Tech Moves: Microsoft’s M12 creates advisory board; former Integris CEO joins VC firm; and more

Clockwise from top left: Matthias Troyer, Saurabh Tiwary, Jocelyn Moore, Ann Johnson and Jason Warner. (M12 Photos) — M12, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, announced a formal advisory board drawing from industry experts and past mentors. The inaugural advisory board members, all from within the Microsoft organization, include: • Distinguished Scientist Matthias Troyer • VP and … Read more

Wyze continues flood of new products, releasing smart sprinkler controller for yard care

The Wyze Sprinkler Controller allows users to program and control a garden watering system. (Wyze Photo) A week after launching a smart vacuum to clean up around the house, Seattle-based Wyze Labs is unveiling another new product, to help keep the grass green outside. The Wyze Sprinkler Controller is a smart sprinkler system that allows … Read more

Seattle data management startup Igneous lays off staff, citing ‘difficult economic environment’

Igneous CEO Dean Darwin. (Igneous Photos) Igneous, a Seattle startup that helps companies manage unstructured data across a variety of systems, has laid off staff. A spokesperson declined to provide specific details about the number of cuts when contacted by Mekhato. “In this difficult economic environment, we have needed to do a reduction in force,” … Read more

Techstars grad WattBuy raises $3.25M to help households shop for electricity providers

WattBuy founders Naman Trivedi and Ben Hood.(WattBuy Photo) WattBuy raised $3.25 million to expand its database tool that collects and shares energy rates in unregulated states where residents and businesses can shop around for their electricity providers. WattBuy shines a new light on electric rates by plugging into public energy data Founded in 2017, the … Read more

Vimly Benefit Solutions raises $6.7M to help healthcare companies manage employee benefits

Vimly CEO Shannon Jurdana. (Vimly Photo) Vimly Benefit Solutions raised $6.7 million to help scale its benefits administration software platform. The Seattle-area company provides enrollment, eligibility, consolidated billing, back office solutions, and more cloud-based tools to various customers including health plans, carriers, and third-party administrators. The idea is to ease the delivery and management of … Read more

With pandemic taking a toll on mental health, Joon Care raises $3.5M to help teens and young adults

Joon Care co-founders Amy Mezulis and Josh Herst. (Joon Care Photos) The pandemic is taking a toll on everyone, but teens in particular are seeing increased anxiety and depression. Joon Care wants to help. The Seattle startup just landed $3.5 million to grow its remote therapy service for teens and young adults. Route 66 Ventures … Read more

This smart camera startup helps companies meet COVID-19 cleaning standards by detecting dirtiness

Quivr CEO Brian Monnin. (Mekhato File Photo) Cleanliness took on a whole new meaning in 2020. The pandemic is forcing airlines, hotels, universities, and other organizations to adjust standards for keeping high-touch areas free from germs. A new Seattle startup called Quivr aims to ride this trend with an AI-powered smart camera tool that can … Read more

‘Software is eating more of the world, faster’: Pandemic spotlights enterprise tech startups

Sunset over the Seattle skyline. (Mekhato Photo / Kevin Lisota) Enterprise software companies have long dominated the Seattle and Pacific Northwest tech scene. They range from stalwarts such as Microsoft and F5 Networks, to a bevy of smaller startups developing cutting-edge software in cloud computing, cybersecurity, and other industries. As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates adoption … Read more

Seattle biotech firm Umoja Biopharma raises $53M as it tackles unique approach to immunotherapy

Umoja Biopharma CEO Andy Scharenberg. (Umoja Photo) Umoja Biopharma raised $53 million to expand development of its CAR T-cell immunotherapy treatments for blood-based and organ-based tumors in adult and pediatric patients. Founded last year, the pre-clinical Seattle-based company says it is taking a new three-step approach to immunotherapy by retooling a patient’s immune system in … Read more

Retirement plan compliance startup Advice Analytics wins $235K at Seattle Angel Conference

San Diego-based startup Advice Analytics won $235,500 at the 18th Seattle Angel Conference event. Founded in 2019, the company aims to help employers and recordkeepers with 401K compliance needs by automating data collection and other analysis. It’s led by CEO Jerry Yen, a former director at HP and executive at GuidedChoice. Seattle Angel Conference organizers … Read more