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Now Algorithms Are Deciding Whom To Hire, Based On Voice

NPR 3/23/2015 – If you’re trying out for a job in sales, the person who judges your pitch may not be a person — it could be a computer.

Job recruitment is the newest frontier in automated labor, where algorithms are choosing who’s the right fit to sell fast food or handle angry cable customers, by sizing up the human candidates’ voices.

Let’s take a voice you know: Al Pacino. Think back to how he sounds in The Godfather, Devil’s Advocate, Scarface or this recent interview on Charlie Rose.

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POSTED IN: Madrona News

The Waves of the Future May Bend Around Metamaterials

The New York Times 3/23/15 – BELLEVUE, Wash. — Plastics. Computers. Metamaterials?

Almost half a century after Dustin Hoffman was taken aside in “The Graduate” and given the famous “one word” line about the future, it may be time to update the script again. And metamaterials appear to have the same potential to transform entire industries. Over the past 15 years or so, scientists have learned how to construct materials that bend light waves, as well as radar, radio, sound and even seismic waves, in ways that do not naturally occur.

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POSTED IN: Madrona News, Portfolio Company News

Madrona Announces New Strategic Directors, McAdam, Patel and Singh

MVG Strategic Director Announcement (2)

Madrona Adds John McAdam, Sujal Patel and Steve Singh as Strategic Directors

 

Seattle, WA – March 19, 2015 – Madrona Venture Group announced today the addition of three new Strategic Directors. John McAdam, Sujal Patel and Steve Singh will work with Madrona portfolio company founders and executives, sharing their insight and operating experiences as CEOs who grew smaller businesses into highly successful, public technology companies. As CEOs of F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV), Isilon Systems (acquired by EMC) and Concur (acquired by SAP) respectively, these executives have built market leaders that have generated billions in revenue and economic value.

 

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POSTED IN: Madrona News, Press Release

Rover raises $25M for dog sitting marketplace, will expand to more cities

Geekwire  3/19/15 -  Rover.com, the Seattle-based startup that connects dog owners with people to care for their pooches, today announced a $25 million funding round led by Technology Crossover Ventures.

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POSTED IN: Madrona News, Portfolio Company News

AppNexus Buys Yieldex for $100 Million

Two New York-based startups are merging, with potential IPO ramifications. AppNexus Inc., the automated online advertising technology firm, is acquiring rival Yieldex, the companies are set to announce. The cash-and-stock deal is worth about $100 million.

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POSTED IN: Portfolio Company News

Qumulo Emerges from Stealth with World’s First Data-Aware Scale-Out Network-Attached Storage

3/16/15 – Qumulo Core Software Delivers Real-Time Analytics and Storage for Customers Including Ant Farm, Blind Studios, Densho, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Sinclair Oil, Sportvision, TELUS Studios, University of Utah Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, and ZOIC Studios

Qumulo, a new enterprise data storage company, came out of stealth today to introduce the world’s first data-aware scale-out network-attached storage (NAS). 

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POSTED IN: Portfolio Company News, Press Release

There’s an Algorithm for That: Algorithmia Helps You Find It

Xconomy 3/12/15 – These days, you don’t have to be an expert in natural-language processing or computer vision to make an app that can automatically summarize text or recognize faces. You just have to find the right algorithm.

Seattle startup Algorithmia is making both finding and using algorithms easier with a marketplace that unites algorithm creators and the software developers who need them.

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POSTED IN: Portfolio Company News

Gaming startup PlayFab raises $7.4M from Benchmark, Madrona and others

Geekwire 2/27/15 – PlayFab, a Seattle-based company that provides game developers with back-end services for their online games, announced today that it raised $7.4 million in a Series A investment round.

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POSTED IN: Madrona News, Portfolio Company News

Candy Crush maker King buys Seattle gaming startup Z2 for up to $150M, creating first U.S. studio

Geekwire 2/12/15 – Battle Nations meet Candy Crush.

Z2, the Seattle mobile gaming company known for titles such as Battle Nations and Metalstorm, is being acquired for up to $150 million in cash by King Digital Entertainment. The deal includes $45 million in upfront cash, and as much as $105 million more if certain milestones are met.

