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April 23, 2007

Venture investing and voice

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 12:31 PM

In case you didn't catch them in today's paper, I wrote two stories today -- one focused on how voice as a method of search might be a cure-all for the wireless industry. The other story looked at venture capital activity during the first quarter.

In the story on voice, I discussed the growing interest in speech recognition technology. The spotlight was on Bellevue's VoiceBox Technologies, which demonstrated how its technology can be used in the car to surf hundreds of radio stations to find answers to spoken queries.

Several other companies, including Microsoft, Nuance and Google, are placing big bets on speech, making it one of the more promising developments in the wireless industry.

In the venture capital story, I wrote about how Washington had a blockbuster first quarter, in which startups drew nearly $400 million in venture capital, according to the quarterly venture-capital report released today by Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst & Young.

Washington was the third most active state in the country, behind California and Massachusetts. The amount also is the most raised in a single quarter since before the bubble burst seven years ago and represents more than a third of the overall capital raised last year.

Contributing to the big quarter was an intense interest in the energy sector, including Seattle's Imperium Renewables, which raised $113 million in venture capital.

For more details, check out all the charts here.

Check back tomorrow for a story on the competing MoneyTree report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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Angel Gonzalez
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