🆕 Two Week Funding Roundup! 23 Boston Companies Raised Over $221M
Two tequila brands, fertilizer and leather made from seaweed, a new approach to drug alteration, electric vehicle logistics and more are among the Boston companies to have raised capital ✨
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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 players and happenings.
If you were forwarded this email, join the community of thousands of Boston’s best tech and finance folks reading alongside you!
Let’s get into it.
Boston Financings of 3/28- 4/10
Financings are listed from smallest to largest. Biotech financings over $80M+ are usually not covered.
Resonant Energy | $75K of debt | Energy
Solar provider for nonprofits, Resonant Energy, has raised $75,000 in debt from 2 investors. One of Massachusetts’ 72 total B-corp companies and 100% employee-owned, Resonant aims to use solar projects to build wealth in under-invested communities across the state of MA, NYC, and Long Island. Their website boasts the completion of solar installations across more than 200 sites to date. More on their latest project here.
AI Lean | $279K | PropTech
Developer of solutions for processing liens and auctions, AI Lean has raised $279K from 16 total investors. According to Pitchbook, the company raised $1.9M of Seed funding in a deal led by Launchpad Venture Group in 2022. AI Lean’s software integrates with existing self-storage software to let users customize configuration according to their needs and state law.
YC W23 Companies | $500K | Sales Enablement, PropTech
Boston-based Syncly, Propify, and Vector have all reportedly raised $500K from Y Combinator in what has become part of YC’s standard deal terms for all companies in the cohort. Whether or not these companies are also in the process of raising larger venture rounds, as is traditional for YC startups after (and before) YC’s Demo Day, is unknown. TechCrunch has more.
Beeyonder | $652K | Travel
Virtual travel company launched during COVID, Beeyonder, has raised $652K of a $1.5M total equity offering from undisclosed investors. The company raised Seed funding from Launchpad Venture Group and others in 2022. The company provides a marketplace of 450 live and interactive virtual tours by qualified guides and was recently accepted into 2Gether-International, a nine-week accelerator for entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Casatera | $672K | CPG
Tequila seltzer brand for health-conscious consumers, Casatera, has raised a total of $672K from 10 investors, of which $550K was raised from crowdfunding platform, SeedInvest, according to co-founder, Kyle King’s LinkedIn post. The zero-sugar, zero-carb alcoholic seltzer brand launched in January of 2023 and has expanded to over 500 distributors. BevNet has the latest.
Swaponz | $672K | CPG
Developer of scratch and fade-resistant swappable phone cases, Swaponz, has raised an additional $672K in equity and other securities from 18 total investors towards a $1.5M total equity offering. The company previously went by the name GLODESIGN and CrazyGlo, and offers swappable images (Swaps) that are linked to curated and original digital content through its patented InfiniteSwap™ and .Live digital content platform.
Lennham Pharmaceuticals | $1.2M | Healthcare
Lennham Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company using a process called deuteration to alter well-known compounds for drug development, has raised $1.2M from the conversion of promissory notes from 13 investors, according to a Form D filing. Lennham employs the deuteration process, a process that involves selectively substituting hydrogen for deuterium in molecules, to mitigate the less desirable effects of molecules like testosterone and caffeine, and most recently, psilocybin and psilocin.
Grain Ecosystem | $1.6M | Climate
Carbon accounting and financing platform, Grain Ecosystem, has raised $1.6M from Schneider Electric’s venture fund and other investors. Grain’s platform aims to streamline the carbon offset project certification process and offers qualification and evaluation of the impact of the project, and helps to access investors as well. The round was originally announced in late 2022. PRNewswire has more.
TellBio | $2.3M | Healthcare
A spin-out of research labs at MGH, TellBio, aims to advance cancer detection and treatment via patient liquid biopsies and proprietary circulating tumor cell (CTC) technology. The company has raised $2.3M from 23 undisclosed investors. This comes after a $5M Series A led by Crocker Ventures, Genetron Holdings Limited, ARUP Laboratories, and the National Foundation for Cancer Research in 2021. TellBio’s use of CTCs is based on research from MGH and is exclusively licensed.
