The Wall Street Journal reports that Inrix is working with Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgain to raise $100 million through an IPO. Inrix declined to comment on the report. If Inrix goes ahead with the IPO, it would be a rare instance of a local company going public. In recent years, companies have tended o raise money privately or put themselves up for sale rather than go public. Zillow is one of the few exceptions. Kirkland-based Inrix, which has such large customers as Ford Motor and Audi, collects traffic data through arrangements with government organizations that have video cameras along roads as well as input from truck fleets and a large army of consumers who use its apps. Consequently, the company's traffic data includes information not only on highway traffic but also traffic conditions on side streets. The company has raised about $68 million in venture capital. Check out our story on the company earlier this year here.
Driving opportunities through research remains his passion, as his own studies in high-performance computing, multicomputer processing and big data science have proved. An early technical adviser on the formation of Microsoft Research and a member of two national advisory committees on science and technology policy, he has promoted private and public investment in “engineering things that one day in the future will be used in game-changing products.”
Lazowska believes big data and cloud computing “lie at the heart of 21st century discovery.” He helped found and now leads the UW’s eScience Institute, a cross-campus partnership that helps scholars in fields such as astronomy, biology and sociology take advantage of data analytics to enhance their research. Given the region’s far-reaching cloud expertise, Lazowska says, “This is an area that Seattle has the potential to own.”
Lazowska’s other initiatives include promoting K-12 STEM education and promoting gender diversity in the UW program. He champions the notion that all students should study computer science to cultivate the “computational thinking” skills needed for the new century.
Lazowska marvels at the region’s transformation into a place “with distinctive and innovative activities in the broadest range of areas.” With his trademark enthusiasm for UW and the local tech industry, this celebrated educator, researcher, adviser and booster has played an important role in that transformation.
Lazowska will be inducted at the Tech Impact Awards, which will honor 19 technology leaders, at Showbox SoDo on September 21.