Boston Tech Deals is Back!
Boston Tech Deals is back with help from Abigail Risse!
It’s been a while!
My last post here was over a year ago, so I’m literally years overdue for an update.
Every week for over two years, I delivered a quick snapshot of the Boston tech financing ecosystem to your inboxes. Some of you who subscribed in the interim didn’t even see these! (Here’s an archive of some top posts for those interested).
Why the Break?
It turns out startups are really hard. Why didn’t anyone warn me of this?!
I joined AngelList as employee #99 in 2021. Since then, we’ve:
Raised $100M from Tiger, Accomplice, and our investor community.
Done a full rebrand, and forked out AngelList Talent into Wellfound.
Added $5B+ in AUM (now totaling $14.7B).
Onboarded thousands of new fund managers and limited partners.
…and done a bunch of other stuff you can read about here.
My work to date has centered around advising emerging and established VCs on how to launch, raise, deploy, and manage a venture capital fund. I’ve learned a ton about what it takes to get a fund off the ground and have built relationships with hundreds of amazing GPs at different points in their investing journey. If you’re curious to learn more, happy to chat!
While I loved the honor of being a welcomed email in each of your inboxes every week, I needed to step back to help grow this company, and take care of my mental well-being.
Many of you have reached out and asked when I’ll make a reappearance and start writing again. At the time, I didn’t have a great answer. That was until I met Abigail Risse from Hyperplane VC last fall.
She’s a rising star on Hyperplane’s investment team and reached out to discuss what I saw as an opportunity that lead me to begin writing this.
There’s still a gap in the market for a deeper look at the growing Boston tech community — often overshadowed by both our NY/SF counterparts in size, and by the separate (but equally impressive) bio ecoystem.
We spent weeks brainstorming what went well and what could be improved upon. My historical approach was a hacked-together process that became less iterative over time. Abigail brought so many fresh ideas to the table and has an ear to the ground in Boston tech that few, if any, are able to match.
When she proposed the idea of taking it over with a refreshed approach, I was thrilled because:
Like you, I miss staying up to date on this ecosystem, and;
I could tell she was someone capable of scaling this into something awesome.
So with that…
(Re) Introducing Boston Tech Deals!
I’ll plan on keeping this Substack and (eventually) picking up on writing about my learnings from AngelList and beyond, so this won’t be the last of me.
Abigail put together a first edition to give you a taste of what she’ll be writing about and we’ll transition this reading list to her new Substack.
If you like it, definitely shoot her a note at email@example.com
01/23/2023: Boston Deals of Last Week
From smallest to largest fundings.
Pharmesol Raises $300K for Medication Follow-Up Care
Pharmesol, a clinical services platform that automates follow-up care for medications, has raised $160K of a $300K total offering from 2 investors, including Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator. Pharmesol is founded by MIT students Saumya Rawat, Evan Feldman, and Natalie Park.
Xander Raises $1.4M Pre-seed Round for Smart Glasses for Hearing Loss
Xander, formerly Spark23 and developer of smart glasses that display real-time captions of what other people are saying for less than the average pair of hearing aids, has announced a $1.4M pre-seed round on a SAFE note led by Analog Device’s former CEO and co-founder, Ray Stata with participation from Mark Ethier and other notable angel investors. According to the announcement, Xander is launching a pilot with the Veteran's Health Administration in February 2023 and hopes to have two models of XanderGlasses available for purchase in mid-year 2023.
EquiLife Raises $1.5M for Stephen Cabral’s Alternative Wellness Practices
Formally Equilibrium Nutrition founded in 2018, EquiLife leverages the two decades founder and CEO Stephen Cabral spent practicing naturopathic, ayurvedic, and functional medicine. EquiLife has raised $1.5M from 2 undisclosed investors to further its reach in providing Naturopathic, Ayurvedic, BioRegulatory, and Orthomolecular medicine practices.
Found Energy Raises $1.7M for Carbon-Free Fuel Production
Found Energy, an MIT spinout co-founded by former NASA scientist and MIT PhD Peter Godart, uses recovers aluminum waste from landfills and uses a carbon-free process to produce hydrogen for less than $0.50 per kilogram and at five times the volumetric energy density of liquid hydrogen. The company has raised $1.7M from 13 investors including Impact Science Ventures.
Zyp Run Raises $2.6M for Cannabis Delivery
Zyp Run, Boston’s first cannabis delivery company, has raised $2.6M led by Satori Investment Partners and Mollitiam Capital. The four co-founders founded Zyp Run to prevent the continuation of an inequitable status quo in the cannabis industry by employing and empowering individuals from communities that were negatively impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. PR Newswire has more.