Portrait Analytics | $3M | FinTech
Developer of generative AI solutions for public market investment analysts, Portrait Analytics, has raised $3M in pre-seed funding led by .406 Ventures. The company’s first product is a Q&A-based application that scrapes company filings and provides fully auditable search and summarization capabilities powered by gen-AI for public market analysts. Eventually, the product aims to build financial models and write memos. Yahoo! Finance has more.
Forge Team | $4M | Construction
Forge, a company that teaches and pays people to work in the trades, guaranteeing a job with benefits after the completion of a 12-step program, has raised $4M of a $20M total equity offering from 8 total investors. The company aims to reverse the declining number of people who are turning to work in the trades offering both an Apprentice Program and an Experienced Pros program. Forge has collectively raised ~$26M in early-stage financings from the likes of NextView Ventures, 186 Ventures, Lennar Ventures, and Boston Seed Capital, among others. The Boston Globe has more.
Customers.ai | $5M | Sales Enablement
Customers.ai, a sales enablement solution aimed at improving email outreach for consumer companies, has raised $5M in Series A funding led by ScOp Venture Capital with participation from New York Angels and Beyond Angels. The company enables targeted sales outreach by allowing customers to search and generate pipeline by demographic information. Founder and CEO, Larry Kim previously founded WordStream, sold to Garnett for $150M in 2018. BostInno has more.
Carbonwave | $5M | Climate
Manufacturer of advanced biomaterials made from seaweed, Carbonwave, has closed an initial $5M towards a Series A round led by Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers. Carbonwave’s upcycled Sargassum seaweed products include an organic fertilizer, a leather fabric alternative, and a cosmetic emulsifier. According to the announcement, the funds will be used to build large-scale cosmetics emulsifier production facilities in Puerto Rico. PRNewswire has more.
Acta Pharmaceuticals | $5M | Healthcare
Acta Pharmaceuticals, a stealth biotech with an extremely sparse online presence led by George Alex and renowned MGH neuroscientist and scientific co-founder of several neurodegenerative disease biotech startups, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, has raised $5M of a $10M total equity offering from 16 undisclosed investors. The filing lists both executives as directors of the company. Dr. Rudolph Tanzi currently serves as MGH’s Director of Genetics and Aging and is one of the top 50 most cited neuroscientists in the world. Read the official filing here.
Etiometry | $5.7M | Healthcare IT
Clinical decision-support software for ICUs, Etiometry, has raised $5.7M in equity from 7 total investors towards a $10M total equity offering. The company last raised $9M in Series A-3 funding led by SKK 9i Ventures. Etiometry's AI-powered software enables the collection, analysis, visualization, and archiving of ICU clinical data, all enabled by a patented risk analytics portfolio inclusive of seven FDA-cleared algorithms. Read more about their tech here.
Dynocardia | $6M | Healthcare
Dynocardia, developer of ViTrack™, a connected wearable device for the continuous monitoring of blood pressure and other vitals, has raised $6M from 35 undisclosed investors. Developed out of MIT and Tufts Medical, Dynocardia’s technology employs optomechanical tactile sensor arrays that detect spatiotemporal-force distribution at the micron level. The company was a cohort member of Mayo Clinic’s accelerator and Garage+ accelerator in 2022.
GT Spirits (Ghost Tequila) | $9.2M | CPG
GT Spirits, producer of Ghost Tequila liquor, a 100% Agave Azul Blanco tequila with ghost pepper infusion, has raised $9.2M from 50 undisclosed investors. Launched just over five years ago, Ghost Tequila is distributed in all 50 states, Australia, and select islands in the Caribbean. According to Pitchbook, past financings included a $3M Seed round from One Degree Ventures and Founders First, and a $21M Series B round in the form of convertible debt from Raptor Group and angels.
