September 26, 2022

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Funding news: Microsoft vets raise $12M for Round; PTO Exchange lands $5M; and more

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Round co-founders Brian Jansen, Mani Gill, and Ryan Fuller. (Round Photo)

– Round, a Seattle startup founded by former Microsoft leaders, raised a $ 12 million seed round.

The company aims to help senior leaders working at technology companies connect with one another. The idea is to create a vetted network that includes group coaching, events, resources, and more.

Round has members from more than 45 companies across six countries, including Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, and others. Membership fees range from $ 5,400 annually for a senior leader and $ 7,800 for executives.

The year-old startup is led by Ryan Fuller, a longtime tech exec who co-founded VoloMetrix, a Seattle-area startup that built employee efficiency software and was acquired by Microsoft in 2015. Fuller was corporate vice president at Microsoft until launching Round last year.

Round’s other co-founders include Mani Gill, a former SAP executive who co-founded VoloMetrix with Fuller. Gill then spent five years at Microsoft as principal architect for Office 365.

Rounding out the founding team is Brian Jansen, a former Bain & Company manager who left to join Microsoft in 2018 as chief of staff and later principal.

Investors in the company include FUSE, which led the round, Primary Ventures, and a group of angels.

Other recent startup funds across the Pacific Northwest:

  • PTO Exchange, which allows employers to compensate their workers for unused time off, raised $ 5.4 million. The 8-year-old company is led by CEO and co-founder Rob Whalen, a former manager at Cisco. TTV Capital led the round; other backers include Fin Capital, Manifold Ventures, CFV Ventures, SpringTime Ventures, Forefront Venture Partners, and WestRiver Group.
  • PupPod, the Seattle startup behind an app-based interactive toy for dogs, landed more cash and signed a licensing agreement with Company of Animals. PupPod was founded in 2014 by former Microsoft employees Erick Eidus and Kandarp Jani.
  • Knapsack, a Portland, Ore.-based startup that offers a design system platform, raised $ 5.5 million in a round led by Gradient Ventures, with participation from Parade Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Founder Collective, and Slack Fund. The company is led by tech vet Chris Strahl.
  • Sanctuary AI, a Vancouver, BC-based company that builds general-purpose robots, raised $ 58.5 million from Bell, Evok Innovations, Export Development Canada, Magna, SE Health, Verizon Ventures, and Workday Ventures. Read more in Vancouver Tech Journal.
  • Certa, a San Francisco startup that helps automate the procurement and compliance process, raised $ 15 million. The company is led by CEO Jagmeet Lamba, who participated in Techstars Seattle in 2013.





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