Last Week in Boston Tech Deals
Sixteen Companies that Raised Over $260M
Interesting Stories Around the Web
Capchase Announces “Earn”
I’ve written about Capchase and other non-dilutive financing companies like Pipe a handful of times here. Last week, Capchase released a new product called Earn to help startups park idle cash in a savings account yielding 3%. Combined with their Grow product (turn MRR into ARR) and Extend product (BNPL for businesses), they’re building a pretty compelling way for startups to improve their overall cost of capital.
Sequoia Innovates on the VC Fund Model
Sequoia’s US and Europe business will be transforming into a single Permanent Capital Vehicle called The Sequoia Fund. It will hold all of the company’s private and public investments on an essentially infinite time horizon, made possible by their move to become a registered investment adviser. They’ll allocate LP capital into select VC funds, which will recycle any distributions back into the main entity in perpetuity.
Techstars Boston has a New Cohort
Today, Techstars Boston announced its winter class of 12 startups. They include:
BeAKid — AirBnB for youth enrichment programs.
First Ascent Biomedical — Personalized cancer treatment based on DNA.
Future — Carbon tracking for individuals.
Health Haven Rx — Digital-first pharmacy and telemedicine.
NotedSource — Expert network of ESG specialists on demand.
Rivet — Creator monetization platform.
Sign Peak — Sign language translation tech.
SpeakBox — Automating healthcare administrative tasks.
Tozuda — Next-level concussion testing.
Trova — AI-driven employee engagement.
TuCann Medical — Reimagining the cannula device.
Two to Tango — “Match.com for business.”
Other Stuff I’m Reading:
The State of U.S. Early-Stage Venture and Startups: 3Q21 (AngelList & SVB)
MicroAcquire and ClearCo want to help you buy eCom storefronts
Republic to offer “security NFTs” to let fans invest in songs
Boston Tech Financing Announcements:
Six-month-old Osmoses just raised a $3M Pre-seed Round led by The Engine, with participation from Fine Structure Ventures, Orbia Ventures, and Little Green Bamboo. Last week, I mentioned Via Separations raising a $38M Series B to decarbonize manufacturing. Similarly, Osmoses is developing new filtering technology to delicately separate gases emitted during various industrial processes. They claim their novel membrane tech offers 5x the selectivity and 100x the permeability of conventional separation membranes. More from Bloomberg: A Material Thinner Than Human Hair Could Slash Carbon Emissions.
Beamable (previously known as Disruptor Beam) just raised a new $5M round led by Companyon Ventures, with participation from Gutbrain Ventures, GrandBanks Capital, and Defy. Their self-service platform makes it easy for Unity developers to manage live events and add monetization features within existing games.
Automated bookkeeping software company Botkeeper has raised a $42M Series C led by Grand Oaks Capital. The company is leveraging AI to analyze various financial transactions from customers’ banks, credit cards, payroll providers, etc., and accurately enter them into a general ledger. By automating these mundane tasks, they can help companies lower accounting expenses and potentially decrease instances of human error. They now boast over 200 accounting firms and 5000 SMBs as clients.
Hedron (formerly Analytical Space), just raised a $17.8M Series A for its satellite data relay network. The round was led by Fine Structure Venture with support from Lockheed Martin Ventures, Republic Labs, Lime Street, Explorer 1, The Engine, Flybridge Capital, Yard Ventures, NKM Capital, and Space Angels.
They’re tackling a problem faced by almost all Earth-observing satellites: They spend 70% of their orbit in connectivity blackout zones. Hedron’s open data relay network wants to optically route data between various satellites in orbit and send it back down to earth, allowing continuous connectivity.
A new filing shows Givinga has raised $3.8M in equity. The corporate giving software company helps companies enable their employees to engage with charitable causes through employee benefits programs.
A new company called Arcaea just launched out of the Ginkgo Bioworks platform with a $78M Series A led by Cascade Investment, Viking Global, CHANEL, Givaudan, and Wittington Ventures. They’re a biotech company focused on creating regenerative ingredients for the cosmetics industry by leveraging DNA sequencing and biological engineering.
They’re leveraging Ginkgo’s platform to create, “a world of previously unimaginable possibilities in beauty, such as: a fragrance that no one on earth has ever smelled before; proteins that can memorize hairstyles; contouring through skincare and not just makeup; and biological filters that protect skin from the elements.”
Sync Computing 💻
National Grid’s venture capital arm just announced an investment into Sync Computing. The round size wasn’t disclosed, but National Grid Partners made six investments that totaled $24M. The MIT spinout is building a cloud optimization engine that increases network efficiency and carbon emissions.
ClubNFT, a company building infrastructure for the NFT world, raised a $3M seed round co-led by Galaxy Digital and Galaxy Interactive, with support from Red Swan Ventures, CMT Digital, Sfermion, Draper Dragon, and Richard Entrup.
Their main offering is a service that will safely hold the media assets linked to NFTs to avoid a situation where they get rug-pulled and you’re stuck with an expensive hyperlink to nowhere. Savvy NFT creators typically use decentralized services like IPFS to accomplish this level of protection, but ClubNFT wants to back up those assets again to add a further level of protection.
Epicore Biosystems 💦
Per a new filing, sweat analysis company Epicore Biosystems has raised $4.7M. They offer a performance tracking patch that relays data about an athlete’s hydration levels to optimize performance — most recently partnering with Gatorade.
Continuous security platform Wabbi just raised a $2M Seed Round led by Mendoza Ventures, with participation from Cisco Investments. Their platform helps identify code defects in development pipelines that could lead to security flaws before they’re taken live.
Lightforce Orthodontics 🪥
Following a $14M Series B last September, Lightforce Orthodontics has raised a new $50M Series C led by Kleiner Perkins, with support from Matrix Partners, Tyche Partners, and AM Ventures. They create customized, 3D-printed brackets for braces that allow for cheaper tooth alignments services and higher treatment margins for dental care providers.
Sophya, a metaverse company developing immersive digital coworking experiences, just raised a $15M Seed Round led by Talis Capital. The Harvard i-Labs company is similar to startups like Branch that are popping up to make online coworking feel more like a video game than a chore.
Clean energy analytics firm REsurety just raised a $16M Series B led by Hannon Armstrong, with support from Launch Capital. Their platform provides market intelligence for clean energy buyers, sellers, and investors.
Hosta Labs 📷
Per a new filing, it looks like Hosta Labs has raised $11.5M from investors including Spider Capital and Eclipse Partners. The year-old company uses AI to assess physical spaces and generate insights from a simple photograph. It can be used by property insurers to get accurate replacement values for underwriting purposes.
Pison Technology 🧠
Another new filing shows that Pison Technology has raised another $1.4M. The 2019 MassChallenge winner uses AI and neuromuscular sensors to make human-machine interfaces — ones that can be manipulated by thought. Their tech was originally developed for the ALS community and has since evolved to a handful of applications.
BetterLesson has raised $6M in new funding, according to a new filing. The company helps educators connect to share high-quality lesson plans and also produces its own “Master Teacher” lesson plans in-house. BetterLesson was first covered in TechCrunch nine years ago and has since grown to over 100 employees.