Last (Two) Weeks in Boston Tech Deals
$1.8B in New Funding for Boston Startups
There were a ton of financing announcements over the last two weeks. Enough that I reached the Substack text limit, so I’ll get right to it.
Stuff I’m Reading:
The eyeball-scanning “Worldcoin” cryptocurrency is officially here
LinkedIn joins the graveyard of American social companies launched in China
More leaks of Amazon’s efforts to copy and de-list third party sellers
Filings: Spark Capital is raising a $650M Fund VII and $1.3B Growth Fund
Email me if interested: Boston-area B2B company currently raising.
Boston Tech Financing Updates:
Keeping up with the tradition of writing about Thrasio once a month, the company just announced a new billion dollar Series D led by Silverlake and Advent International. The Amazon business acquirer declined to give an exact figure, but said the valuation is between $5B and $10B — a casual difference. Just last month, I wrote about their new $650B debt facility from banks including JP Morgan, BlackRock, and Goldman Sachs. Apparently they’re buying an average of 1.5 business a week — AKA they’re rocking the same investment pace as Tiger Global.
Aura, which I just covered in June when they raised a $150M Series E, has now raised a $200M Series F — more than doubling their valuation to $2.5B. The round was led by Madrone Capital Partners. They provide an all-in-one digital security service for consumers that includes antivirus and identity protection. The company has now raised about $650M and generated $220M in revenue in FY’20.
Cybersecurity and data analytics firm Devo just secured a $250M Series E at a $1.5B valuation. The round was led by TCV, with participation from General Atlantic and Eurazeo. The ten-year-old company, originally out of Spain, focuses on cloud-native logging of customer data for IT support and cybersecurity uses. They last raised a $60M in Series D funding from Georgian Partners in Sept’20.
Via Separations 🏭
Via Separations, a company developing a new low-carbon manufacturing process, raised a $38M Series B led by NGP ETP, with participation from 2040 Foundation, The Engine, Safar Partners, Prime Impact Fund, Embark Ventures and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. They focus reducing waste and energy consumption during the industrial thermal separation process — beginning with its role in the pulp paper industry.
DTC coffee company Cometeer just raised a $35M Series B from names including D1 Capital, Elephant, Tao Capital, Addition Ventures, Avenir, Greycroft Partners, and TQ Ventures. They make aluminum pods that contain flash-frozen, highly-concentrated coffee from a collection of fancy roasters. We all love hating on VC-backed DTC products, but this stuff is just plain delicious and super convenient.
Unapologetically sharing my referral link, plz use: https://cometeer.com/r/R74OvY
Cloud media operations company Molten officially raised its new $7M seed round led by Abstract Ventures, with a long list of participants including Ashton Kutcher, Michael Ovitz, Jack Dorsey, Bill Ackman, Henry Ward, and others. They’re simplifying digital media company operations with a cloud solution that includes rights management, content management, and delivery management.
Nirrin Technologies 🧪
Biomanufacturing analytics company Nirrin Technologies raised $8.5M, per a new Form D. Lots of startups are targeting the traditional factory floor to provide insightful analytics (like Machine Metrics and Datanomix). However, the “factory floor” of laboratories working with bioreactors seems to have less options.
CIBO Technologies 🌾
Cambridge and Minnestota-based CIBO has raised a $30M Series C for its regenerative farming software solution. The Flagship Pioneering company uses various data feeds to generate insights about the value, productivity, stability, and sustainability of farmland. Using the website or mobile app, users can map out acres of farmland and arrive at data-backed valuations for land parcels. The tech could be used for scaling agricultural operations using a data-driven approach, or maybe even as a tool for derivatives traders.
Circe Biosciences 🍲
Circe Biosciences, which is turning carbon emissions into edible fat, has raised $1.6M, per a Form D. They’re working on using CO2 to produce the flavorful and textured fats in the foods that we love using a special fermentation process.
Elastomeric scanning company GelSight has raised $6M, per a new filing. Elastomeric is a fancy way of saying that a polymer is very rubber-like. The company has put a rubber-like “finger” at the end of a sensor that can be rubbed across object surfaces to provide detailed 3D measurements. The gel tip of the scanner acts a bit like a key mold as it presses into an object and takes the form of its nooks and crannies. Why is this important? Robotics, manufacturing, and other deep-tech fields need quick micron-level measurements of surfaces to improve products.
