🆕 Two Week Funding Roundup: 25 Boston Startups Raised Over $530M
25 Boston companies raised $530M over the last two weeks. Plus, local features, relevant reads, and a quick macro briefing.
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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. Be sure to open this email in your browser to get the full issue.
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And so, with that, let’s get into it.
Boston Financings of 02/27-03/13
Financings are listed from smallest to largest. Biotech financings over $80M+ are usually not covered.
25 companies raised $530M over the last two weeks. Here are 21 of them (the other four I’ll list in 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).
Drug discovery platform licensing technology from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, Unravel Biosciences, has raised $500K of a $2M total equity offering from 4 investors. Unravel Biosciences combines patient RNA data with in vivo disease model screening for rare disease treatment. This raise follows a $1M round from RTK Group, with participation from KdT Ventures and BoxOne Ventures.
Developer of an intraoral light device reducing the number of pathogenic bacteria in the mouth, Photomedics, has raised $1.16M from 1 investor, an amendment to a 2020 filing with an original equity offering of $2.3M. Photomedics leverages blue light’s killing effects on certain oral bacteria.
Wearable device signal reader, Impact Vitals, has raised $1.6M in debt financing from 6 investors. Impact Vitals transforms signals from wearables and medical devices into hydration, heat stress and hemorrhage detection data. Originally (and legally) known as Flashback Technologies, the company pivoted in July of 2022 to focus on algorithm development.
Sports fan engagement platform, CrowdPlay, has raised $1.8M from 39 undisclosed investors. CrowdPlay works by rewarding fans for connecting with their favorite team’s content. The company was previously a MassChallenge cohort member. They last announced a $1.3M Seed round in 2020.
User experience research platform, WEVO, has raised $2.15M on a SAFE note from 15 undisclosed investors. The platform provides insights about user experience from high volumes of user feedback. The company last filed a $12M venture round in early 2022, reportedly with participation from Cervin and Hawke Ventures.
Gamified Web3 education platform leveraging “learn-to-earn”, Proof of Learn, has added an incremental $2.25M from 1 investor to their now $19M Seed round led by NEA announced in March of 2022. Funds were used to launch their first web3 product, Metacrafters. Proof of Learn was co-founded by Sheila Lirio Marcelo, the former CEO and founder of Care.com.
Virtual collaboration platform for remote teams, Tangle, has raised a $4M Seed extension round led by Qualcomm with participation from March Capital and others. Tangle was founded originally as a gaming startup, Absurd:joy, that eventually pivoted to a remote-work platform that aims to minimize meetings and miscommunications. VentureBeat has more.
Education software platform for K-12 schools, Panorama Education, has raised $5M from 21 investors following their $60M Series C round in 2021 led by General Atlantic. Panorama pulls data in from surveys taken by students, parents, and teachers and provides insights into the environment and experiences of those at school.
Thymmune Therapeutics, a company developing cell therapies targeting the thymus organ for restoring immune function, has raised $7M in Seed funding led by Pillar VC, with participation from NYBC Ventures. Established in George Church’s lab, Thymmune’s technology enables mass production of iPSC-derived thymic cells. Official company announcement here.
Oofos, Inc. 👟
Recovery footwear company, Oofos, has raised $8M from 20 undisclosed investors after raising $850K in angel funding in 2017. Equipped with OOfoam™ technology, Oofos absorbs 37% more impact and reduces energy exertion in the ankles by 47% compared to other foam shoes. The company has donated over $3M to the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber for cancer research. Official filing here.
Developer of the world’s first micro-nuclear magnetic resonance device, Waveguide, has raised $8.3M of a $33M offering of equity and other securities. Isaac Blech is on the cap table. Waveguide’s device provides in-situ analysis for detecting and quantifying nearly anything in several industries spanning biotech, oil & lubricants, and cannabis.
Drug discovery platform that uses biomolecular condensate mapping and analysis, Transition Bio, has added $8.5M to their $50M Series A round led by Northpond Ventures. Transition’s platform, Condensomics, maps biomolecular condensates, or non-membrane-bound structures containing proteins and genetic material, for novel drug discovery. BusinessWire has more.
AI-based mineral discovery platform, VerAI Discoveries, has raised a $12M Series A round from investors including Orion Resource Partners, Chrysalix Venture Capital, and Blumberg Capital. VerAI improves the probability of finding metal deposits critical to global electrification by leveraging ML searching capabilities in magnetic, gravimetric, electromagnetic, and seismic data. VerAI has more.
Bioremediation company tackling environmental waste with microorganisms and molecules, Allonia, has raised $16.2M of a $25M total equity offering from 5 undisclosed investors. Spun out of Gingko Bioworks’ Ferment Consortium, a $350M investment fund for synthetic bio spinouts, Allonia aims to solve waste pollution problems. Their last round was a $60M Series A led by Evok Innovations in 2021.
Capsid discovery platform enabling gene therapy use for neurologic disease applications, Voyager Therapeutics, has reportedly received a $39M payment from Novartis for licensing Voyager’s findings for drug discovery. According to the announcement in 2022, Novartis agreed to pay Voyager $54 million upfront and is entitled to receive up to $37.5 million in exercise fees for options for three initial CNS targets. Official filing here.
Insurtech platform for managing retirement savings, Assured Allies, has raised a $42.5M Series B round led by FinTLV Ventures and Harel Insurance. The platform has two main products, one that partners with insurers to support aging-at-home functions, and one to help underwrite insurance products. TechCrunch has more.
