NEWS

November 20, 2020 - 10:20 AM
Virgin Orbit sends 10 satellites to orbit, building on Paul Allen’s air-launch legacy

Virgin Orbit sends 10 satellites to orbit, building on Paul Allen’s air-launch legacy

LauncherOne lights up its rocket engine after its release from a carrier airplane. (Virgin Orbit Photo) Eight months after an unsuccessful first attempt, Virgin Orbit finally lived up to its name today and used an innovative air-launch system to put 10 satellites in orbit. With backing from British...

Shuffl helps create new social interactions on Slack to spark joy between coworkers

Shuffl helps create new social interactions on Slack to spark joy between coworkers

Shuffle co-founders Chris Watts (left) and Mathew Lee. (David Rzegocki Photo) Two years ago, while Matthew Lee was on a sabbatical between jobs, he reflected on his career highlights. “There are certain jobs that I had that I really loved, and some were just a job,” Lee said. “The key component was...

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of Jan. 10, 2021

Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of Jan. 10, 2021

Get caught up on the latest technology and startup news from the past week. Here are the most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of Jan. 10, 2021. Sign up to receive these updates every Sunday in your inbox by subscribing to our GeekWire Weekly email newsletter. Most popular stories on...

Expedia’s Vrbo hit with backlash for not following Airbnb’s lead and canceling D.C. reservations

Expedia’s Vrbo hit with backlash for not following Airbnb’s lead and canceling D.C. reservations

(Vrbo homepage image) Update: This story has been updated with new details from Expedia. See below. Vrbo, the vacation rental platform run by Seattle-based Expedia Group, is getting some blowback online for not following the lead of competitor Airbnb, which announced this week that it was blocking...

Integris co-founder reveals new startup that uses software to help companies meet diversity goals

Integris co-founder reveals new startup that uses software to help companies meet diversity goals

Raghu Gollamudi. (Included Photo) Five years ago, when data privacy was just emerging as one of the most challenging business risks, Raghu Gollamudi spotted a trend. With new rules for tighter consumer privacy protection looming, freshly appointed chief privacy officers often lacked tools to manage...

Former Twitter exec on Trump ban, the failure of social media, and an idea to find common ground

Former Twitter exec on Trump ban, the failure of social media, and an idea to find common ground

President Donald Trump in Texas on Tuesday, boarding Air Force One en route to Maryland. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead, via Flickr.) Twitter didn’t set out to ban Donald Trump. The president gave it no choice. That’s the assessment from Mike Davidson, a Seattle-based tech and...

Clothing rental service Armoire adapts to pandemic, raises cash from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Clothing rental service Armoire adapts to pandemic, raises cash from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Employees from the Armoire team, before social distancing. (Armoire Photo) Like many tech startups, when the pandemic hit the U.S., Armoire braced for impact. Its clothing subscription rental business had its best month in February, but suddenly faced several headwinds. People no longer needed new...

Buoyed by a booming tech sector, Seattle surpasses Atlanta to claim 10th largest regional economy

Buoyed by a booming tech sector, Seattle surpasses Atlanta to claim 10th largest regional economy

Seattle’s economy is now ranked 10th in the U.S. by GDP. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) The Seattle region continues to boom. The regional economy — encompassing Tacoma, Everett, Seattle, Redmond and Bellevue — boasts a gross domestic product of $383 billion, according to an analysis by Greater...

Seattle shampoo startup Gemma Labs raises $2.75M to grow custom haircare kit service

Seattle shampoo startup Gemma Labs raises $2.75M to grow custom haircare kit service

Gemma Labs CEO Allison Harr. (Gemma Labs Photo) Gemma Labs is raising cash to support increasing demand for its Gemmist custom shampoo service. The Seattle startup reeled in a $2.75 million round from PSL Ventures and other investors. Gemma Labs spun out of Pioneer Square Labs’ startup studio more...

Report: Bill Gates is largest owner of private farmland in U.S., with acreage across 18 states

Report: Bill Gates is largest owner of private farmland in U.S., with acreage across 18 states

Bill Gates during a talk in Seattle last year. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop) A new report on the largest holders of private farmland in the United States reveals that Bill and Melinda Gates are atop the list, with the billionaire Seattle couple amassing 242,000 acres of land. According to The Land...

Newly public, Porch makes 4 acquisitions for more than $122M, discloses larger-than-expected loss

Newly public, Porch makes 4 acquisitions for more than $122M, discloses larger-than-expected loss

Matt Ehrlichman, Porch founder and CEO. (Porch Group Photo) Three weeks after its stock market debut, Seattle-based home services technology company Porch Group announced four acquisitions, including an agreement to buy Irving, Texas-based insurance company Homeowners of America for $100 million in...