Pepper Bio Raises $3.7M of $6M Seed Round
Pepper Bio, developer of a cloud-based platform for drug discovery and research, the “Waze for drug discovery”, has raised $3.7M towards a $6M Seed round from 7 total investors so far including Reinforced Ventures, as of January 25th. Pepper Bio is a member of the first cohort of Merck’s Digital Sciences Studio (MDSS), a new 10-month-long accelerator program in Boston run by Merck and Microsoft for Startups. As a part of this program, companies receive direct investment ($150,000) from the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Northpond Ventures, and McKesson Ventures. The company raised a pre-seed round from NFX in 2021.
UptimeHealth Raises $4.5M Series A
UptimeHealth, a provider of equipment management software for healthcare facilities, has announced a $4.5M Series A round co-led by Caduceus Capital Partners and Wavemaker 360 Health, the round consisted of both new capital and SAFE note conversions. UptimeHealth’s platform enables operators of healthcare facilities to manage compliance, predict equipment maintenance, and leverage a network of technicians for service. Official filing here.
MingsBings Raises $4.8M for Plant-Based Nutrition
MingsBings, a plant-based frozen food brand founded by Iron Chef Ming Tsai, has raised $4.8M from 14 total investors. MingsBings previously raised $8M Series A from Two Bridge Capital and other investors in 2021. The brand is offered in nearly 4,000 grocery stores in the US and is on the select menus of Fenway Park, TD Garden, and the Hard Rock Stadium among various other locations.
Pre Health Technology Raises $5M for New Stealth Biometric Wearable
Pre Health, a “stealth” company developing a “new-to-the-world biometric wearable” with a goal of implementing an aggressive low-power electronic design, has raised $5M from 31 undisclosed investors. Daniel Lee, co-founder and CEO, previously sold Hush, developer of the smart earplug, to Bose, thus catalyzing Bose’s noise-masking sleepbuds™. Pre Health is currently operating in stealth mode and claims to be near-launch. Official filing here.
LovePop Raises $5M of $15M Offering for Alternative Greeting Cards
LovePop, a company aiming to transform the industry of traditional greeting cards with 3D laser-cut designs, has filed for a $15M offering. As of 1/23, they have received $2M of this as a new investment from undisclosed investors, and $3M of this has come from outstanding converting equities. LovePop last raised a $10M Series B from Highland Capital Partners and Accomplice Partners in 2019.
CargoMetrics Raises $5.95M for Maritime Shipping Analytics
CargoMetrics, a data startup using software to provide real-time insight to hedge funds and wealth managers about the global shipping industry, raised $5.95M from 8 undisclosed investors. Founded in 2010, CargoMetrics’ original founder and CEO, Scott Borgerson, resigned in 2020 after alleged ties to Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell. James Scully took over as CEO and has been instrumental in the success of their data product, The Crude Pack, offering insights into global seaborne crude oil flows, broken down by grade of oil for 60 countries with a history dating back to 2010.
IQ Bar Raises $6M Series B for Brain Health Plant-Based Protein Bars
IQ Bar, a South Boston-based company making better-for-your-brain protein bars, has raised a $6M Series B from 6 undisclosed investors. According to an announcement, Biscoff, TREK and Bear brand manufacturer, Lotus Bakeries, acted as the lead investor. They made the investment in the Boston-based business through its venture fund FF2032.
Morphoceuticals Raises $9.8M for Regenerative Medicine
Morphoceuticals, a Boston-based biotech employing novel bioelectric approaches to regenerative therapies, has raised $9.8M from 3 undisclosed investors, inclusive of a convertible loan into equities. Current board members include those employed by Prime Movers Lab and Juvenescence. Morphoceuticals is co-founded by Drs. Levin and Kaplan from Tufts University and last raised a Seed round from Juvenescence in 2022.
Proximity Therapeutics, Stealth Neuroscience Biotech, Raises $11M
Founded by Harvard Medical School faculty, Proximity Therapeutics has developed a platform for the discovery and development of medicines targeting neurodegenerative diseases. Proximity, currently a “stealth” company, has raised $11M from Mass General Brigham Ventures, Mission Bio Capital, Pillar VC, and other undisclosed investors. Guillermo Elias has assumed the role of President and CEO after a decorated career in healthcare after attending Stanford Graduate School of Business. Official filing here.
