🆕 🎊 Boston Tech Deals: 21 Boston Financings (and 1 shutdown)
This week: a new foreign language immersion platform, a better-for-you adult chocolate milk brand, and a wearable device for treating menopause symptoms are among the funded Boston companies 🏙
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If you’re new here, I’m Abigail! I’m a mechanical-engineer-turned-investor at Hyperplane, an early-stage VC 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 players and happenings. Be sure to open this email in your browser to get the full issue.
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🌻 Happy Tuesday! If you weren’t out and about this weekend, please, allow me. Boston and the associated vibes were simply eclectic amidst a bout of fantastic weather. We have officially been teased by summer and rooftop weather, which means that by transitive property, all troubles and seasonal depression are officially problems of the past ✅ Thank you, New England.
🌳🌱🌿 My infatuation with the Arboretum calls for another announcement about Lilac Sunday, so I’m saying it again for the people in the back. Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 14th and if you're looking for a fun way to celebrate, go sniff those famous flowers on their best days of the year. Acceptable alternatives include Duckling Day and the Red Sox/Cardinals game - both also this Sunday.
Right, right, the reason you’re here. Over the last two weeks, 21 companies raised funding and 1 company shut down. The total amount of disclosed funding over the last two weeks hit $192M, not inclusive of the one early-stage startup to have raised an undisclosed amount of funding.
And so with that, let’s get into it.
Boston Financings of 4/26 - 5/8
Financings are listed from smallest to largest. Biotech financings over $80M+ are usually not covered.
The total amount of disclosed funding over the last two weeks hit $192M, not inclusive of the one early-stage startup to have raised an undisclosed amount of funding.
❤️ Abigail’s notes: Embr Labs was one of the first startups I worked for as an engineer back in the day and has remained an extra-special Boston startup, addressing thermoregulation as treatment for symptoms of menopause. Huge congrats to Matt, Sam, and Elizabeth on the continued success and fresh new capital $$$!
Redi Technologies | $50K debt | Electronics
Redi Technologies, maker of a UV-C light sanitizing chamber for reusable cups that aims to reduce the amount of single-use plastic, has raised $50K in debt from 1 investor towards a total offering amount filed for $500K. The company’s core product, RediUV, uses an array of UV-C LED lights to sanitize the outer surfaces of reusable cups, primarily targeting users in coffeehouses, eliminating over 99% of the most common germs. The company announced their product launch on LinkedIn last month.
NeuroDex | $60K | Healthcare
Provider of a platform for diagnostic neurology analysis, NeuroDex, has raised $60K in convertible debt from 1 investor towards a total offering amount of $750K. The company’s platform, ExoSORT, combines bioinformatics and lab processes to develop a full range of exosome-of-origin, minimally invasive, blood-based biologic tools. The company reportedly last raised a Seed-1 round from Formation Venture Engineering in 2022.
Linguistic | $850K | EdTech
Developer of an online platform for personalized foreign language immersion, Linguistic, has raised $850K from 8 total investors. Focusing specifically on the “inputs and outputs” of language fluency, Linguistic aims to replace tools like Duolingo. Linguistic was cofounded by Stanford alum and current MIT PhD, Victoria Pu, and edtech software engineer and designer, Tyler Nickerson.
Monit | $1.25M | FinTech
Monit, a financial optimization platform for banks to issue to their small and medium business (SMB) clients, has raised $1.75M from 4 investors towards a total offering amount of $2.5M. Part of the 2021 MassChallenge Fintech cohort, Monit offers banks a white-label, SMB-facing web app for insights into cashflows and portfolio management. The company reportedly last raised a $5.2M Seed round led by fintech fund, TTV Capital.
SidelineSwap | $3.5M | Sports Tech
Online marketplace for new and used sporting goods, SidelineSwap, has announced a strategic investment from eBay Ventures and Dick’s Sporting Goods of $3.5M. SidelineSwap’s Trade-in Platform includes pop-up events, in-store and online trade-in options for brands and retailers, and a suite of tools for resellers. Businesswire has more.
CoFi | $3.5M | Healthcare IT
Multi-party payments platform for healthcare, CoFi, has raised $3.5M from 12 investors. CoFi collects a single payment directly from the patient for each party involved in a procedure (e.g., ophthalmologist, optometrist, ambulatory surgery center). According to LinkedIn, CoFi has seen 400% growth since Jan 2022 with over 1200 doctors on the platform. The company reportedly last raised a $2M Seed round from Skylark Private Equity Partners late 2021.