COVID-19 and Trump visa ban leave South Africa biotech startup in limbo as it plots move to Seattle

COVID-19 and Trump visa ban leave South Africa biotech startup in limbo as it plots move to Seattle

3X4 Genetics co-founders Jason Haddock, left, and Yael Joffe. (3X4 Genetics Photo) Jason Haddock had big plans for the rollout of his health tech startup in the U.S. The CEO of 3X4 Genetics, a South African genetic testing company, had attracted an investor with sizable funding and developed a...

Blue Angels say Seafair’s post-COVID air show will be cooler and louder than ever

Blue Angels say Seafair’s post-COVID air show will be cooler and louder than ever

A cockpit view shows the Blue Angels conducting a training flight with F/A-18 Super Hornets. (U.S. Navy Photo / Cody Hendrix) The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels had to pass up their traditional Seafair air show in Seattle last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but assuming the all-clear is given, they...

Seattle biotech startup AltPep raises $23.1M to tackle Alzheimer’s and related diseases

Seattle biotech startup AltPep raises $23.1M to tackle Alzheimer’s and related diseases

Valerie Daggett, founder and CEO of AltPep. (UW Photo) AltPep, a Seattle-based biotech startup tackling amyloid protein disorders, has raised $23.1 million in a Series A funding round. The venture spun out the University of Washington in March 2019. Its founder and CEO is Valerie Daggett, a...

Health benefits platform Accolade will pay $460M to acquire telemedicine startup 2nd.MD

Health benefits platform Accolade will pay $460M to acquire telemedicine startup 2nd.MD

Raj Singh, CEO of Accolade, speaks at the GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong) Seattle-based Accolade announced Thursday that it will pay $460 million to acquire 2nd.MD, a Houston, Texas-based company that helps patients get expert medical opinions by video or phone. (2nd.MD...

Valve recaps a record 2020 for Steam and looks ahead to China launch this year

Valve recaps a record 2020 for Steam and looks ahead to China launch this year

Steam’s user community broke a lot of records during the socially-quarantined year of 2020. (Valve Software image) Bellevue, Wash.-based Valve Software posted its latest year in review for Steam, its online gaming storefront. It provides a look back on 2020, as well as a roadmap for what’s coming...

Seattle startup vet Keith McCall takes over everyvine, a site for wine grape marketing and sales

Seattle startup vet Keith McCall takes over everyvine, a site for wine grape marketing and sales

Keith McCall. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong) Keith McCall is diving deeper into the intersection of wine and tech. The Seattle tech vet recently acquired and took over operations at everyvine, an 8-year-old site that is used by vineyards to market and sell their wine grapes and products. McCall...

Amazon hires Seattle U computer science chair, then makes big donation to find replacement

Amazon hires Seattle U computer science chair, then makes big donation to find replacement

Roshanak Roshandel, former chair of Seattle University’s Computer Science and Software Engineering Department. (Yosef Kalinko / Seattle University Photo) Amazon is making a significant donation to Seattle University to create an endowed chair to lead its Computer Science Department, a move that...

Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship aces uncrewed rehearsal for crewed space trips

Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship aces uncrewed rehearsal for crewed space trips

Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship ascends from its West Texas launch pad. (Blue Origin via YouTube) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture put the New Shepard spaceship that’s destined to fly people on suborbital trips through its first uncrewed test flight today — and by all...

Seattle startup Worksphere helps manage process of returning to and running offices after pandemic

Seattle startup Worksphere helps manage process of returning to and running offices after pandemic

The Worksphere platform enables employees and organizations to manage and automate tasks related to scheduling, office capacity and more. (Worksphere Image) If and when workers return to offices in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Seattle startup called Worksphere is looking to make the...

iSpot acquires Ace Metrix to bolster TV ad measurement tech

iSpot acquires Ace Metrix to bolster TV ad measurement tech

iSpot CEO Sean Muller. (iSpot Photo) Seattle-area startup iSpot is beefing up its technology platform that measures TV advertisement performance with the acquisition of Los Angeles-based Ace Metrix. The two companies are similar, both offering software to help brands figure out the effectiveness of...

U.S. startups raise record investment in 2020; here are the top Pacific Northwest deals in Q4

U.S. startups raise record investment in 2020; here are the top Pacific Northwest deals in Q4

When the pandemic hit the U.S. earlier this year and tech companies began laying off thousands of employees, analysts warned of a bumpy ride ahead for startups and venture capital investment. To say the industry stabilized would be an understatement. New Q4 numbers from the latest PitchBook-NVCA...

PATH releases new dashboard to help health officials make sense of COVID-19 diagnostic tests

PATH releases new dashboard to help health officials make sense of COVID-19 diagnostic tests

(PATH screenshot) Say you’re a health ministry staffer for a small country in the developing world or a health department leader in a tiny American county. Your boss has just assigned you to evaluate the more than 1,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests available worldwide and make a recommendation on...

Watch Blue Origin fly its first capsule that’s designed to send people to space and back

Watch Blue Origin fly its first capsule that’s designed to send people to space and back

Blue Origin’s New Shepard crew capsule is designed to send up to six people to the edge of space and back. (Blue Origin Photoillustration) Update: The uncrewed test flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital spaceship has been rescheduled for launch at 10:57 a.m. CT (8:57 a.m. PT). Previously:...

