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Originally published April 14, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Page modified April 14, 2014 at 5:42 PM

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Seattle’s Avvo, Julep reel in new millions in venture capital

The venture money is flowing a bit more this week, as two Seattle companies say they’ve each raised $30 million and more to support their operations.


By Seattle Times business staff

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Two Seattle companies have scored hefty rounds of financing this week, giving both room to expand.

Avvo, the Seattle-based consumer website that provides online legal services, is announcing Tuesday it has received $37.5 million from a group led by Coatue Management.

On Monday, Julep Beauty, the Seattle-based producer and marketer of nail polishes and cosmetics, said it has raised $30 million from new and existing investors.

Julep, launched as a chain of nail salons but now focused on reaching customers through e-commerce and social media, said its total funding since 2007 is $56 million.

For Avvo, known for its vast directory of lawyer profiles, client reviews and online forums for legal advice, the latest funding brings the total up to $60.5 million since the company’s founding in 2007.

The latest round included additional investments from Benchmark Capital, Ignition Partners and DAG Ventures.

The 150-employee company said it plans to use the money to hire, deliver products and expand its base of consumers and lawyers.

“Put simply, this additional capital allows us to accelerate,” founder and CEO Mark Britton said in a statement. “No matter what we have accomplished to date, we need to help more consumers make better legal decisions and find the right lawyer.”

In Julep’s case, the company’s new backers include Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group, as well as Azure Capital and Altimeter Capital; previous investors Maveron and Andreessen Horowitz also participated.

A company statement said its revenues from e-commerce tripled in 2013, though actual revenues are undisclosed.

Julep says each year it launches more than 300 nontoxic nail polishes, skin-care products, color cosmetics and beauty tools after soliciting customer feedback through social media and real-world contacts.

“Julep has truly figured out how to deeply engage women where they already are — social, mobile, and Web — and leverage those channels to bring customers into the product innovation process,” Madrona Venture Group principal Julie Sandler, said in the company statement.



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