Read AI Launches, Amazon’s New Robot, and More Seattle Tech News

Catch up on the latest news from the Seattle tech sector.
Written by Gordon Gottsegen
October 4, 2021Updated: October 4, 2021
Seattle cityscape
Photo: Shutterstock

It’s officially October, but before we start desperately searching for a Halloween costume, let’s take one last look at the news that happened during the last week of September. From product launches, fundings and more, here’s the news you may have missed. This is the Built In Seattle weekly refresh.

Syndio raised $50M in its Series C round. In order to make sure employees are being paid fairly, Syndio built a software that allows businesses to analyze the salaries they pay their employees. This helps companies retain employees, avoid legal issues and prevent unintentional pay discrimination. With more companies focusing on fair pay for employees, Syndio has seen its customer count increase. Syndio has tripled its annual recurring revenue for the past two years and is on track to do it again in 2022. [Built In Seattle]

Amazon unveiled its new Astro robot. Amazon designed a robot that uses tech like artificial intelligence, computer vision, sensors, voice commands and edge computing to help with home-related tasks. It can act as a monitor so you can check in on your home while you’re away, set reminders, access Alexa smart assistant features and more. Astro will cost $1,450, but it’ll be available at launch for $1,000 and comes with a six-month subscription to Ring Protect Pro. [Amazon]


“Recent data has shown that natural forest regeneration is in significant decline due to the size and severity of fires which destroy seed sources. Fire season is expected to only get worse because of climate change. This funding round, coupled with the acquisition of Silvaseed, enables us to scale up the infrastructure needed for reforestation to meet this skyrocketing demand and customer need. That starts with seed.” — DroneSeed CEO Grant Canary

DroneSeed brought in $36M in new funding. DroneSeed uses its fleet of high-tech drones to distribute seeds over a large area, which is especially useful for reforestation after wildfires. This new Series A capital will help DroneSeed fund new reforestation projects after the 2021 fire season, which has already destroyed millions of acres of forest across several states. DroneSeed also already used some of the new funding to acquire Silvaseed, a 130-year-old company that collects seeds and grows saplings. [Built In Seattle]

Read AI launched out of stealth mode. The company also formally announced its $10 million seed funding round, which was led by Madrona Venture Group. Read uses technology to measure engagement at virtual meetings. Its flagship product, Read Dashboard, joins a team’s virtual meeting and measures things like audience engagement, sentiment and overall meeting performance. It then makes these metrics available after the meeting. While many of us have become numb to Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet meetings, Read’s technology can help measure whether those meeting actually have an impact. [Read AI]

Archera raised a $7M Series A. Ridge Ventures and Amplify Partners led the round, with participation from PSL Ventures, Leslie Ventures, former Onica CEO Stephen Garden and more. Archera provides technology to help companies measure and protect their cloud operations and resources. As cloud adoption grows, many companies are spending more and more money on their cloud operations. Archera helps these companies determine whether they’re getting the most out of their cloud spend. The company says it has already helped its customers save over $80 million in cloud costs. [PR Newswire]

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