Boston Tech Deals: 26 Boston Companies That Raised Over $765M + more 🥳
Cengage took $500M of that. Otherwise, AI-based search trained on research papers, reservoir stimulation for geothermal energy harnessing, and a tool to measure physician value are among the fundings!
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If you’re new here, welcome to the show! I’m Abigail, a mechanical-engineer-turned-investor at Hyperplane, an early-stage venture capital firm in Boston investing in seed stage companies that automate technically-rigorous problems. 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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What a week in weather. Some were skiing, some were tanning. New England spring is upon us, folks! Between Lilac Sunday at the Arboretum (my favorite day of the entire year) coming May 14th (nicely timed with Mother’s Day), the Cisco Brewers fangirls and guys lining up a mile down the street, and Boston Calling bringing the Lumineers to town, we’re about to shed Boston winter.
Cengage threw off the aggregate total amount of funding this week as Apollo threw them $500M for their online education products. Otherwise, we have 25 startups that raised $266M in combined financings over the last two weeks across debt, options, grants, and equity fundraising vehicles.
And so, with that, let’s get into it.
**(since corrected: MassVentures did not lead Eden GeoPower’s $7.7M round)
Boston Financings of 4/11- 4/25
Financings are listed from smallest to largest. Biotech financings over $80M+ are usually not covered.
Edifii | $125K SAFE note | EdTech
A stealth online edTech company without a website, Edifii, has raised $125K in the form of a SAFE note from 6 investors. Listed on the filing as Executives and Directors are Izzat Jarudi, PhD, and MIT Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Pawan Sinha. Professor Sinha and Jarudi have co-authored research papers as early as 2003 exploring the role of different internal and external features, namely, eyebrows, in judgements derived from facial recognition.
Phairify | $150K | Healthcare IT
Phairify, developer of a web-based platform for healthcare stakeholders to measure physician value anonymously, has raised $150K from 2 investors towards a $550K total equity offering filed on 4/11. Phairify gives physicians their fair market value based on a set of survey questions specific to their specialty, and offers anonymized data on professional value to specialty groups and recruiters.
Chasm Advanced Materials | $500K debt | Materials
Inventor and manufacturer of advanced carbon nanotube materials designed for sustainability advantages in industries where the alternative is less climate-friendly, Chasm, has raised $500K in debt from 1 total investor towards a $15M total offering amount, according to the filing. The company has four material product offerings for industrial, automotive, and energy markets. Chasm last raised a $15M Series C led by WAVE Equity Partners in late 2021.
Purinomia Biotech | $500K debt | Healthcare
Purimnomia Biotech, a clinical-stage biotech developing therapeutics for cancer and inflammatory diseases, has raised $500K in debt from 1 investor. The company is focused on small molecule and biological development targeting key extracellular enzymes for the treatment of cancer, autoimmunity, inflammatory disease, and metabolic syndrome.
Wellprept | $610K | Healthcare IT
Doctor-to-patient content delivery platform, Wellprept, has raised $610K on a SAFE note from 23 total investors. Wellprept allows clinicians to send patients content specific to a clinician’s specialty before they arrive for their appointment, theoretically replacing a patient’s self-educating tendencies on Google. The company was founded by pedigreed urologist, David Canes named one of nearly 2000 top doctors in Boston Magazine.
Found Energy | $696K - Update | ClimateTech
Developer of modular fuel packs that deliver high purity hydrogen on demand for heavy industrial applications, Found Energy, has raised an additional $696K towards a $2.5M total offering originally filed in August of 2022 (and previously reported on in a past issue). Investors in the founder include Impact Science Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Bessemer Venture Partners. Found’s core product is enabled by a breakthrough process developed at MIT for extracting energy from metallic aluminum via rapid corrosion (rusting) in water.
Mona Lee | $1.25M | ClimateTech
Mona Lee, a B-corp-certified developer of solar panel proposal and quote automation software, has raised $125K from 1 investor towards a total offering filed for $3M. Using just inputs of monthly energy cost and address, the company generates optimization plans for solar panel installation, claiming to bring the average solar panel installation cost of $3.30 per watt down to as low as $1.68 per watt. More on their tech here.
Kebotix | $2.2M | Materials
Kebotix, an AI-platform for new materials discovery, has raised $2.2M from 11 investors towards a $4M total offering. Kebotix’s product aims to condense the materials R&D research cycle from a decade to a period of months, enabling scientists and experts to discover new materials. Their product offerings include complete solutions for custom material discovery and enterprise solutions for workflow automation of R&D workflows. The company last raised an $11.5M Series A led by Novo Holdings with participation from One Way Ventures, Flybridge Ventures, and Safer Partners among others.
