15 Boston Companies Raised $178M 🚀 Your Two-Week Funding Roundup and More
The last two weeks in Boston fundings: 15 companies raised $178M. Lots to cover on the macro front, plus some Boston features that should be on your radar!
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If you’re new here, I’m Abigail! I’m a mechanical-engineer-turned-investor at Hyperplane, a venture capital firm in Boston investing in seed stage machine learning companies. Every two weeks, this newsletter serves to list Boston’s latest financings and highlight ecosystem happenings.
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Lots to cover this week!
The last two weeks of Boston financings saw relatively concentrated activity across healthcare and healthcare IT, plus, plenty of macro stories that should be on your radar and some local stuff to check out happening this week through April. Short (kinda) and sweet- let’s get into it.
Boston Financings of 3/14-3/27
Financings are listed from smallest to largest. Biotech financings over $80M+ are usually not covered.
Cloud Dentistry | $100K | Healthcare IT
Cloud Dentistry, an interactive software platform for booking dental staff on demand, has raised $100K from 2 undisclosed investors. The total equity offering was for $2.3M. Cloud Dentistry aims to address the fragmented dental industry, one in which ~50% of staff are temps or part-time hires, resulting in high turnover and reliability concerns. According to Pitchbook, the company last raised a $4.27M round from Collective Capital Ventures in 2022.
AxioMed | $320K | Healthcare
Developer of medical devices for degenerative spine diseases, AxioMed, has filed a total equity offering for $30M of which they have raised $320K from 6 total investors. The offering was initially filed for $12M and has since been amended to a $30M. According to their website, “KIC Ventures Group and over 10 other investment firms, key expert surgeon leaders and engineers have invested over $85 million since 2001 to bring AxioMed technology to patients.”
College Guidance Network | $375K | Education Tech
Cambridge-based E-learning provider for college-bound high school students, College Guidance Network, has raised $375K from 8 total investors. The company offers a free series for students and parents navigating the college admissions process, and according to an early investor, the platform can be described as a Zoom-based MasterClass for college admissions guidance. According a previous filing, the company raised a $1.16M round reportedly led by Chaos Ventures in 2022.
BinStar | $918K | E-Commerce
E-commerce enablement company, BinStar, has raised $918,000 from 32 total investors including Ben Weiss. The stealth-mode company has a very sparse online presence, although, according to LinkedIn, the company claims to be “making retail landfill-free by turning returns into treasure for customers”. Co-founders Jack Laughlin and Ben Weiss have posted about a launch coming soon.
Guided Clinical Solutions | $3M | Healthcare IT
Newly launched and developed in conjunction with MGH by MGH anesthesiologist Karen C. Nanji, MD, MPH, Guided Clinical Solutions is a clinical decision support (CDS) platform that aims to reduce medication errors in the operating room by more than 95%. According to a Form D filing, the company raised $3M from 2 investors, listing Farad Nanji of MFN Partners as the President. MassGen has more.
DermBiont | $4.7M (Debt Financing) | Therapeutics
Developer of topical therapeutics for imbalances of the skin microbiome, DermBiont, has raised $4.7M in debt from 69 investors. DermBiont leverages computational biology and a bioinformatics platform for identifying the clinical relevance of certain microbes. The company last raised $2.5M of debt financing in 2022, and their last equity round was a $28M Series A2 led by Pivotal Life Sciences with participation from Olive Tree Capital, among others.
Droplette | $5.6M | Consumer Electronics
MIT-founded smart skincare device manufacturer, Droplette, has added an additional $5.6M of funding to their originally $15.4M Series B round led by Spark Capital and Victress Capital in 2021. The round has been amended to a $30M total equity offering. The Droplette device, an ultrasonic piezoelectric transducer, is NASA- and NIH-backed and works to penetrate skincare ingredients 20x deeper into the skin than topical applications by aerosolizing serums into a micro-mist and expelling them at high velocity against the skin.
Recorded Future | $9.4M | Cybersecurity
Recorded Future, a company acquired by Insight Partners in 2019 that offers enterprise intelligence for security threat protection, has raised $9.4M towards an $11.3M total equity offering from 129 investors. The company filed the offering under the entity name RF Ultimate Parent, Inc. and lists the current CEO, CFO and existing investors as directors. Perhaps a clue as to why they have pursued further financing, Recorded Future recently acquired Hatching in June of 2022.
