Startup funding news: Inflection.io, Xemelgo, Joule Case, others raise fresh cash

The Inflection.io team, including co-founders Dave Rigotti (front, left), Vic Davis (fourth from left), and Aaron Bird (fifth from left). (Inflection.io Photo)

Here’s our latest rundown on recent startup investment news in the Pacific Northwest.

Inflection.io

New funding: Inflection.io, a Seattle marketing automation startup, officially came out of stealth and announced a $5 million round on Tuesday. The seed round was led by MHS Capital with participation from Version One, Cercano Management, Ascend and more than a dozen individual angel investors.

The company has raised a total of $6.3 million and has 20 employees. The new funding will help the startup grow its team, particularly in engineering roles.

The tech: Inflection.io is building marketing tools for B2B product-led companies, as opposed to sales-led strategies. Its platform automates the creation of marketing campaigns and helps users manage customer data and sales.

Inflection.io also hosts an online community for marketers at product-led companies where they can post questions, share job listings and seek advice.

The founders: The trio of founders all held leadership roles at Bizible, which was acquired by Marketo, which then became part of Adobe. They are CEO Dave Rigotti, board chair Aaron Bird (who founded Bizible), and senior vice president of customer experience Vic Davis. Inflection incubated at Seattle startup studio Pienza, which Bird founded.

Xemelgo

Members of the Xemelgo team including co-founder and CEO Rich Rogers, fourth from the right. (Xemelgo Photo)

New funding: Xemelgo, a Seattle-based startup that brings IoT and cloud technology to manufacturing, has raised $4.2 million. This latest round was led by FUSE with participation from many of the company’s original angel investors. The startup has raised a total of $5.5 million.

Akhila Tadinada, co-founder and chief technology officer for Xemelgo. (Xemelgo Photo)

The tech: Xemelgo bills itself as the “Amazon Go for manufacturers.” Like the contactless shopping found in Amazon Go grocery stores, Xemelgo relies on sensors to track products. The approach eliminates the need for factory floor workers to scan barcodes and enter data to track inventory used in product manufacturing.

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The company’s software is being used in more than 100 U.S. factories and customers include Blue Origin, Collins Aerospace, McCormick & Co. and Medtronics. Its largest customer is SEKISUI Aerospace, a top aerospace manufacturer. 

The founders: The startup was co-founded in 2018 by former Hitachi executives Rich Rogers and Akhila Tadinada. The company operates out of the University of Washington’s CoMotion Labs.

The duo initially raised $500,000 from angel investors, including the former CEO of Hitachi Americas and the former chief operations officer of Paramount Pictures. They won top prize at the Seattle Angel Conference in 2019.

What’s in a name: Xemelgo, which means “twin” in the defunct Celtic language Galatian, is built on the idea of creating a digital model or twin of the factory to monitor, predict and optimize operations.

Joule Case

The Joule Case team, including founders James Wagoner (second from left) and Alex Livingston (third from left). (Photo via Instagram)

New funding: Joule Case, an Idaho-based battery tech startup producing stackable energy storage units, has raised more than $1.1 million on the crowd-funding platform Wefunder. More than 900 people ponied up for the funding. The startup previously raised $2 million from angel investors and has 10 employees.

And more funding: Joule Case announced this week that it’s kicking off a new fundraising round on Wefunder.

COVID pivot: Launched in 2015, Joule Case was initially focused on building battery units for events and music festivals. When COVID-19 hit, the team shifted to users including food trucks, campers and RV owners, and people looking for home energy backup in the case of electrical outages.

Customers: The startup is again working in the event space, providing power last year for festivals in Las Vegas and Boise, Idaho. Joule Case reports signing a $100 million letter of intent with music festival organizer Insomniac. The company is also exploring the use of their battery systems to support EV recharging.

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GemmaQ

Freyja Thorarinsdottir, CEO of GemmaQ. (GemmaQ Photo)

New funding: Just in time for this week’s Nordic Innovation Summit in Seattle, here’s some funding news from a company with Nordic roots. GemmaQ is a platform providing real-time gender diversity data. The Seattle startup has raised $400,000 in its first round, which was led by Crowberry Capital, one of Europe’s largest female-led VC funds.

The team: GemmaQ was created in 2017 by CEO Freyja Thorarinsdottir, whose background includes working as a director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Iceland and other roles in the financial sector in the U.S. and Iceland. Thorarinsdottir was named “rising star of the year” at the 2021 Nordic Women in Tech Awards.

Chief Technology Officer Logi Bragason worked in software development for Bloomberg for 16 years.

The tech: GemmaQ provides gender data on corporate leadership for the Fortune 500 companies and the largest publicly traded companies in the Nordic markets.

The company launched its product in 2019 on Keldan, the financial portal of Iceland. The new investment will help fund its growth in the U.S. market.

TimeXtender

Heine Krog Iversen (left) and Anne Krog Iversen, co-founders of TimeXtender. (TimeXtender Photos)

New funding: A second company with Nordic ties, TimeXtender, has received a “significant investment” from Monterro, a Nordic investor in B2B software. The company provides tools for data management. The parties are not disclosing the amount raised.

The founders: Co-founders Heine Krog Iversen and Anne Krog Iversen are based in Washington state and originally from Denmark. They launched their company in 2005. The business headquarters used to be in Bellevue and TimeXtender still has a co-working space in the city, but is fully remote.

The tech: TimeXtender offers what it calls a “low-code, drag-and-drop solution for data ingestion and preparation.”

From the investor: “TimeXtender serves a clear and growing market need with a strong product-market fit,” Martin Henricson, said managing director at Monterro and TimeXtender’s future board chairman. “The increasing amount of data and data sources make it crucial for companies worldwide to be able to collect, manage and analyze their data in an easier way.”

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The 2050 Company

Greg Gibson (left) and Austin Hirsh, co-founders of The 2050 Company. (The 2050 Company Photo)

Kickstarter success: Sustainable food startup The 2050 Company has raised nearly $23,000 in a Kickstarter campaign. The effort, which runs until June 6, is helping send food to war-torn Ukraine and Tanzania, which depends on the Ukraine for food imports. The campaign has raised more than twice its goal of $10,000.

The startup is partnering with The Outreach Program, an established nonprofit addressing hunger worldwide, to deliver the meals. The 2050 Company has already sent 10,000 meals to families displaced by the war in Ukraine.

The eats: The 2050 Company launched in 2020 with a selection of instant smoothie powders made from produce that was otherwise destined for compost. The startup has expanded its offerings to include stove-top pastas such as a sweet potato macaroni, a marinara pasta with beets, and a pesto pasta.

The founders: Austin Hirsh of Gig Harbor, Wash., founded the company while working towards his master’s degree at the UW. Co-founder Greg Gibson joined the team following an earlier Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $40,000. The two met as undergraduates at the University of San Diego.

Koidra

Kenneth Tran, founder of Koidra. (Photo via LinkedIn)

New funding: Seattle-based Koidra announced a $4.5 million seed round. The company is building an AIoT (artificial intelligence of things) platform. The startup is focused on automating operations in greenhouses to make food production more sustainable

Ospraie Ag Science led the funding round, with participation from Amritam Holdings, Cavallo Ventures and Foothill Ventures.

The founder: Chief Technology Officer and founder Kenneth Tran worked on machine learning projects for Microsoft Research for seven years before launching Koidra in 2020. Tran is also the co-founder of Ayo Biomass, a woody-biomass fuel manufacturer in Vietnam.

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