Consensus | $3M | AI Search
AI-powered search engine platform trained on 200 million scientific research papers and aimed at scientific research, Consensus, has raised a $3M Seed round led by Draper Associates. In partnership with OpenAI, Consensus aims to address a significant problem in searching for expert information by providing recent and relevant sources in synthesizing answers. The company accesses a customized GPT-4 API developed with OpenAI to deliver a scientific AI search engine experience. VentureBeat has more.
Imago Rehab | $3.41M | Healthcare
Provider of a robot-assisted virtual clinic for upper-limb rehabilitation, Imago Rehab, has raised $3.41M from 44 investors. Developed at Harvard in 2021, Imago Rehab’s teletherapy platform helps those with upper limb impairments to restore arm function. The company is an industry partner for a grant-awarded project awarded by the state to Harvard and BU that aims to develop next-generation robotics and wearable technologies.
Developer of super-capacitors powered by Neocarbonix™ electrodes for withstanding harsh conditions, Nanoramic Labs, previously known as FastCAP Systems, has raised an additional $3.6M in equity, debt, and other securities towards its $22M total offering amount originally filed back in 2020, of which the company has sold $20.8M to date. The company was co-founded in 2009 by MIT PhD John Cooley and ultimately pivoted in 2014 when the oil markets crashed, forcing FastCAP Systems to completely restructure and pivot into energy storage products. Read their story here.
Fiverty | $4M | Cybersecurity
Anti-fraud collaboration platform for financial institutions, Fiverity, has raised $4M led by Mendon Venture Partners with participation from Mendoza Ventures and FinCapital, among others. The company raised $2M in 2021 in a round led by Mendoza Ventures. Founded by Greg Woolf while at the DCU FinTech Center, Fiverity employs real-time anonymous information-sharing abilities to help financial institutions prevent digital identity fraud. FinSME’s has more.
Mobb | $5.4M | DevOps
Automatic vulnerability detector for developers, Mobb, has raised $5.4M led by Angel Investor Ariel Maislos with participation from MizMaa Ventures and Cyber Club London, among others. Founded by cybersecurity professionals, Eitan Worcel (CEO) and Jonathan Afek (CTO), Mobb aims to reduce security backlogs by prompting developers to upload SAST results and follow prompts to commit the fixes. Developers can try the free community tool here. PR Newswire has more.
Biostage | $6M private placement | Healthcare
Biostage, a publicly traded company (OTCQB: BSTG) developing esophageal implants using Cellspan technology, combining a biocompatible scaffold with a patient's own cells to create an esophageal implant, has raised $6M from 14 total investors in a private placement of its shares of common stock. Biostage plans to use the funds for an FDA-approved ten-patient phase one and phase two clinical trial of its implants. This financing is the latest round of quite a few post-IPO equity financings in the form of private placements the company has sold. Global News Wire has more.
Eden GeoPower | $7.7M | ClimateTech
Geological engineering company developing reservoir stimulation technology for applications in the geothermal, mining, and petroleum industries, Eden Geopower, has raised $7.7M from 9 total investors towards a total offering of $11.9M,
reportedly led by MassVentures. Founded by MIT Earth Resources Lab researchers, Eden aims to extract Earth’s geothermal heat and natural resources sustainably for applications like geothermal energy production and carbon-negative mining.
(since corrected: MassVentures did not lead this round)
HelloTeam | $10M | HR Tech
Employee retention and management platform, HelloTeam, has raised a $10M Series A, of which $7 million was from billionaire Tom Golisano, founder of payroll company Paychex. Founded by Tanya Bakalov, previously the founder of networking monitoring company, SevOne, HelloTeam aims to reduce employee turnover with current clients such as the Netflix show The Home Edit and artificial intelligence company Precision AI. The company reportedly has revenue in the single digit millions last year and will use this funding to lean into AI-based potential. Forbes has more.
ClinOne | $10.5M | Healthcare IT
ClinOne, a healthcare IT startup aiming to automate certain aspects of the clinical trial process, has raised $10.5M from 43 investors towards a total offering filed for $12.4M. ClinOne announced this round as a $3M Series A led by Boulder Ventures. The company aims to improve clinical trial outcomes by engaging healthcare professionals and streamlining the consent process, among other enablement offerings. The company last raised a $3.6M round (also named a Series A) from CU Healthcare Innovation Fund in 2020. The latest announcement is here.
Sapphiros | $11M grant | Healthcare
Sapphiros, a growth stage support and investment vehicle for a portfolio of consumer diagnostic companies, has been awarded a $11M grant from the NIH. Sapphiros was developed by KKR and Neoenta in 2021 in partnership with Namal Nawana, the former CEO of both Smith & Nephew and Alere, with the intention of leveraging resources from both parties to support their portfolio. The grant was awarded to develop an over-the-counter diagnostic test that can detect RSV, influenza A, influenza B and COVID-19 in a single test. PR Newswire has more.