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POSTED IN: Madrona News, Portfolio Company News

Placed Selected as Preferred Attribution and Location Analytics Solution by Leading Media Agencies

2/11/15 – Placed, Inc., the leader in location-driven insights and ad intelligence, today announced that its Placed Attribution product has been chosen as the preferred digital to in-store measurement solution by the leading media agencies in the US, including DigitasLBi, Horizon, Essence, Southwest Media Group, Crossmedia, and IPG Mediabrands.  

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Next Gen IT – Who is Creating it Today?

2/4/15 – How Startups are Changing the IT Landscape

At Madrona we invest across a broad mix of information technology areas from cloud computing to virtual reality. Categories closer to consumers tend to get the press coverage. This is natural as more people can relate to products they use directly like smartphones, productivity apps and games. But, let’s not overlook next-generation infrastructure technologies and the rise of greater Seattle in building software and hardware for enterprises.

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POSTED IN: Madrona News

Kerry Van Voris Joins Madrona Venture Group as Director of Talent

Seattle, WA – January 29, 2015 – Madrona Venture Group announced today the appointment of Kerry Van Voris to the position of Director of Talent.  In this role, Kerry will work with Madrona’s portfolio companies to recruit talent and strategically plan and manage resources to ensure growth and success.  Kerry comes to Madrona from Amazon.com, where she most recently led executive recruiting for Amazon Web Services.  

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POSTED IN: Madrona News

Beyond Big Data and Benioff’s “AI Spring” to the Dawn of Dataware

1/15/15 – Dataware :   A New Way to Think about Big Data, AI, Machine Learning and Where It is All Taking Us

Big Data, AI, Machine Learning, Hadoop, Predictive Analytics — we hear these terms every day from companies such as Cloudera, Trifacta and Dato (formerly GraphLab) that are securing many millions in financing.

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POSTED IN: Madrona News

Here are the six startups that pitched at Seattle’s own ‘Shark Tank’ hosted by Tom Douglas

Geekwire 1/16/15 – Entrepreneurs weren’t turning down $30 million investments, and ABC wasn’t on hand broadcasting the action to millions around the world. But on Thursday evening at the Palace Ballroom, Seattleites had a chance to experience their own version of the popular show “Shark Tank.”

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POSTED IN: Madrona News

Women in Business Q&A: Monisha Perkash, CEO & Co-founder, Lumo BodyTech

Huffington Post 1/13/15 – Monisha Perkash is CEO & Co-founder at Lumo BodyTech, makers of the Lumo Lift and Lumo Back posture and activity trackers. She and her team are shaking up the wearable tech space with fashion-forward designs to help people look and feel great.

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POSTED IN: Portfolio Company News

GraphLab, Now Dato, Raises $18.5M for Machine-Learning Applications

Wall Street Journal 1/8/15 – More businesses are trying to use data to try to predict the future, and Dato, formerly called GraphLab Inc., has raised another $18.5 million to work on that problem.

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POSTED IN: Portfolio Company News

Getting paid to ‘Spare5’

MSNBC 1/9/15 – A new app has found a way to link the needs of big companies to everyday smartphone users by paying them to help categorize images in their spare time. Co-founder and CEO Matt Bencke discusses how he came up ‘Spare5’ plus its future applications.

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POSTED IN: Portfolio Company News

Brent Frei of Smartsheet.com: A Good Excuse Doesn’t Fix a Problem

New York Times 12/27/14 – Interview with founder Brent Frei, founder of Smartsheet.com

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POSTED IN: Portfolio Company News

Investor Rush to Artificial Intellignce is Real

Financial Times 1/4/15 – “This is the hot place to be at the moment,” says Stephen Purpura, whose own AI company, Context Relevant, has raised more than $44m since it was founded in 2012. By his reckoning, more than 170 start-ups have jumped on the AI bandwagon.

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POSTED IN: Portfolio Company News

Bill Gates and Madrona lead $15M investment in secretive high-tech radar company Echodyne

Geekwire 12/18/14 – Bill Gates and Madrona Venture Group are leading a $15 million investment in a new company called Echodyne, which is developing secretive new radar technology based on artificial materials that can manipulate and control electromagnetic radiation.

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POSTED IN: Portfolio Company News