Beaconcure | $10M | Healthcare IT
Clinical trial data analytics and automation platform aimed at reducing compliance-related inefficiencies of clinical trials, Beaconcure, has raised $10M of a $14M total equity offering from 3 undisclosed investors. Beaconcure works with global pharmaceutical companies to shorten timelines to submission for regulatory approval by the FDA. The company last raised a $2M Seed round in late 2021.
Vanu | $15M | Telecommunications
Founded by Vanu Bose, son of the founder of Bose Corp., Vanu, a developer of software Radio Access Network (RAN) solutions that enable cellular coverage in rural areas, has raised $15M from 6 total investors. Vanu last raised an $8.8M Series C round from VestedWorld and others. The company has recently helped scale network coverage in several parts of rural Africa.
Micro Medical Solutions | $16.8M | Healthcare
Developer of microvascular intervention therapies designed to reduce the number of preventable amputations, Micro Medical Solutions, has raised $16.8M of a $40M total equity offering from 87 total investors. The funding comprises of a cash purchase and a promissory note conversion. Micro Medical’s FDA-approved device, the MicroStent vascular stent enables vessel patency and enhancement of wound treatment for certain amputee patients.
InterWell Topco, operating under InterWell Health | $18M | Healthcare
InterWell Health, a kidney care management company, has completed a three-way merger with Fresenius Health Partners and Cricket Health to create a kidney care powerhouse that is reportedly valued at $2.4 billion. The new company, InterWell Topco L.P. (NewCo), has raised $18.3M from 27 investors and will operate under the InterWell Health brand, according to Fresenius Q3 22 earnings report. InterWell Health last raised a $46M Series B round in 2021.
Paragonix | $24M | Healthcare
Developer of preservation devices for organ transport, Paragonix, has raised a $23.7M Series B led by Signet Healthcare Partners. In 2022, over 1 in 5 thoracic organs transplanted in the U.S. were preserved and transported using a Paragonix device. Paragonix plans to use the fresh capital for the extension of clinical service offerings and inventory expansion. Businesswire has more.
Aldena Therapeutics | $30M | Therapeutics
Aldena Therapeutics, a company developing siRNA-based therapies for dermatological applications based on research from UMass’s Chan Medical School, announced they have raised a $30M financing round led by Medicxi. Their technology is based on research developed by Julia Alterman, PhD, and creates medicinal skin creams containing microscopic STAR particles comprised of microneedle projections. PRNewswire has more.
Zus Health | $40M | Healthcare IT
Healthcare data platform providing solutions for health tech developers, Zus Health, announced a $40M round of funding from 22 total investors including JAZZ Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital, Maverick Ventures, and a16z. Part of the announcement included a partnership with Elation Health to integrate Zus’s platform into their product, a step forward for healthcare data interoperability. PR Newswire has more.
All for now! Stay tuned for the next Tech Deals Spillover, a Twitter thread I plan to post on off-weeks to highlight some additional filings that didn’t make this issue’s cut.
Your macro briefing (lots to cover…) 📉
🗓 The docket this week: This week’s earnings schedule.
Tuesday we can expect the US Consumer Confidence numbers, Thursday we'll get Q4 GDP growth and Corporate Profits, and Friday we’ll see the Consumer Sentiment index.
🏦 This week in, Bad (and… good?) News About Banks: US Banks had about $620B in unrealized losses on securities at the end of 2022. Plus, a highly anticipated deal qualifies First-Citizens Bank as now one of the 25 largest banks in America after purchasing SVB’s assets at a $16.5B discount. UBS acquires scandal-ridden Credit Suisse.
😈 Jack Dorsey’s latest nightmare: Block shares were down 14% after short seller Hindenberg Research published a report alleging rampant fraud via Cash App, Block’s flagship product. CNBC explains the ramifications.
🤑 Not quite ready to bury the hatchet: Balaji Srinivasan, formerly the CTO of Coinbase and General Partner at a16z, placed a $2M bet that Bitcoin would be worth $1M by June 17th of this year. His theory is here.
⬇️ The latest hit: Citing a violation of US trading laws, The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is suing Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange.
🔥 The ultimate hype beasts: VC’s have invested $5.9 billion in generative AI since the beginning of 2022. Reuter’s adds color.
🚩 ChatGPT-4’s red flags: Released last week, GPT-4 was supposed to be 82% less likely to respond to requests for disallowed content than GPT-3.5. But a study found that when asked to generate propaganda, ChatGPT-4’s responses were longer and more persuasive.
📉 Ouch: Twitter is now said to be valued at $20B (remember when Elon took the company private at a $44B valuation months ago).