Now Media TopCo (NowThis spinout of Vox Media) | $20M | Media
NowThis, a viral political news site acquired by Vox Media just over a year ago, is now spinning out as an independent media company with a $20M equity offering from 4 total investors. According to the NYT, Accelerate Change, a nonprofit media lab, is backing the deal, allowing Vox Media to step away from operating while still reaping financial benefits. NowThis will expand its viral TikTok and Instagram video coverage to climate change, abortion rights, and gun legislation in addition to politics. More on Accelerate Change here.
Nth Cycle | $20M | ClimateTech
Nth Cycle, a company employing electro-extraction technology to process rare earth metals, has raised $20M from 12 investors towards a total offering filed for $50M. Nth Cycle aims to address the heavy cost of achieving a reliable critical mineral supply, using electricity and carbon filters for the recovery of critical minerals from discarded batteries, low-grade ores, and mine site waste. They last raised a $12.5M Series A led by Frankstahl and VoLo Earth. The company won second place at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference in 2021.
Volumez | $20M | Data Infra
Developer of cloud infrastructure enablement platform, Volumez, has raised $20M Series A led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. Volumez’s cloud volume orchestrator platform enables easier management of data infrastructure. The company brought on Amir Faintuch as CEO, previously a Senior VP of Computing, Storage and Wired Infrastructure business at GlobalFoundries. PR Newswire has more.
Appex | $26.5M | Accelerator
Appex, a company that aims to fuel mobile app startup growth by providing founders with support and resources across business operations, product management, growth strategy, and engineering, has raised $26.5M from 79 total investors. Appex is currently operating in stealth-mode, although according to Pitchbook, the company raised a $17M early-stage round from Accomplice Ventures, Asymmetric Capital Partners, and Tectonic Ventures.
Gridweath | $30M | ClimateTech
Gridweath, a solar installer and developer for real estate investors and property owners, has raised $30M from Fidelity for 16 new solar projects in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that together amount to nearly 15 megawatts of emission-free electricity. The projects will allegedly have over $60M in fair-market value, according to Gridweath CEO, David Ellis. Worcester Business Journal has more.
Crossbow Therapeutics | $38M | Healthcare
A stealth-mode oncology therapeutics company founded and funded by MPM Capital, Crossbow Therapeutics, has raised $38M from 16 investors towards a total equity offering filed for $80M. According to their LinkedIn, the company is using antibody engineering to target intracellular cancer targets, developing TCR mimetic-based therapies. Briggs Morrisson, currently the CEO of Syndax Pharmaceuticals and MD at MPM Capital, is the listed CEO on the filing.
1upHealth | $40M | Healthcare IT
1upHealth, developer of a software platform for data interoperability and modern computing for healthcare applications, has raised a $40M Series C round led by Sixth Street Growth. 1upHealth’s platform fuels the 21st Century Cures Act’s push for healthcare interoperability by enabling the acquisition and management of data in the cloud. The company last raised a $25M Series B led by F-Prime Capital. The official announcement from 1upHealth has more.
Cengage | $500M | EdTech
Online edtech behemoth, Cengage, has raised $500M of a new series of convertible preferred stock subject to certain adjustments from Apollo Global Management, a deal expected to close in June of this year. Cengage’s portfolio of education businesses- Cengage Academic, Cengage Work and Cengage Select- support students’ studies and skills across 125 countries ranging in age from middle school to graduate school. 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 + Headlines 📉
Covering upcoming numbers (🔜) , the numbers of last week (🔙), and tech headlines (🆕).
🔜 Economy watch this week:
📢 Number releases: Today, we get CB Consumer Confidence and new home sales numbers. Wednesday, retail & wholesale inventories.Thursday, Q1 ‘23 GDP. Friday, personal income & spending and PCE Price Index.
📣 Earnings calendar this week from Earnings Whispers:
🏛 What else to watch this week: US House of Representatives will vote this week on a spending bill that proposes a $1.5T increase to the $31.4T debt limit and $4.5T in spending cuts.
🔙 Economy watch last two weeks:
😬 Overvalued: Tech stocks showed their best YTD performance relative to the S&P 500 since 2009. Although justifying these valuations- currently at ~25x earnings- would require rate cuts of 300bps… eek.
🛍 Ballin’ (or not) on a budget: US retail sales declined this month- sales dropped 1% YoY beating expectations of -0.4%. Consumers are spending less on the big ticket items.
📈 Bank earnings: JPMorgan, now the largest bank in America ($3.7T in assets), released Q1 earnings. Revenue was up 25% YoY thanks to net interest income (accounting for 50% of total revenue), a direct result of the Fed’s rising interest rates.