Synk Raises Additional $24M from ServiceNow
Cybersecurity company, Synk, has announced a strategic investment of $24M from ServiceNow to accelerate enterprise developer security. This announcement follows their $196.5M Series G investment in late 2022.
Miach Orthopaedics Secures $40M Series B Financing
Miach Orthopaedics, developer of the Bridge-Enhanced ACL Restoration (BEAR®) Implant, announced a $40M Series B led by Sectoral Asset Management and Endeavour Vision, as well as existing investors including Amzak Health, Smith+Nephew, DSM Venturing and the NFL Players Association. An additional $10 million in venture debt from Silicon Valley Bank was also closed. Instead of the traditional ACL replacement with a graft, Miach’s BEAR impact serves as a bridge to restore the patient’s own ACL. Businesswire has more here.
E14 Fund Files for $75M Fund 3
E14 Fund is an early-stage venture fund investing in deep tech companies with key contributors from MIT and the MIT Media Lab. They have filed for a $75M offering for their third fund.
Locally Owned Small Business of the Week: The Heritage Club
Founded by Nike John, The Heritage Club is the first Black woman-owned cannabis shop in Boston located on Cambridge St. in Charlestown. Nike is also the youngest person to be a sole owner of a cannabis dispensary in Boston. To ensure her customers are confident about their purchases, The Heritage Club has a room dedicated to educating customers on their products, plus, nearly 30% of products are diversity-owned or mission-driven.
Startup of the Week: Lydian Labs (Seed)
Based in Cambridge, Lydian Labs is developing a cheap and highly efficient electro-thermal reactor system that converts captured CO2 into fuels and chemicals. Lydian plans to serve a number of applications in the chemical industries and is starting with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) that will be carbon-neutral, cost-effective, and a drop-in alternative to products derived from fossil fuels. The company was co-founded by Joe Rodden and Branko Zugic and was selected as 1 of 8 startups for the Year 2 Cohort of the Carbon to Value Initiative in 2022. They are backed by Union Square Ventures, Voyager, Congruent Ventures and Global Founders Capital.
Tech and Business
Wednesday, 1/18, and Friday, 1/20: MIT Technology Licensing Office hosts a 2-day Golden Speaker Series. Speakers include Bob Langer, Sangeeta Bhatia, Hugh Herr, and Dave Perreault.
Wednesday, 1/18 at 4-8 PM: Vector’s Capital is hosting a BioInnovation x Climate Night at the Engine.
Weekly on Tuesdays 6-8:30 PM: Liberty Hotel Gallery Night Tuesdays
Weekly on Mondays 6:30-8 AM: If your 2023 resolution included a new fitness routine, what better way to keep you accountable than working out with others? Boston Bouldering Project has a Run Club.
Staying Informed: Local Headlines
Governor Maura Healey Outlines Priorities and Plans During Inauguration Ceremony
As part of her inauguration ceremony, Governor Maura Healey, who has made history as the first openly gay woman to be elected Governor of Massachusetts, outlined her plan for the first 100 days in office. Among her highlighted plans, Governor Healey intends to:
Introduce a free community college program for those 25 and over without a degree.
Ramp up rental housing initiatives and identify land for construction.
Increase the child tax credit and the tax deduction for renters.
Hire a secretary of housing, a safety chief for the MBTA, and fund an additional 1,000 MBTA employees.
Electrify state vehicle fleets and increase solar and wind initiatives.
Several Changes to Massachusetts Law Effective January 1st
New laws in 2023 will include:
A minimum wage increase from $14.25 to $15 flat in 2023.
The new Millionaire’s Tax (Question 1 on the state ballot) raises taxes for anyone making over $1M per year from 5% to 9% in 2023.
The Sunday premium pay that has decreased to 1.1x in 2022 will likely be brought down to zero in 2023 for most employees.
Relevant Reads (Just 4)
HealthTech Predictions for 2023. The HTN newsletter surveyed a group of ~90 startup operators, founders, investors, corporates, and more about their predictions for where health tech will go in 2023.
A Foundation Model Primer for Investors and Builders. This edition adds in generative AI highlights and examples, a market map with 180+ companies, and a 2023 outlook among other insights.
Control your Growth, Control your Future by Accel. This post includes insights and recommendations for startup founders on how to manage growth during this downturn.
2022 Venture Capital Executive Compensation Survey from Morgan Stanley. Key insights include: Average headcount by revenue and capital raised, averaged valuation, funding, and revenue for private companies, cash and equity compensation for founders & non-founder executives, and remote work participation.
Thanks for reading!