September 30, 2022

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Changed Your Life

Tech Moves: Lighter Cash names new CEO Amazon exec joins Uber as CTO and a lot more

6 min read
Melissa Widner. (Lighter Capital Photo)

— Seattle-centered ‘alternative VC’ agency Lighter Money named Melissa Widner as its new CEO. She usually takes around from former CEO Thor Culverhouse, who replaced longtime Lighter exec BJ Lackland this past September.

Widner, a board member at Lighter, most just lately served as controlling partner at the undertaking money arm of the National Australia Bank. She was formerly a standard companion at Seattle-centered SeaPoint Ventures and CEO of 7Program, which was obtained by Concur. Widner, primarily based in Sydney, Australia, joined the Lighter board in 2018.

Lighter Funds was co-started by Andy Sack along with Randall Lucas and Erik Benson of Voyager Cash in 2009. The organization assists business owners raise funding without having likely the standard route of undertaking money. It has invested a lot more than $200 million in 350-as well as startups throughout the U.S., using an revolutionary method identified as “revenue primarily based financing” (RBF) that allows early-phase startups increase dollars devoid of supplying up fairness or board seats.

“I’m passionate about the company’s mission,” Widner instructed GeekWire by using e-mail. “Lighter is the pioneer and the leader in RBF for application-as-a-services firms.”

The business laid off workers in April and July, reducing its workforce from approximately 80 employees to 23. The organization now has 25 workers and strategies to retain the services of.

“One silver lining of COVID is that organizations, including Lighter, have recognized that geography and operating with each other in an office environment every day is not necessary to serve our consumers,” Widner explained. “As we increase our group, we will do so with no currently being limited by location.”

Benson additional that “we are thrilled that we have an seasoned fintech govt to get Lighter Capital to its future phase of worldwide growth.”

Update, Tuesday Sept. 22: Culverhouse’s LinkedIn profile has been up to date since publication to point out that he has taken a position as CEO of Submittable, a Missoula, Mt.-primarily based submission application management firm.

— Uber appointed Sukumar Rathnam as its new chief technological innovation officer. Rathnam invested practically a 10 years at Amazon, most lately as a vice president, and formerly was a typical manager and husband or wife application architect at Microsoft. He was an executive at PeopleSoft, which was acquired by Oracle in 2005.

Extended-time Uber CTO Thuan Pham stepped down previously this yr shortly before the organization slice 25% of its world workforce. Uber’s Seattle engineering middle remains open up.

— Amazon Website Solutions product sales leader Ernesto Chavarin joined Bellevue, Wash.-primarily based Vettd.ai’s board of advisors. Chavarin beforehand put in much more than 14 many years at Microsoft, most a short while ago as a director aiding push the company’s artificial intelligence go to market place strategy.

Founded in 2014, Vettd.ai is a organic language info system to assist admissions and human resources groups evaluate candidates. The startup at the moment has 17 staff members, according to LinkedIn.

Virl Hill. (Microsoft Photo)

— Media govt Virl Hill was named head of around the world company enhancement and technique for Microsoft’s media and entertainment team. Hill most not long ago led company enhancement and technique for Microsoft News in North America and Asia. Prior to becoming a member of Microsoft in 2013, Hill was CEO of Blade Video games World, a basic supervisor at Rhapsody and used much more than a 10 years at RealNetworks.

Microsoft’s media and amusement arm consists of partnerships with NBCUniversal, the NBA, and Walt Disney Studios. The Redmond, Wash., tech big also lately employed Hanno Basse, the previous 20th Century Fox Film CTO, as Microsoft Azure CTO for media and enjoyment.

David Rosenthal departed from startup financial investment firm Wave Capital before this calendar year. He is now entire-time angel investing and advising when continuing to function on Obtained, a podcast he started out with Pioneer Sq. Labs co-founder Ben Gilbert. Rosenthal is also now advising Seattle startups Thriller and a secretive new corporation started by former Fb, Dropbox, Amazon and Convoy leaders.