💹 Global stage: China beat the expected Q1 economic growth rate of 4%, coming in at 4.5%. Growth was thanks to retail sales, infrastructure investment, exports and property prices (while wages, construction, and private investments remained weaker).
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: BlackRock is reevaluating its notable 60/40 investment strategy amidst economic changes. BlackRock strategists are planning to allocate capital more heavily into public equities and bonds (surprise, surprise). According to BlackRock,
“Strategists recommend looking at specific equity sectors, such as energy or healthcare, and selecting companies with robust cash flows and resilient supply chains that can endure a recession.”
💸 Trendy: Apple launched a new high-yield savings account with Goldman Sachs that offers a 4.15% annual yield rate (10x the national average rate).
⏳ Is a civil war in the cards? Amidst ongoing conflict in Sudan, the Sudanese Armed Forces and RSF agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire that started last night at midnight. Heavy artillery and gunfire have since been reported in the city of Omdurman.
🪞 A bad bet? Lululemon reportedly inquired with Hydrow, a smart rowing machine, about the appetite for a sale of its at-home fitness business Mirror that the company acquired for $500M at the height of COVID.
🧨 Explosive moves: The largest rocket in the world exploded on Thursday, but SpaceX’s Starship launch was still considered a success.
❎ In the words of Sam Altman, “Concerning”: Elon Musk throws his hat in the AI-hype ring… for the second time? A filing for a Nevada-incorporated company named X.AI Corp lists Elon as Director.
🎭 Broadway says goodbye: After 14,000 shows over 35 years grossing over $1.3B on Broadway, Phantom of the Opera has closed its doors.
📑 An unfair system: Black taxpayers are audited 3 to 5 times more than their counterparts, Forbes reports.
🏝 Plan ahead, wanderlusters: State Department is seeing unprecedented demand for passports and is now taking up to 17 weeks to receive and process passport applications.
📱 Boston Tech Startup Feature: Pickle Robot Co. (Series A)
If you were at or around the ProMat 2023 supply chain conference this year, you likely heard about the live demo of Pickle Robot’s robotic arm unloading trucks. Robots are becoming critical in getting goods on and off the shelves and on the road to eCommerce consumers. Well, Pickle is on it, folks. Founded by MIT roboticists, Andrew Meyer and Ariana Eisenstein, Pickle’s technology currently unloads tens-of-thousands of packages per month at customer sites. The company last raised a $26M Series A led by Ranpak, Soros Capital Management, Catapult Ventures, and JS Capital in November. Toyota Ventures, VersionOne, Hyperplane, BoxGroup, and Third Kind Venture Capital also participated.
⭐️ Add ‘Em To Your Radar: Alexa Murray (PM at WHOOP)
For all my WHOOP users, you probably have seen the new stress measurement feature. We can thank Alexa Murray for that. Alexa is a founder, operator, and angel investor. She is currently Lead Product Manager on WHOOP’s new Health Team, focusing on women’s health, mental health, stress, and nutrition.
I met Alexa this year and immediately felt the hustle that exudes from this woman. With motivations to eventually raise her own venture fund focused on women’s health, she strategically moved to Boston less than a year ago and has immediately inserted herself into the startup scene. A fresh UPenn engineering grad, Alexa started her career as a Product Manager at Goldman Sachs building for their currencies trading and credit card (Marcus) businesses before leaving 5 years later to start at WHOOP as a Product Manager. Check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn, and take it from me- definitely reach out to her for conversations around fitness, digital health, fintech, or any WHOOP stress reading complaints.
“There are a lot of parallels between financial health and digital health. They are also both massive markets full of inefficient incumbents that present great opportunities to build and invest in disruptive companies.”
🧑💼 Tech and Biz
Friday, April 28th 8:30-6PM: MIT 15th Annual Sustainability Summit: De-mystifying Carbon Markets
Friday, April 28th 9-5PM: BARI Conference 2023: Greater Boston’s Annual Insight-to-Impact Summit
Sunday, April 30th: Future Compute 2023
Wednesday, May 3rd: 2023 Harvard President's Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony
April 25th-May 7th: Boston Design Week this year features 80+ in-person, virtual and outdoor events citywide.
April 29th-30th: Boston Hot Sauce Festival (yup, it’s real).
May 14th: Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum
Relevant Reads (Just a few!)
Kevin Zhang of FirstMark Capital recently analyzed some fascinating financing trends as the US and China took very different paths in advancing their AI ecosystems.
Rocio Wu of F-Prime Capital wrote about real-time payment system infrastructure in the US and the limiting factors to widespread adoption of FedNow.
Nikhil Krishnan wrote an interesting piece about the PE-backed healthcare space. It includes a few interesting perspectives from those who are operating on the ground.
The Information released their Travel Tech market overview.
The Atlas of Economic Complexity is my new favorite data visualization website.
David Sacks on Bottom-Up SaaS.