🔋 Move over, China: South Korean-based LG Energy plans to build a $5.6B battery plant in the US to serve EV manufacturers in North America, likely a result of new US subsidies aimed at decreasing US reliance on China.
⏳ A long ways to go: The World Bank estimates that Ukraine will need $411 billion to rebuild. They last forecast $349B in September.
🏙 Boston’s getting bigger and taller: South Station Tower, scheduled for a 2025 completion, will be the fifth largest building in Boston at 51 stories of offices, residences, a restaurant and more. Infrastructure improvements for the MBTA will be in order.
💁♀️ Brady’s still got it: I mean, of course he does. But as it applies to the retirement life, Tom Brady isn’t holding back from new chapters- he recently announced an ownership stake in the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.
🏡 Locally Owned Small Business of the Week: Silver Dove Afternoon Tea
Silver Dove Afternoon Tea is a new tearoom located near the Government Center T stop independently owned and operated by two alums of the Seaport cocktail bar, Drink. Silver Dove offers a set menu ($48 per person, or $56 with one alcoholic drink) inclusive of one pot of tea of your choice and a tower of savory and sweet bites. Silver Dove’s kitchen is completely gluten-free.
📱 Boston Tech Startup Feature: Via Separations (Series B)
Founded in 2016 as a spinout of MIT by PhDs in Professor Jeffrey Grossman’s group, Shreya Dave and Brent Keller, Via Separations has developed a membrane filtration system for decarbonizing industrial separation processes, slashing energy use in such separation processes by 90% and saving customers $7M to $10M per annual deployment. Via’s initial target is black liquor, the highly alkaline broth of lignin, and other residues left over from wood pulping, a process that accounts for 2.5% of US energy consumption. They were recently awarded a grant of $9.75M from the US Department of Energy, and their last venture round was a $38M Series B led by NGP ETP.
⭐️ Add ‘Em To Your Radar: Daniel Dart of Dynamo Ventures
Daniel Dart is a published activist, artist, economist, and social entrepreneur with a wild story. I met him for the first time a few months ago shortly after he relocated to Boston for an executive MBA at MIT, and if first impressions mattered, I imagine he would frequently win the contest for most memorable. He’s currently an investor at Dynamo Ventures, but that’s not why I’m highlighting him.
Daniel’s story is atypical, and not the same type of atypical that every VC uses to describe their path into venture. He went from being homeless on the streets of San Diego and LA in 1999-2001 to forming the prominent punk-rock band, Time Again, to working in finance in London, to leading development projects for the UN in Gaza, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria, and even spent a few years as a janitor and a maid. Now, Daniel is investing in early-stage tech companies within blue-collar industries, empowering the people and communities he grew up in.
🧑💼 Tech and Biz
This Thursday, March 30th 5-8PM: Greentown Labs hosts EnergyBar: Go Make 2022 Final Showcase for Go Make 2022, an accelerator for startup-corporate partnerships in supply chains, developed with Mitsubishi and M-Lab Companies.
Also this Thursday, March 30th 5:30-7PM: Harvard i-Lab hosts The Future of AI and Diversity with Rana el Kaliouby.
Tuesday, April 4th 6-9PM: Women and Wine Wednesdays hosted by Sloan Alumni Association.
Friday, April 7th 9-5:30PM: MIT Annual Microbiome Symposium.
Thursday, April 13th 10AM-12PM: Innovation Studio hosts a monthly coffee get-together for Boston entrepreneurs.
Thursday, March 30th: Red Sox home opener against the Baltimore Orioles!!
Saturdays 9:30-1:30PM: Somerville Winter Farmers Market ends their 12th season on April 8th!
Relevant Reads (Just a few!)
The specialist VC’s edge. An argument for why generalist early-stage investors should more closely associate themselves with specific industries to win in this market.
A development in the evolving discussion around AI innovation. Should content developers receive compensation for helping to develop OpenAI’s technology if their content was used to train GPT’s models? Media executives certainly think so.
What is emergence in AI? “The appearance of novel behavior.” As they grow, Large Language Models (LLMs) experience emergence in gaining new abilities. The article serves to break down how this happens and what opportunities emerge (no pun intended) as a result.
A deep dive in understanding the gender care gap in the healthcare system. Jess Scharm from Swift Arc Ventures writes about the systemic problems that lead to marginalization.
The WSJ explores cases for generative AI in healthcare, highlighting examples such as Abridge AI, which helps doctors write notes after seeing their patients, and Syntegra, a startup creating realistic copies of patient data for research.