Rosenthal invested far more than six several years as a principal at Madrona Venture Group in Seattle. He remaining in 2017 to launch San Francisco, Calif.-based mostly Wave Money with previous Airbnb exec Riley Newman. He is at present based mostly in San Francisco.

— Publicly-traded Seattle tech company RealNetworks appointed Brad Donaldson as vice president of computer vision and the newest member of its SAFR facial recognition engineering management staff. Donaldson was most a short while ago a vice president of merchandise enhancement at cloud-enabled digital camera designer AV Costar.

Considering that launching SAFR in 2018, RealNetworks has continued to expand the technology’s programs from schools to public overall health, public basic safety and even superstars by means of the recently-launched StarSearch browser extension.

— Seattle, Wash.-primarily based biopharmaceutical firm Neoleukin Therapeutics named Martin Babler to its board of administrators. Babler is at present CEO of San Francisco, Calif.-primarily based Principia Biopharma and the previous president and CEO of Talima Therapeutics. 

A University of Washington spinout, Neoleukin Therapeutics was obtained by Vancouver, B.C.-dependent Aquinox Prescribed drugs very last calendar year.

John Traynor. (TensorIoT Picture)

John Traynor, a veteran of Microsoft, C-Labs and Bsquare, has joined Irvine, Calif.-dependent TensorIoT as vice president and general supervisor of merchandise and solutions. He will be keep on to be based in the Puget Seem area and direct the company’s new Redmond, Wash., office. TensorIoT is an AWS Innovative Consulting Spouse that functions on IoT, edge computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning initiatives.

“As an AWS husband or wife, TensorIoT views the Seattle region as a strategic market place and a resource of significant IoT and cloud talent,” said Traynor. “In the coming months we anticipate to insert about 20 folks to the product group primarily based in Redmond.”

Traynor was most a short while ago CEO of FreePoint Technologies, which offers engineering methods for the manufacturing business. He was previously COO at Seattle IoT startup C-Labs, which was obtained in 2017, and SVP of solutions for industrial IoT company Bsquare.

— New York-dependent SaaS startup NLX declared Rob Meyerson, previous president of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin place enterprise, as an advisory board member. Meyerson departed Blue Origin in 2018 and is currently CEO of Delalune Space, a management consulting business supporting the aerospace, mobility, engineering and fiscal industries.

— Former Microsoft husband or wife director Gagan Gulati joined New York, N.Y.-based Behavox as its to start with main item officer. Behavox is a know-how firm that offers a system for handling organizations’ interior knowledge.

Gulati was most not too long ago a spouse director of merchandise administration for facts defense and governance at Microsoft. He is also an angel trader and advisor with the Alliance of Angels community.

— Vancouver, B.C.-dependent paying out management computer software Procurify named Bevan van der Berg as vice president of finance. van der Berg was most recently senior director of enterprise functionality and evaluation at Hootsuite.

— The Bellevue Chamber declared nine new board users which includes Stephen Uy, head of general public coverage and local community engagement at Facebook, and previous Washington Point out Gov. Gary Locke, who was appointed interim president of Bellevue Higher education previously this calendar year. The board also elected ARVR Academy CEO Michael Nassirian as its new chair.

The other new appointees are:

Karen Doherty, SVP at structure business HDR

• Matt Samwick, operating manager at Innovation Realty Partners

Elaina Herber, president of Ascend Hospitality Team

Melissa DeVita, deputy superintendent of finance and operations for the Bellevue College District

Kari Magill, CEO of Rowley Attributes

• Ray Collum, CEO of EastHub

Jessica Hagan, director of sales at KING 5

— Law company Dorsey & Whitney LLP named Lawrence Ward as head of its Seattle office environment. Ward has been with the business for far more than 13 a long time and replaces Jennifer Spaith.

— Seattle-based ABC Legal named Brandon Fuller as its new chief know-how officer. Fuller is also founder and CEO of Docketly, which ABC Lawful acquired in 2019. ABC Authorized information and serves legal files for clients via its software and system servers.

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