Google cloud just tacked on another $50M to Cybereason’s war chest, following a $275M Series F back in July and bringing their total raised to $715M. The Israel and Boston-based endpoint security company is now one of the most-funded cybersecurity startups globally.
Micromobility fleet management startup Zoba has raised a $12M Series A led by NTTVC, with participation from CRV. Their software helps shared micromobility fleet operators optimize operations and improve profitability though machine learning.
According to a new Form D, real estate tech company Padgea has raised $500K in seed funding. They’re building a global apartment leasing platform that’s “integrating landlords, property managers, brokers and staff into one unified system where all parties can collaborate.”
Black Kite (FKA Normshield) 🛡️
Black Kite, one of the several Boston-based cyber risk ratings startups, has raised a new $22M Series B led by Volition Capital, with participation from Moore Strategic Ventures, Glasswing Ventures and Data Point Capital.
Righthand Robotics 🦾
A new Form D shows that Righthand Robotics has raised $19M in fresh capital. They’re one of the several Boston-area robotics companies focusing on improving eCommerce order fulfillment. Others include Pickle Robot and XYZ Robotics. RightHand has previously raised from investors including GV, Menlo Ventures, Matrix Partners, and Playground Global.
Chloris Geospatial 🛰️
Geospatial analytics company Chloris Geospatial has raised $2.5M — per a new Form D. They’re using new and existing satellite data to help various parties accurately measure “natural capital”, quantifying things like carbon stock in land. We all know climate change is here, but pinpointing exactly how impactful it is across the entire Earth’s surface is something that many startups are tackling. Namely Muon Space, Salo, NCX, and Planet Labs.
More: BlackRock CEO Larry Fink: The next 1,000 billion-dollar start-ups will be in climate tech
Cambridge-based Belle.ai has raised $2.5M, per a new Form D. The company is working on digital health AI solutions to help model and mitigate national health risks.
Jambb, which makes NFTs of comedy specials, has raised a $3.5M seed round co-led by Arrington Capital and Animoca Brands. Other backers included Dapper Labs, ParaFi Capital, and Nextview Ventures. Apparently these NFTs will feature “meaningful IP rights to actual content” and other potential perks like VIP access to comedian events.
SOC Prime 🛡️
Threat detection marketplace SOC Prime just raised an $11M Series A led by DNX Ventures, with support from Streamlined Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners. They operate a “Spotify for cyber threats” which lets users pull threat detection content from thousands of security researchers into their existing XDR/SIEM platforms — and compensates the researchers each time their content is used.
Privacy rights management software company Cytrio has raised a $3.5M seed round from investors including Dreamit Ventures, Food Retail Ventures and Rockwood Group. They provide automated CCPA compliance for platforms to easily implement data privacy rights management for their users (right to know, right to access, right to delete, etc).
A new filing shows that Eversound has raised $3M in new capital. The company develops wireless headphones for use in senior living facilities to better engage with residents. It’s like a hyper-local radio station that plays interactive content for seniors.
Exporta Technolgoies 🚢
According to Crunchbase and investor websites, Exporta Technologies has raised $5M from Valor Equity Partners and Felicis Ventures. The company is developing a B2B marketplace to connect Latin American suppliers with North American buyers.
Battery Resourcers 🔋
Lithium-ion battery recycling and manufacturing company Battery Resourcers has raised $70M in a mid-round led by Orbia Ventures and Koura. They turn old battery waste into nickel-manganese-cobalt cathodes that can be sold back to battery manufacturers.
Healthcare data science company ScienceIO has emerged from sleath with $8M in seed funding. The capital came from investors including Section 32 and Sea Lane Ventures, alongside many “solo-capitalist” funds like Josh Buckley’s and Lachy Groom’s. They’re working on turning unstructured biomedical data into searchable, structured medical insights using NLP. Packy McCormick (also an investor) did a profile on the company last week called “The Model of Everything.”