🆕 We're Back! The Return of Boston Tech Financings (Last Two Weeks)
Picking right back up where Nick Stuart left off. Boston companies are $410M richer after these last two weeks 🤑
Happy Monday! Hope we’re all feeling spry this morning after the Rihanna concert last night…
But first, a quick intro…
Welcome to the (my) first issue! A short intro to warm us up, shall we?
As this is my first-ever publication, I suppose an introduction is warranted. So, hi! I’m Abigail. I’m on the investment team alongside a group of incredible individuals at Hyperplane, an early-stage venture capital fund in Boston. Since 2015, the team has been investing in B2B applications of novel AI/ML and automation technology. By way of academic training, I’m a mechanical engineer. In college, I was focused primarily on medical devices, namely, prosthetic and orthopedic robotics. My first full-time gig was at iRobot, testing and iterating on new renditions of robotic home products. Reflecting on this past year at Hyperplane, I have found myself drawn to the industries of healthcare and supply chains. That said, I would consider myself a pretty obsessively curious person (oftentimes relentlessly so) and have truly enjoyed evaluating early-stage companies regardless of the vertical.
I’m a cycling instructor for the Equinox Boston studios, and am constantly tracking my workouts of all kinds (running, cycling, Barry’s Bootcamp, Solidcore, CorePower, MyStryde, Peloton) on Strava (@abigailrisse if you’re so inclined)!
I’m writing a newsletter for the Boston tech community for a couple of reasons. The principal reason is to promote broad accessibility to the curated happenings relevant to the local tech community. I could not find a ground source of truth for the succinct aggregation of local tech news. And so, I figured, why not do it myself? Cue Nick, stage right.
Disclaimer: I fully expect that there will be things I miss. When it happens, please shoot me a response to this email. And similarly, if there’s something you think is worth amplifying about Boston tech in subsequent issues, reply to this email! More on this at the bottom.
And so, with that, let’s get into it.
Boston Financings 01/30-02/12
The last two weeks saw fundings ride the wave of Boston’s January funding for startups that totaled $558.85M (down from December’s total of $656M).
Fundings are listed from smallest to largest.
Educational video game platform aimed at students in grades Pre-K to 2, MintyBrain, has raised $1M from one investor for their math games aimed at visual learners ages 4-8. Their app provides immediate visual feedback via gamified progression for teaching children math. Dan Zakon, founder and CEO, posted an announcement on LinkedIn in August about the company’s official emergence from stealth.
Developer of smart-captioning glasses for those with hearing loss, Xander has announced a $1.4M pre-seed round on a SAFE note led by Analog Device’s former CEO and co-founder, Ray Stata. The company develops smart glasses that display real-time captions of live dialogue for less than the average pair of hearing aids.
More: Xander plans to have two models of XanderGlasses available for purchase in mid-year 2023.
Teal Bio 😷
Teal Bio, developer of reusable PPE for healthcare workers co-founded by Dr. Bob Langer, has added $500K of capital to a $2.5M Series A round led by Caligan Partners in late 2021. Teal Bio’s product addresses the environmental impact of disposable masks in healthcare by providing an alternative to single-use PPE. Their product is a reusable, patent-pending respirator platform. More on this tech here.
Web3 venture studio, AlphaMiner Labs, has raised $2M of a $4M equity offering from 2 investors. According to their website, AlphaMiner equips qualified founders interested in web3 and direct-to-consumer products with a business idea, initial financing and back-end business infrastructure support relating to talent, finance, HR, IT.
Drug delivering contact lens company, TherOptix, has tacked on a fresh $225K to a $4M debt financing from 28 investors including Bluestem Capital Company and Rimonci Capital. TherOptix develops contact lenses that deliver drugs to the front and/or back of the eye. The technology could act as an alternative to opioid prescription in post-operative applications.
More: TherOptix’s drug-eluting lenses were developed at MIT, Mass Eye & Ear, and Boston Children’s Hospital. Their pipeline includes the TetraLens for post-operative pain, and the DexaLens for PVR (proliferative vitreoretinopathy).
Bluespec, creator of synthesis tool sets for electronic chip design, has raised a $5M equity round from 4 undisclosed investors. Since it’s founding in 2003, the company has raised repeatedly from the likes of Atlas Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Sandburst. Their last financing was a $1.5M equity round filed in 2012.
Boston and Bengaluru-based cybersecurity company, FireCompass, has announced a $7M Series A financing led by Cervin and Athera Venture Partners. FireCompass provides a range of cybersecurity offerings related to a company’s risk management and identification functions.
Dalia, a marketing automation platform streamlining HR functions and recruiting, has raised $7.4M, adding over $2M to their recently announced $5M Series A round led by Lewis & Clark Ventures with participation from SaaS Ventures, FJ Labs, and Remarkable Ventures. According to the filing, the total equity offering was listed for $8.3M.
Allure Security, a startup that aims to protect companies from digital fraud and brand impersonation, has amended a filing to include an additional $3M from 1 investor, totaling a $9.8M round. Allure was incubated in 2018 by Glasswing Ventures and has raised from Gutbrain Ventures, Impellent Ventures, Glasswing Ventures, Zetta Venture Partners, and Portage Partners, among others.
Creator of an AI-powered voice assistant for drive-thrus, OpenCity has closed a venture round totaling $10M led by 1st Course Capital with participation from Composite Ventures, NXT Ventures, Service Provider Capital and Branch Venture Group. OpenCity’s speech-to-text software, Tori, allows drive-thru customers to place their orders without another person.
