Tech vets land $4M to develop solar-powered robots that zap weeds and regenerate soil

Protoype of an Aigen weeding pulling and soil enhancing robot. (Aigen Photo) New funding: Aigen, a startup developing solar-powered robots for weed control and soil regeneration, has raised $4 million in venture capital. The seed round was led by NEA with participation from AgFunder, Global Founders Capital and ReGen Ventures. The Kirkland, Wash.-based ag tech … Read more

NFTs, Metaverse, Web3, and new realities of startup investing, with Founders Co-op’s Aviel Ginzburg

Founders’ Co-op General Partner Aviel Ginzburg. (Founders’ Co-op Photo) So much of what happens in the startup world comes from serendipitous moments, random interactions that lead to fresh insights and new collaborations. And so much of that has traditionally happened at events, meetups, coffee meetings, and other in-person gatherings. Two years into the pandemic and … Read more

Business is booming: Husband-and-wife ed-tech startup Boom Learning takes off during pandemic

Mary and Eric Oemig, the husband-and-wife team behind the education technology startup Boom Learning. (Boom Learning Photo) It’s been a rocky road for education the past couple years as schools, teachers, students and parents all navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it has created. Kirkland, Wash.-based Boom Learning was around before coronavirus and remote … Read more

Vir to extend COVID-19 treatment approach to HIV, malaria with $50M from Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $40 million in equity investment and $10 million in grant funding to Vir Biotechnology for the development of therapies against HIV and Malaria, Vir announced Friday. San Francisco-based Vir developed the COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment sotrovimab with Glaxo Smith Kline, which the U.S. government has been buying … Read more

Juno co-founder launches ambitious new startup with Fred Hutch colleagues to treat cancer

From left: Affini-T scientific co-founders and Fred Hutch investigators Philip Greenberg, Aude Chapuis, and Thomas Schmitt. (Fred Hutch Photos) A new cell therapy company is on the block, propelled by powerhouse scientific co-founders from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with years of experience investigating how to harness the immune system to treat cancer. Affini-T Therapeutics, … Read more

Providence health-tech spinout DexCare raises $50M

DexCare CEO Derek Streat. (DexCare Photo) Seattle health-tech startup DexCare, spun out of Providence’s digital innovation group, announced a $50 million funding round Thursday. Providence initially started DexCare in 2016 to help with digital patient acquisition for its same-day care business, Providence Express Care Virtual. DexCare’s software platform helps manage health system capacity and appointment booking, … Read more

Life insurance provider Ethos acquires digital wills and estate-planning startup Tomorrow

Some of Tomorrow’s services, as seen on the company’s website. (Tomorrow Image) Tomorrow, a Seattle startup that helps people set up digital legal wills and trusts, has been acquired by life insurance provider Ethos, the companies announced Thursday. Founded in 2016, Tomorrow’s iOS and web apps offer online estate planning services without the need for … Read more

Meet the unicorns: A look at the 15 Seattle-area startups that boast valuations over $1 billion

(Mekhato Photo Illustration / Photo by Kevin Lisota) Another day, another unicorn spotting.  These once elusive creatures of the corporate world — privately-held companies valued at a $1 billion or more — certainly are plentiful these days. Just this week, Mekhato reported on another Seattle startup — 5-year-old recruiting tech platform SeekOut — joining the … Read more