Ablative Solutions | $12.9M of debt + other securities | Healthcare
Ablative Solutions, a medical device company for hypertension treatment, has raised $12.9M in a combination of debt, warrants, and other securities from 72 total investors. Ablative is developing the Peregrine System™, a combination product for alcohol-mediated renal denervation engineered to target nerves known to influence the body's regulation of blood pressure. Ablative raised a multi-tranched $91M Series D round in 2022 led by Gilde Healthcare, BioStar Capital, Invus Opportunities and an undisclosed strategic corporate investor. PRNewswire has more.
Venti Technologies | $29M | Mobility | Hyperplane Portfolio!
A developer of software for autonomous vehicle systems for use in robotic logistics, Venti Technologies, has raised a $29M Series A round led by LG Technology Ventures with participation from Safar Partners and LDV Partners. Venti’s logistics algorithms and autonomous technology were invented by MIT Professor and co-founder, Dr. Daniela Rus. The funds will be used to accelerate the move towards production-grade vehicles for big port manufacturers in the next year. TechCrunch has more.
NOBULL | $30M of debt+equity | CPG
Apparel and footwear brand, NOBULL, has raised $30M in a combination of equity and debt from 3 investors. NOBULL was recently named the Official Combine Training Partner of the NFL, and an investment from the NFL’s fund, 32 Equity, was confirmed in December of 2022. 32 Equity investment focus is on sports tech companies and select investments include Fanatics, Genius Sports, Appetize, and Skillz. The Apparelist has more.
Cybereason | $100M | Cybersecurity
Cybereason, a cybersecurity company employing XDR technology to monitor and flag threats, has raised a cool $100M from SoftBank. SoftBank is the company’s largest shareholder since their initial investment in 2015. Softbank’s Executive VP, Eric Gan, will take over for Lior Div as CEO of Cybereason while Lior transitions to an advising role. Yahoo! Finance has more.
Profility | Undisclosed Series B | Healthcare IT
Provider of post-acute care connectivity solutions and tools for healthcare providers, Profility, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B venture funding led by Valitas VC. Profility offers a suite of big data tools that ultimately provide analytics and insights into how providers can best optimize patient care. PRNewswire has more.
And that’s your 2 week roundup!
Your macro briefing 📉
📉 This week’s docket: Earnings this week, and the calendar for global number releases.
Wednesday we get Consumer Price Index numbers and Monthly Treasury Statement numbers, Thursday we’ll get Initial Jobless Claims data and Producer Price Index numbers, and Friday we see retail sales, imports data, exports data, and manufacturing production numbers.
🥱 The stuff you already know: UConn (men’s) and LSU (women’s) put the “Mad” in March Madness, the former president was arrested, JPMorgan CEO is not optimistic about the financial system’s immediate future, OPEC+ announces unfortunate oil production cuts, the DOJ appealed a Texas judge’s attempt to invalidate abortion pill’s FDA approval, Finland joined NATO, and all this while the US investigates what might be one of the most significant leaks of highly classified US military documents.
🏆 Eyes on the prize: Gold, a classic hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty, was 2% away from reaching highs in nearly all currencies, likely a result of increasing economic concerns. The key price of $2,000 was last beat in March of 2022, and before that, August of 2020. After positive US jobs numbers, the price retreated back to below $2,000.
🏃♀️ 🏃♀️ Two strides for women’s sports: The final game of the women’s March Madness tournament saw record numbers, and the NWSL announced the addition of a new Bay Area-based team. Investment firm Sixth Street plans to throw down $125M.
🏗 Impending doom?: $1.5T in commercial real estate debt is due by the end of 2025, and after the last few weeks, the growing anxiety around banks’ ability to provide financing to debt borrowers is understandable, to say the least.
🚀 Ouch: Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
🇷🇺 Whelan, Griner, now Gershkovich? American WSJ reporter, Evan Gershkovich, has been detained by Russian authorities for “spying”. This comes on the heels of the highly publicized Russian detainments of now-released US basketball player, Brittany Griner, and still-detained US Marine vet, Paul Whelan.
🤨 Quite the turnaround, sir: Senator Joe Manchin slammed the Inflation Reduction Act for its debt and deficit implications after voting in favor of the legislation in an opinion piece he wrote for the WSJ. He accuses the Biden Administration of “political malpractice”.