Allarity Therapeutics | $3.7M | Healthcare
Allarity Therapeutics, a clinical-stage, public (NASDAQ: ALLR) oncology therapeutics company, has raised $3.7M of debt and secured promissory notes. Allarity recently announced the pricing for various share classes that would amount to a $7.5M offering. This comes on the heels of a 1-for-35 reverse stock split intended to fulfill the Nasdaq’s listing requirement regarding minimum share price, as well as to increase the company’s per share trading price.
SciAps | $4M | Electronics
SciAps, maker of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and laser-based (LIBS) analyzers that measure elemental concentrations in various materials, has raised $4M from 2 investors towards a total offering amount of $7M. Their products, a Z and X series of material analyzers, analyze metals and geochemical material. According to a public Form D filing, the company last raised $6.6M from 12 investors earlier this year.
Slate Craft Goods | $4.4M | CPG
Producer of craft chocolate milk and a Shark Tank no-dealer, Slate Milk, has raised $4.4M from 11 total investors towards a Series A round that is targeting $10.5M. With no added sugar and 20g of protein all sub-120 calories, Slate offers three varieties: classic, dark chocolate, and espresso-flavored. The company has raised $17.5M to date- existing investors include notable celebrity angel investors, Riverpark Ventures, and Bantam Group, among others.
Ledgebrook | $4.6M | InsurTech
Ledgebrook, an insurtech MGA startup, has closed a $4.6M funding round on an uncapped SAFE note led by Markd with participation from Brand Foundry Ventures. Founded by Gage Caligaris, the company leverages Gage’s prior insurance experience at Liberty Mutual and aims to offer a seamless quoting experience to its wholesale broker partners. PRNewswire has more.
Rhapsody Health | $5.2M | Healthcare IT
Rhapsody Health, formerly Lyniate, delivers data interoperability solutions for healthcare providers to connect, classify, and clean data. Rhapsody raised $5.2M from 2 total investors towards an uncapped total offering amount. Originally founded as Rhapsody in 2018, the company renamed in 2019 to Lyniate following its merger with Corepoint Health. After four years, the company has elected to come back to it’s roots. Rhapsody and Corepoint engines serve to address data-sharing challenges in healthcare.
InSpring | $6M | HR Tech
Full-stack talent mobility platform aiming to address staffing shortages in industries like nursing and IT, InSpring, has reportedly raised a $6M Seed round from undisclosed investors. InSpring recently partnered with OutSystems to offer candidates a catalog of OutSystems low-code training programs and receive an OutSystems certification. The Boston Globe has more.
LAPIX Therapeutics | $6M | Healthcare
Developer of therapeutics for immune system modulation, LAPIX Therapeutics, has raised $6M from 32 total investors towards a total equity offering of $14.6M. LAPIX is a clinical-stage biotech currently in the midst of a 200-subject prospective study to evaluate responses to a LAPIX therapy. Cofounders Anas Pathallah and Jason Norris were both deeply involved with biologics startup, Elektrofi before starting LAPIX. The company last raised $1.25M on a SAFE note from 7 investors.
Violet Therapeutics | $7.5M | Healthcare
Violet Therapeutics, a stealth therapeutics startup incubated by Partners HealthCare Innovation that lists Meredith Fisher, Partner at Mass General Brigham Ventures as a Director and Executive, has raised $7.5M from 4 investors towards a total offering amount of $11.5M. Also named to the board are Jonathan Behr, Partner in the Dementia Discovery Fund of SV Health Ventures, and Bill Yelle, ex-CEO of Aldea Pharmaceuticals and currently the CEO of FireCyte Therapeutics.
Xsphera Biosciences | $12.6M | Healthcare
Xsphera Biosciences, a precision immuno-oncology company licensing technology originally developed at Dana-Farber, has raised $12.6M from 40 investors towards a total offering filed for $20M. Xsphera’s cloud platform preserves a cancer tumor’s microenvironment and enables ex-vivo single-variable testing for applications in drug development. The company reportedly last raised $5M in Seed funding from undisclosed investors.
4D Path | $13M | Healthcare
4D Path, provider of an image-based diagnostic for personalized oncology applications, has raised $13M from 49 investors towards a total offering amount filed for $17M. 4D Path’s FDA-approved software-as-a-medical-device uses biopsy images to identify tumor-specific phenotypic and genotypic fingerprints for informing treatment selection. The company last raised a $6.4M Seed-3 round of financing in 2020.