Genialis, a precision medicine data science company developing software to help researchers easily visualize and interpret genomic sequencing data, has raised $11.4M from 10 undisclosed investors, including those who had invested on convertible notes. The company last raised a $2.3M Seed round in 2017 co-led by Redalpine Venture Capital in Zurich and First Star Venture Capital.
BlockJoy, provider of a patented blockchain node management software co-founded by the co-founder of Helium (last valued privately at $1.2B), Sean Carey, has raised $12M across Seed and Series A rounds from Gradient Ventures, Draper Dragon, Dragon Roark, Active Capital, Borderless HNT, and Renegade Ventures. TechCrunch has more.
More: Started by accident as a token-staking service side project, but soon after proving a strong cost reduction value proposition, the founders decided to go all in.
Watershed Informatics, a bioinformatics platform co-founded by Harvard-MIT MD and PhD, Mark Kalinich, has raised $12.7M in a combination of equity, debt, and other securities from 17 undisclosed investors. The platform enables faster analysis of biological data via low-code compute infrastructure. The company raised a $3.5M financing round led by Dorm Room Fund in 2021.
Hemanext, a company developing technology for storing red blood cells under hypoxic conditions, has officially raised $13.2M of a $15M Series B originally filed in July of 2022. Hemanext announced an $18M Series B round led by Sonenshine Fulford Group, noting in November that the round would stay open for several weeks before a final close.
More: Hemanext’s ONE system has not been cleared or approved by the FDA, although post-market clinical studies have begun in Norway. Hemanext has raised approximately $130M to date inclusive of $8M in grant funding from the NIH.
Ratio Therapeutics, developer of targeted radiotherapeutics for cancer treatments, has announced a $20M Series A extension round led by Duquesne Capital and Schusterman Family Investments, bringing the total round size to just over $40M.
Boston Metal ⚡️
Boston Metal, has raised a $120M Series C financing round led by ArcelorMittal with participation from Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund and SiteGround Capital. The company develops alternative production methods for steel, eliminating the need for coal in the manufacturing process by employing molten oxide electrolysis. The company has raised nearly $200M in funding since their launch in 2012.
Other Notable Filings
Tru Inc. 🥤
Lifestyle beverage startup, Tru Inc., has filed for a $6.5M equity offering yet to be sold. Tru develops better-for-you alternatives to wellness and energy beverages backed by BTomorrow Ventures, Polar Beverages.
Cloud deployment optimization platform, Avesha, has filed for a $10M equity offering yet to be sold. Avesha provides enterprise businesses with a software platform enabling optimized cloud deployments across hybrid and multi-cloud networks. This filing comes after a $6M Seed round in January of 2021 led by Taiwania Capital.
Locally Owned Small Business Feature: Wyllo
Wyllo, a boutique offering curated goods sourced from small batch women-owned brands, is located in the South End’s SoWa district with an online store available for purchasing as well. Wyllo is founded by Alyssa Davis, a long-time jewelry maker who left her job in 2015 to design, make, and sell jewelry locally, curates a blog of stories from the creators of the products they carry, full of great ideas for gifts or self-care purchases.
Boston Tech Startup Feature: Civic Roundtable (Pre-seed)
GovTech software, Civic Roundtable, founded by Harvard MBA/MPP students, Madeleine Smith and Austin Boral, aims to facilitate seamless collaboration between government agencies via a community platform for information sharing. The platform enables public servants to find experts and access resources within government and across the civic sphere.
“Government spending is at an all-time high, trust in government is at an all time low, and agencies are struggling to engage and retain their talent. Investing in the public servants that our most important civic institutions need has never been more critical.”
-Madeleine Smith, CEO of Civic Roundtable
Tech and Biz
Thursday, 02/23: Greentown Labs ACCEL Kick-off at Greentown Labs
Also on Thursday, 02/23: MIT Sloan Healthcare and BioInnovations Conference at MIT’s Media Lab
Friday, 02/24-Sunday 02/26: 50th Annual H. Naylor Fitzhugh Conference Weekend at HBS
Tuesday, 02/14: 7 of Boston’s Best Walk-In Date Night Restaurants for all my last-minute procrastinators who didn’t quite get there making a reservation for Valentine’s day, here you are.
Thursday, 02/16: Chef's Workshop: Fresh Egg Pasta Shaping. For the foodies: explore Eataly’s site for more cooking classes and other options!
Relevant Reads (Just 5)
AngelList’s 2022 Venture Markets Year in Review Report: Courtesy of Nick!
In light of all this talk of Google vs. OpenAI, here’s a blog post highlighting some parallel examples of the innovator’s dilemma.
Hindenburg Research report: Findings from a 2-year investigation into one of India’s largest conglomerates, the Adani Group, claim the group engaged in a decades-long fraud scheme. The group has publicly denied the findings.
*A listen* (there’s a transcript at the bottom): An explanation of what’s happening with AbbVie’s arthritis drug, Humira, and the market exclusivity they have been able to uphold until now, resulting in an expected slew of biosimilar drugs hitting the market.
Building a startup through a “downturn”: The Essentials: Written by Giuseppe Stuto of 186 Ventures, the post outlines underlying essentials to keep in mind when navigating a downturn.
Most Important Section: Feedback
I’m new to the newsletter game, and there will always be plenty of room for improvement. If you have any sort of feedback, I would love to hear it.
Please respond to this email with general feedback:
Suggestions for local features (a link to website, location of store, or specific event details).
Links to interesting reads or ideas the community would benefit from.
An upcoming fundraise you’d like to provide comment on (include quote, name, and timing of said fundraise).
That’s all from me! Until the 28th (trying out a Tuesday release next issue)