Fundraising Overview: Nick Hanauer’s Second Avenue Supports Gift Box Company; support for the Alzheimer’s application

Laura Jennings, CEO and Founder of Knack. (Photo shot)

Here’s our latest look at the latest news on startup investing in the Pacific Northwest.

– Online gifts startup Thing announced a $ 3.5 million Series A investment round led by Second Avenue Partners. As part of the agreement, Nick hanauer, Second Avenue co-founder and champion of economic equity, will join Knack’s board of directors.

Other investors include Sugar Mountain, the food company founded by Kurt Dammeier of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, and Anonymous Angels. The cycle will support investment in infrastructure technology.

The essential: Seattle’s Knack offers carefully wrapped gift boxes. Buyers choose a price and theme (stay, congratulations, vacation, welcome a baby, etc.) or create a bespoke box. Some items are from businesses run by women, owned by people of color, or with a focus on sustainability.

Immersive online donations: The startup released a new product last week, Knest by Knack. The tool allows gift givers to create an online page with photos, videos, logos, and messages associated with a limited selection of Knack items a gift recipient can choose from. The company targets donations to individuals, businesses and businesses.

The team: CEO Laura Jennings previously told GeekWire that she created Knack in 2015 to provide a more engaging experience for buyers. Jennings has been an investor and was Vice President of Microsoft for 13 years, ending in 2001. She seeded the company until this turn.

Hanauer was an early investor in Amazon and aQuantive, which sold to Microsoft for $ 6.4 billion, among other entrepreneurial successes. He created the Civic Ventures public policy incubator and is a frequent commentator calling for higher taxes and wages.

The company has 75 permanent full-time employees and 100 additional seasonal employees who contribute to the development.

Traction: There are other companies offering gift boxes online, but Knack has made its mark in the space. The company reports annual sales of $ 20 million.

SupportTree co-founders Mark Tarbutton, left, and Alan Allison. (Support Tree Pictures)

There is woefully little technical support available for individuals, families, and caregivers dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, but the Seattle startup Support tree would like to help change that.

The essential: When a person with Alzheimer’s lives in their own home, they need the help of caregivers and / or professionals to ensure their needs are met and their safety is ensured. The SupportTree app helps caregivers communicate between people providing support, plan and coordinate activities, and find additional resources.

Funding : SupportTree received $ 50,000 from Maude’s adventures, an organization providing seed funding for innovations in dementia care.

The founders: The startup was launched this year by Mark Tarbutton, who has a background in marketing, and software engineer Alain allison. Both have been personally affected by Alzheimer’s disease: Tarbutton’s mother is the primary caregiver for his father, who was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease in 2015, and Allison’s aunt had the disease. illness before his death.

Tarbutton said it was difficult for his mother to seek help from friends and family.

“Caregivers often perceive the request for help as an admission or a defeat,” he said.

Target audience: The duo decided to create the app primarily for family caregivers, but are finding demand for a product that also serves professional caregivers and assisted living facilities who need to collaborate and communicate within community groups. The site will generate income by referring professional services to caregivers in need.

In Washington state alone, an estimated 120,000 people have Alzheimer’s disease, and more than double the many unpaid family caregivers who assist them, according to the Alzheimer Association.

The SupportTree app is currently in beta testing and will be released early next year.

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