Insurify | $22.5M | InsurTech
Insurance marketplace for comparison shopping, Insurify, has raised $22.5M from 4 total investors. The company offers a virtual insurance agent that integrates with more than 100 carriers to digitize insurance shopping, acting as a fully licensed agent. Insurify CEO, Snejina Zacharia teamed up with Insurify CPO, Tod Kiryazov and her husband Giorgos Zacharia, formerly the CTO of KAYAK and now President, to build Insurify in 2013. The company last raised a $100M Series B round led by Motive Partners.
UWill | $30M | EdTech
Mental health and wellness platform for college students, UWill, has raised $30M Series A round led by PE firm, Education Growth Partners. Currently serving 150 colleges and 1.5M students, UWill helps campus counseling centers to handle the overwhelming student demand for mental health support by offering a student and therapist matching platform. The company previously raised from notable angel investors.
Embr Labs | $35M debt | Healthcare
Embr Labs, maker of The Embr Wave®, a wearable device for treating symptoms of menopause, has raised $35M in IP-based debt from GT Investment Partners and Aon plc. Backed by clinical research, The Embr Wave® sits on your wrist and delivers cooling or warming sensations at the touch of a button to give users control over hot flashes and related menopause symptoms. The Wave is most recently available via Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, FSA Store and HSA Store, BestBuy, and Target. The company last raised $6M from 11 investors.
Convergent Dental | $50M debt, equity | Healthcare
Makers of Solea®, a needle-less, drill-less dental laser for soft tissue procedures, Convergent Dental, has raised $10M in equity led by existing investors Arboretum Ventures and Gund Investment and $40M of growth capital via credit facility from Trinity Capital. Convergent Dental’s Solea enables dentists to perform virtually anesthesia-free, blood-free, and pain-free procedures. Read the announcement here.
Phuc Labs | $ Unknown (Early) | ClimateTech
Founded by two cofounders named Phuc, Phuc Labs develops hydro robotic systems to automate the process of collecting e-waste from water streams. Phuc Labs has reportedly raised an undisclosed amount of capital from Ideaship, a fund helping early-stage companies leverage IP for venture-backed growth. Using computer vision, Phuc’s Vision Valve product targets the demand for rare earth metals by recovering them from end-of-life products. The company raised crowdfunding of $185K earlier this year.
Seeker Biologics | Shutdown | Healthcare
Boston-based therapeutics spinout from 5AM Ventures’ 4:59 program, Seeker Biologics, has reportedly shut down operations, according to a LinkedIn post by Jarrat Jordan, the company’s Head of Biology. According to EndPoint News, “The biotech had been trying to raise nearly $60 million under its original banner of Fleet Therapeutics in 2021, with at least $24 million in fuel over the past few years. It’s unclear why the company shut down, and executives did not immediately respond to a request from Endpoints News.”
All for now!
Your Macro Briefing + Headlines 📉
Covering the upcoming numbers to watch for (🔜) , the relevant numbers of last week (🔙), and the tech headlines of the last two weeks (🆕).
🔜 Economy watch this week:
📣 Earnings: Calendar here.
👀 What else to watch this week:
🏦 Banks to keep an eye on: PacWest (still down 75% YTD after value was effectively halved on Thursday), First Horizon (down 33% after TD pulls $13B purchase), Western Alliance (-38% on Thursday), and Zion Bank.
Note worthy: Fed data from end of April shows deposits at U.S. commercial banks sunk to the lowest levels in nearly two years.
🥊 Standoff: Biden and McCarthy plan to sit down this week to avoid a default over the debt limit. Biden wants to raise the borrowing limit, and McCarthy says he won’t approve a deal that doesn’t cut spending.
🟥 Red Square unrest: Despite general uncertainty, instability, and security concerns, Russia will still host demonstrations for Victory Day, a major public holiday in Russia.
🎉 And Abigail’s birthday is next Wednesday (:
🔙 Economy watch last two weeks:
📈 Hold the line: Interest rates are now above the benchmark rate of 5% after The Fed unanimously hiked them by 25 bps. Powell stressed that rate cuts in 2023 were not part of the current outlook.
👨💼 Wishful thinking?: Initial jobless claims in the US increased more than expected to 242,000. The climb suggests some cooling in a resilient labor market, although Goolsbee says a June rate hike is “way too premature”.
💸 The saga continues: PacWest is in talks over potential sale as the latest regional bank to feel the pressure after FRB was sold to JPM Chase last week. PacWest says its cash and available liquidity are solid.