🤑 Incentive problems in health insurance? Never heard of her… Propublica published an exposé about Cigna Health, claiming the health insurance company’s prior authorization program was systematically denying payment on thousands of claims without medical review, ultimately passing more costs to patients.
🥊 Total Knock Out: Endeavor (NYSE: EDR) buys WWE (valued at $9.3B) with plans to merge with UFC (valued at $12.1B) under the ticker TKO. Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new entity.
🔻All time (global funding) low: New Crunchbase data shows companies raised $76B in Q1 of 2023, a 53% YoY decline from 2022 (even with the $10B into OpenAI and $6.5B into Stripe).
🚊 Boston’s MBTA saga continues: The latest in what seems like a practically daily occurrence of bad news for the T: train slowdowns are fueling a ridership plunge, exacerbating concerns about an understaffing crisis.
🤞A bandaid for Boston housing: First-Citizens bank, SVB’s acquirer, is in talks with Boston to hopefully mitigate detrimental effects of affordable housing units that were financed by SVB.
📱 Boston Tech Startup Feature: Eyebot (Pre-seed)
Self-serve rapid eye testing is the name of North End-based Eyebot’s hardware game. Founded by two engineers, Matthias Hoffman and Jack Moldave, Eyebot has developed freestanding units that provide eye exams and prescriptions for brick and mortar retail, eliminating the scheduling, planning, and inconvenience of traditional in-person eye exams. Enabled by faster, clinically validated technology, Eyebot offers businesses white-labeled units for test results in seconds. Eyebot last raised a $2M pre-seed round from Baukunst, Village Global, and private investors.
⭐️ Add ‘Em To Your Radar: The Women of Inc’s Female Founder 200 list
Inc released their annual list of the most dynamic female founders of 2023. Of the 200 iconic women, we had eight from Massachusetts 🧨
Geeta Aiyer, Boston Common Asset Management
Meredith Cass, Nix Biosensors
Janvi Shah, Hue
Jessica Kim, ianacare
Nicoletta Tessler, BeMe Health
Melanie Casey, Melanie Casey Corp
Evelyn Chan, Smileyscope
Esther Wallace, Playa Society
🧑💼 Tech and Biz
Boston Climate Tech has an events Airtable! Check it out if you’re interested.
** Wednesday, April 19th 6PM-8:30PM: Term Sheet Negotiation Event
This one will be a good one. An interactive, valuable, and educational networking event that will exercise and teach critical skills necessary for anyone who is or will be a stakeholder in a term sheet negotiation. Anyone interested should register for approval via the above link.
Tuesday-Wednesday, April 11th and 12th: 2023 MIT Energy Conference
Thursday, April 13th 11AM-7PM: 2023 MIT Climate & Energy Prize Final at the Engine
Thursday, April 20th 8AM-5:30PM: Analytics & Industry Symposium 2023 at Boston College
Monday, April 17th: The Boston Marathon. If you don’t know anyone running this year, consider donating to one of 42 official charity teams.
Relevant Reads (Just a few!)
Oops I was on a podcast… hear all about the crucial creative outlets that keep us sane.
Stanford just released a state-of-AI report. TLDR: Just more. More companies, more jobs, more training, more incidents of misuse leading to more hesitancy from Americans, more compute power, and more questions about the future.
Your databases primer, covering the basics of the foundations powering the over 300+ databases existing today.
Chamath’s Social Capital’s Annual LP Letter. Lots of interesting insights about the market and how and, more importantly, why it’s shifted.
JAMA published findings from a cohort study on the impact of telehealth solutions as a prevention method for opioid overdoses. The study looked at the impact of treating Medicare beneficiaries suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) before and during the pandemic. Beneficiaries who received OUD-related telehealth services during the pandemic were found to have a reduced risk for fatal overdose.
The Hive Index: a directory of searchable online communities, organized by topics across all major platforms (Reddit, FB, Slack, Discord).
Bessemer VP’s How to scale a health tech business to $100 million ARR and beyond
Healthie CEO, Erica Jain, writes about mistakes they made along the way.