Working backwards from the customer: Inside Amazon’s strategy to launch new products

Working backwards from the customer: Inside Amazon’s strategy to launch new products

Former Amazon Books VP Jennifer Cast stands inside Amazon’s first physical retail location in Seattle. (GeekWire File Photo) If you follow Amazon, you know the company operates not just with a customer focus, but with a customer obsession. Indeed, customer obsession is the first of Amazon’s 14...

Costco closing photo centers at all store locations citing rise of camera phones and social media

Costco closing photo centers at all store locations citing rise of camera phones and social media

(GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser) Costco announced Wednesday that it will no longer operate photo departments at its stores, bowing to the rise of smartphones, social media and digital photo sharing. The Washington-based warehouse-style retailer, which operates more than 500 U.S. stores, said in an...

Seattle startup CEO coins ‘authentech’ to capture an emerging community-focused business model

Seattle startup CEO coins ‘authentech’ to capture an emerging community-focused business model

OwnTrails co-founders Kt McBratney (left) and Rebekah Bastian. Bastian has proposed a new term for capturing an emerging tech business model called “authentech.” (OwnTrails Photo) The world of tech loves innovation and thinking outside of the box. Except, perhaps, when it comes to fundraising. As...

Sana Biotechnology files to go public, looks to cure disease by modifying genes in the body

Sana Biotechnology files to go public, looks to cure disease by modifying genes in the body

Sana CEO Steve Harr (Sana photo) Less than three years after it was founded and with no revenue on the books, Sana Biotechnology filed to go public on Wednesday in what would be the latest Seattle biotech company to test the waters on Wall Street. It plans to trade on Nasdaq under the ticker SANA,...

Back to the ‘Future Innovators’:  5 years later, kids adjust to an evolving and turbulent world

Back to the ‘Future Innovators’: 5 years later, kids adjust to an evolving and turbulent world

The 2015 GeekWire “Future Innovators” during 2020 Zoom calls, clockwise from top left, Tanner, Rebecca, Marcus and Annabelle. (GeekWire Photos) Five years ago, budding 11-year-old Seattle scientist Rebecca Yeung was launching a homemade spacecraft high above Earth. The exploits with her sister...

Seattle fintech startup Secure, which helps enable emergency savings accounts, raises $3.5M

Seattle fintech startup Secure, which helps enable emergency savings accounts, raises $3.5M

Secure co-founders Devin Miller (left) and Bassam Saliba. (Secure Photos) Investors are betting on Secure, a new Seattle-area startup riding a trend of increased interest in emergency savings accounts amid the pandemic. The company raised a $3.5 million seed round led by SeaChange Fund; other...

Amazon responds to Parler’s lawsuit, calls it ‘meritless’ and cites content advocating violence

Amazon responds to Parler’s lawsuit, calls it ‘meritless’ and cites content advocating violence

(BigStock Photo) Update: Parler on Wednesday filed its response to Amazon’s brief. The company claims it was blindsided by Amazon’s suspension and asks the court to grant its request for a temporary restraining order. See the full response here. Original story: Amazon defended its decision to...

Training angels: Fledge accelerator founder leads new courses for budding startup investors

Training angels: Fledge accelerator founder leads new courses for budding startup investors

Michael “Luni” Libes, founder of Fledge. (Fledge Photo) Folks curious about making angel investments in promising startups can sign up for online training through the new Angel Accelerator program. The training is offered through Fledge, a Seattle-based worldwide network of accelerators, investors...

Tech Moves: Expedia board director Skip Battle resigns; Madrona promotions; Vacasa’s new CFO

Tech Moves: Expedia board director Skip Battle resigns; Madrona promotions; Vacasa’s new CFO

Skip Battle. (Global Ventures Photo) — George “Skip” Battle, the former CEO of AskJeeves, has resigned from Expedia Group’s board of directors. He originally joined the travel company’s board in 2005. Battle is a longtime board member at Netflix, LinkedIn and OpenTable. He is a senior fellow at the...

Boeing’s Insitu subsidiary to pay $25M to settle whistleblower complaint about used drone parts

Boeing’s Insitu subsidiary to pay $25M to settle whistleblower complaint about used drone parts

Insitu built the ScanEagle drone for long-duration U.S. Navy missions. (Insitu Photo) Bingen, Wash.-based Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary, has agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations that it used recycled parts rather than new parts in military drones, the Justice Department announced...

Seattle researchers find clues for treatments that could eliminate HIV in infected patients

Seattle researchers find clues for treatments that could eliminate HIV in infected patients

Dr. Joshua Schiffer (third from left) and E. Fabian Cardozo-Ojeda (far right) led research published on Tuesday that provides mathematical models on strategies for optimizing treatment for HIV. (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Photo) In the nearly four decades since HIV was discovered, only...

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