🛒 Still got it: Earnings for consumer companies like Coca-Cola and P&G this quarter prove they still have pricing power amidst high interest rates.
🚢 Consolidate to dominate: Flexport acquires Shopify’s logistics arm. Shopify will receive stock that represents a roughly 13% equity interest in Flexport.
🗞 Wartime wordsmiths: The Associated Press won two Pulitzer Prizes for the Ukraine war coverage, and The New York Times earned the international reporting honor.
🚔 An Elizabeth Holmes rebrand?: Now going by Liz, the infamous ex-CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes attempts to pull on your heartstrings in an interview by the NYT while preparing to serve her prison sentence.
🚫 Putting the “secure” in securities since 1934: SEC has cracked down on stock repurchases, requiring companies to provide daily updates and enact policies to limit insider trading during buyback programs.
🇮🇱 + 🇵🇸 conflict: After an agreed ceasefire days ago, Israeli air raids over the Gaza Strip that reportedly targeted the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement resulted in several civilian casualties. The conflict remains heightened.
🎥 Trouble in Hollywood: The Writers Guild of America (representing 11500 screenwriters) went on strike last week, freezing several popular shows, amidst a riff that could last months with media companies over contracts and compensation structures.
🍼Oh, you’re in labor? See you in two weeks: Elon Musk has reportedly done away with Twitter's competitive parental leave policy, slashing it’s parental leave from 20 weeks to two weeks plus whatever is legally mandated by state.
🐎 Not a unicorn in sight: Seven horses died at Churchill Downs before the 149th Kentucky Derby, prompting eyebrows from animal rights activists. Jockey Javier Castellano finally won on Magen after attempting 15 times, finishing in 2:01.57.
🧃 First-Lady-turned-founder: Michelle Obama launches PLEZi, a food-and-drink brand aimed at offering kids healthier alternatives to high-sugar options.
⚡️ The 500-pound, renewable gorilla: Amazon is the largest buyer of renewable energy, having purchased 10.1 gigawatts of renewable energy last year.
🎤 Go right ahead: Artist Grimes launched Elf.Tech this week, an AI model trained on her voice, offering fans a 50/50 royalty split.
🐶 Feeling down? Not for long!: Boston restaurants and breweries with outdoor space can now request to be a part of Boston’s approved “dog-friendly” spaces, and could be ready to welcome dogs as early as June 1st.
🏬 Retail panic: Macys leans into a new expansion strategy amidst anchor mall stores closing, opening 5 more of their mini strip mall stores, called Market by Macy’s and Bloomie’s. Meanwhile, Nordstrom closes SF stores, signaling the increasing pressure on merchants.
📱 Boston Tech Startup Feature: Vendori (Just launched)
Frustrated with his experience managing sales processes at Fortune 100 companies, Ethan Garonzik decided to build a better solution for B2B sales teams: a no-code dealmaking platform. Vendori, a Boston-based startup launched in April, aims to address quoting and sales process challenges including price discipline, complex product quoting, time-to-close, channel / reseller management, and pipeline analytics. The company provides B2B sales teams with a no-code Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) and dealmaking platform and doesn’t require custom implementation. The company offers a fremium version of the product for quote creation and tiered pricing for process manager and enterprise plans.
🧑💼 Tech and Biz
Tonight, May 9th 6-9PM: Young Professionals in Energy Boston hosts a May Happy Hour.
Monday, May 15th: 2023 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium
Thursday, May 18th: Earth Night 2023 at Fenway Park
2nd Tuesday of every month: Community Data Training by Boston Area Research Initiative
Wednesday, May 31st: Verizon Forward For Good Health Equity Accelerator Showcase
Sunday, May 14th: Duckling Day and Lilac Sunday and Mother’s Day
Sunday, May 21st: Cadillac Day at Larz Anderson kicks off the annual Lawn Event season of weekend car shows at Larz Anderson, featuring a growing collection of American and European cars all summer long.
May 26th-28th: Boston Calling Music Festival
June 4th: Kelleher Rose Garden 2022 Bloom
Relevant Reads (Just a few!)
First Round writes about how to sell to your startup and navigating the M&A process as a founder.
$40B poured into climatetech investments in 2022. CTVC has quite the extensive breakdown.
Restaurants are using “premium reservation” offerings to target big spenders.
Hustle Fund’s Elizabeth Yin writes about startup leadership during a crisis.
Nicole Quinn, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures, wrote a 4-part blog series addressing the influencer ecosystem.