Flagship Pioneering company, Ampersand Biomedicines, has raised $50M for programming therapeutics. Ampersand aims to eliminate undesirable side effects of drugs that inevitably also target healthy cells while attempting to treat the unhealthy ones at the site of disease. They aim to produce drugs that only act where needed and nowhere else. Flagship has more, so does CE&N.
Multi-specialty medical coding AI-platform, CodaMetrix, has announced a $55M Series A funding round led by SignalFire. CodaMetrix translates clinical information into medical codes for patient care and revenue cycle processes.
EnClear Therapies spinout, a precision medicine platform for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, QurAlis, has raised $60M of an $88M equity offering for a Series B round with participation from Sanofi ADR, Eli Lilly, Amgen Ventures, and LS Polaris Innovation Fund, among others. QurAlis reportedly plans to use this funding for two Phase I clinical trials. Boston Biz Journal has more.
Divert, a company that turns food waste into renewable natural gas, has raised a $100M round led by CA-based oil and gas giant, Enbridge. Divert takes unsold food from grocery stores and runs it through an anaerobic digester machine, producing clean energy with the potential to offset up to nearly 400,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Announcement is here.
Cloud-based data security platform, Immuta, has received an undisclosed amount of strategic investment capital from ServiceNow, following a Series E fundraise of $100M led by NightDragon. Immuta ensures cloud data security at scale and helps teams preemptively identify risk for compliance.
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 📉
🔥 Did you hear? The Fed announced it will backstop all of SVB and Signature Bank’s deposits after a panic-induced bank run last week that caused the second-largest bank failure ever in the US, leaving much of the tech industry in its wake. This comes on the heels of Silvergate’s collapse.
The result: There’s now a 72% chance the Fed hikes rates by 25 bps on March 22nd, down from an 80% chance of a 50 bps hike last week. Although, Goldman analysts say they aren’t sure there will be any rate increases come the 22nd.
Crypto: Crypto markets “stabilized” over the weekend after USDC-issuer Circle revealed $3.3B held at SVB and said it would be able to cover potential losses by its customers.
Explained: One more thing on this. JP Morgan’s banking team went deep on the situation with some interesting visuals comparing other banks and their relative positions.
🤖 The release race: Microsoft CTO, Andreas Braun announced that GPT-4 will be released as early as next week, with capabilities that include video and other new features.
🦾 Google’s turn: Google unveils PaLM-E, a multimodal visual learning model for analyzing data from a robot’s camera without pre-processed scene representation. The model has over 562 billion parameters (compare this to ChatGPT-3’s 175 billion parameters).
⛑ Acquired: Weight Watchers acquires Sequence, a telemedicine platform selling GLP-1 weight loss drugs for $106M. Pfizer to buy Seagen, oncology therapeutics developer, for $43B. Sanofi to buy Prevention Bio for $2.9B.
🤘 Elon: Unhinged. Musk is planning to build his own town for employees in Texas along the Colorado River. Musk wants a Texas-utopia close to Boring and SpaceX facilities near Austin.
🚊 Boston’s need for speed: If you thought the T couldn’t get any slower, you were wrong. The MBTA is implementing speed controls on every line except the Green and Mattapan lines until further notice. Schedule is here.
🏡 Locally Owned Small Business of the Week: PAGU
Founded by Tracy Chang, PAGU is a Spanish-Japanese fusion spot located on Massachusetts Ave in Cambridge. Chang studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and subsequently worked at a three star Michelin restaurant in Spain. Chef Chang was inspired by her grandmother who also ran a successful restaurant in Cambridge.
📱 Boston Tech Startup Feature: Nix Biosensors (Seed)
The importance of hydration for athletes has been well researched with few ways to easily quantify it. This is where Nix Biosensors founder, Meredith Cass, saw an opportunity. Founded out of Harvard i-Labs, Nix has developed a reusable, wearable biosensor that analyzes sweat in real-time for personalized hydration insights. The system, which includes a pod and four patches, integrates with the Apple Watch, Garmin, and Strava, and is available on their website to purchase for $129. Since launch, they’ve been named to Time’s Best Inventions of 2022, have officially partnered with USA Triathlon, and have made strong key hires.
⭐️ Add ‘Em To Your Radar (they’re probably already on it): SVB
Boston’s SVB Startup Banking team has been a cornerstone of Boston’s startup communities. The teams at SVB have provided immense support for our tech ecosystem and after years of supporting us, we are here to support you. I’d like to call out a few of the folks that have become close personal and professional allies. I could not be more appreciative of their unwavering and wholehearted contribution to Boston’s innovation economy.
🧑💼 Tech and Biz
Thursday, March 16th: 2023 MIT Climate & Energy Prize US Semi-Final at Greentown Labs
Thursday, March 23rd: InnoCrew’s Monthly Founder Dinner (Request an invite)
Saturday, March 25th: 7th Annual TEDxBabsonCollege, EDGE
Tuesday, March 28th: 2023 Cleantech Open Kickoff at Greentown Labs
For every night of the week: A list of spots for live music in Boston.
Thursday, April 13th 6-9PM: Once a month, the MIT Museum hosts a themed After Dark series for 21+. April’s event is The Science of Comedy, an Open Mic Night for MIT comedians open to all (tickets go fast).
Relevant Reads (Just a few!)
Trends that are shaping the healthcare industry as reported by Trilliant Health. Lots of data in here about behavioral health and patient demand for these telehealth services as well as challenges of provider supply. To supplement, Sapphire Ventures’ digital health enablement tech stack report.
Meritech published a report highlighting the 17 public companies trading at an EV/ARR multiple >10x. Atlassian, ServiceNow, Snowflake among them.
Great perspective on handling rejection as a founder.
Interesting take on the AI bubble happening now.
Powerful visuals about life.