounds like a stretch, but GeekWire saw it in action at the company’s new office on the bottom floor of the Old Rainier Brewery in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood. When the small white circles are exposed to air, this device can start charging your smartphone. The zinc-air chemistry behind the technology, which is activated by simply pulling off an adhesive peel, is not necessarily new. It’s already used in high-end hearing aids and by the military. But Powerit has come up with a way that makes it easy to charge smartphones and other lithium ion-powered devices with a thin portable lightweight card-like product designed for one-time usage. The company is initially targeting adventurers traveling to “off-the-grid” areas and people attending all-day events with little access to power, such as concerts. Powerit CEO said the price for one charging device will be in the “single digit dollar” range and come down as production increases. The company has a larger vision to sell the device at convenience stores and as part of a subscription program. “Its core advantage is that it’s always ready to go,” Clark said. “It never needs to be charged in advance.” In that vein, it’s similar to solar-powered portable chargers. But those require direct sunlight, whereas Powerit’s product just needs air. The device provides one full charge for the newest smartphones and comes with a USB-C, USB-Micro, or Lightning connector. It is built with recyclable plastic, some of which is harvested from the ocean, and a zero-emissions production process. “It’s important to our customer that we fully embrace the environmentally-friendly and sustainable aspects, and really try to be a leader in that regard over time, particularly as it relates to taking plastic out of the ocean,” said Clark, who was previously a marketing executive at Seattle startup Blab. Powerit’s headquarters is located on the basement of the Old Rainier Brewery in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood. Powerit has raised $4 million, including a recent $2 million round that closed earlier this month. , a serial entrepreneur who previously led companies such as Z2Live and DropForge Games, is helping back Powerit as chairman with other investors such as Varkain. Bluhm said there’s nothing like it in the market. He said the charger will be a “no-brainer” purchasing decision for consumers. “You won’t be forced to buy a $40 battery pack when you’re in a pinch running through the airport or at a concert or at a NASCAR race when you don’t know if your phone is going to make it, given what you’re doing,” he said. With more than 3 billion smartphone users , the total addressable market is massive. Powerit also sees opportunity in selling to specific industries such as medical or military. The company is exploring various revenue models, including selling advertising space on the device itself or partnering with event organizers. The device is “smart” and can collect data when connected to a smartphone. “We have the ability to deliver an engaging experience,” Bluhm said. Powerit has less than 10 employees working out of its HQ in Seattle that doubles as a test production lab. It partners with a larger scale manufacturer in Rochester, New York.
That’s actually just one display, reflected in an array of mirrors. This photo from technology startup Misapplied Sciences Inc. uses mirrors to show how a single “parallel reality” display looks from many different vantage points. The single screen is behind the photographer. (Misapplied Sciences Photo) , the Seattle-area company behind a screen that can show different displays to multiple people at the same time, has raised more cash. A new regulatory filing shows that the startup has reeled in a $7 million investment. The company did not respond when contacted by GeekWire. It previously raised a $3.4 million equity investment, and landed a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research program. Misapplied’s tech is — one that can send different colors of light in tens of thousands of directions. Put those pixels together into a display, and it means that a bunch of people standing in a room, each looking at the same screen, see different images. Combine that with location sensors, and the company says it’s possible for a display to follow a person through space. Misapplied Sciences co-founders: Chairman and CTO Paul Dietz, CEO Albert Ng, and Chief Creative and Operating Officer Dave Thompson. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) The Redmond, Wash.-based company was started in 2014 and is led by CTO Paul Dietz, CEO Albert Ng and chief creative and operating officer Dave Thompson. The team operated in stealth mode for several years before unveiling their technology last year. Misapplied Sciences won the Innovation of the Year award at the this past May. Dietz, the company’s CTO and chairman, is known in the engineering world for pioneering work on multi-touch screens at Microsoft Research. He also spent time at Disney, working on the “Pal Mickey” interactive toy. Ng also worked at Microsoft Research during Dietz’s tenure. Thompson was a show producer at Walt Disney Imagineering while Dietz was working in that division. Other startups have tried to find ways to show different things to people using a single display. is a startup that uses projectors to display different content to multiple people on the same screen. At first, Misapplied’s screen sounds strange, like what would happen if Willy Wonka designed a jumbotron. But its overall vision aligns with the goals of modern advertising. Delivering unique advertising to people based on data is, after all, the magic sauce that built Google and Facebook. Beyond ads, Misapplied says the technology could eventually be used on roadways to show drivers individualized signs. In airports, information screens could display personalized flight information. Misapplied investor and board member Carl Ledbetter of Pelion Venture Partners was among those listed on the filing. So was Mike Edelhart, who is managing partner at startup investor Social Starts, .
Scorebook Live CEO Dan Beach. (Scorebook Live Photo) has reeled in another $2.5 million to help high school sports programs get access to the same level of technology that professional leagues use on a daily basis. The Spokane, Wash.-based company started with an app that lets high school football and basketball teams record stats and play-by-play information, but it has expanded to more sports and products. It now offers additional tools for scheduling, roster management, and a team website service. Scorebook Live also recently partnered with DragonFly Athletics to build software targeted at high school athletic departments and launched . (Scorebook Live Photo) , a media company that owns The Spokesman-Review in Spokane and a handful of TV stations across the Pacific Northwest, led the funding round. “Cowles leadership of Stacey Cowles, Steve Rector and Spokesman-Review Editor Rob Curley understand how important high school sports are to local communities and see that Scorebook Live’s technology and vision are solving a number of problems that have existed inside this market for many years,” said Scorebook Live CEO Dan Beach. Beach previously worked at ESPN from 2009 to 2012; he “spearheaded ESPN’s entry into the ‘high school scoring’ market,” according to his . Scorebook Live relocated from San Diego to Spokane after Beach’s son accepted an offer to play for Gonzaga’s basketball team; the CEO and his wife also grew up in the area. Other investors in Scorebook Live include ex-NBA players such as Jerry Stackhouse and former Gonzaga star Adam Morrison. Dan Dickau, another former NBA player who also starred at Gonzaga, is the company’s vice president of market development. Scorebook Live employs 11 people and makes money off a combination of licensing and sponsorship/advertising sales. Cowles Company has also in Pacific Northwest tech startups such as Zipwhip, Phytelligence, Skyward, etaliz, AnswerDash, SheerID, TurboPatent, and others.
Zembula CTO Carl-Einar Thorner and CEO Robert Haydock. Photo via Zembula. has raised another round of investment to help marketers acquire more email addresses. The Portland startup just closed a $2.9 million investment round from existing investors, including Portland Seed Fund and veteran angel investor Jason Calacanis. Part of the round included a conversion of $1.6 million in convertible debt. Founded in 2013, Zembula helps 280 customers like Staples and Best Western produce and deploy interactive marketing campaigns across multiple digital channels. Traditionally, many companies will hire brand agencies to develop these campaigns, but Zembula wants to give in-house marketers the ability to come up with their own creations without coding knowledge while also being able to access analytics. The 8-person company will use the fresh funding to launch a new version of its product this September. It is led by CEO , formerly CEO of Scratch-it, the precursor to Zembula. is the company’s co-founder and CTO. Zembula is one of several marketing startups in the Pacific Northwest — , , , and are four others.