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Last Week in Boston Tech Deals
Boston Tech Raised $200M Last Week
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Stuff I’m Reading:
Boston Tech Financing Announcements:
Acoustic sensor developer Vesper has raised $18M in a new round led by Accomplice, with participation from corporates including Bose and the Amazon Alexa Fund. They develop piezoelectric MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) microphones and sensors. Their tech aims to dramatically improve the quality and durability of microphones used in the interfaces we interact with every day. Back in April, they raised $8M in funding in a round led by Applied Ventures.
Catalog, a company building a computing platform with DNA as the backbone, just raised a $35M Series B led by Hanwha Impact Partners. Back in September of last year, they had raised $10M in Series A funding from Horizon Ventures and Airbus Ventures.
The five-year-old company believes that chemical-based DNA processes will serve as a more effective computing platform compared to existing systems — allowing for high parallel computations among the molecules they’re being run on. Additionally, they believe DNA’s effectiveness as a storage solution comes from the density of data that can be written onto it:
Apparently even current-day hard drives only have a storage-to-size ratio of 30 million gigabytes per cubic meter, which adds up quickly as we continue to ramp up data center development worldwide. Catalog claims that they can store 600 billion gigabytes into the same volume by encoding data onto DNA. Last year, they filmed a short documentary on their process of putting the entirety of Wikipedia into DNA.
The funding announcement makes Wired’s recent piece on biohackers encoding malware into DNA all the more interesting. A group of researchers at the University of Washington managed to encode malicious software into DNA strands that infects any sequencer that reads it. 😨
“No Code” AI platform Akkio just raised a $3M Seed Round led by Bain Capital Ventures. They want to help non-data science operators at businesses quickly turn data sets into predictive models for better decision-making.
Surgical technology startup Activ Surgical has officially closed its $45M Series B. The round was led by Cota Capital, with participation from BAM Funds, Magnetar Capital, Mint Ventures, Castor Ventures, Dream One Vision, and Nvidia. The four-year-old company is developing a platform called ActiveEdge™ for both collaborative and fully autonomous surgical procedures. In 2016, they performed the world’s first autonomous suturing procedure on a live pig and are now working to commercialize the process. Their goal is to use AI to supplement surgeons — cutting down on the number of preventable surgical errors that happen each year.
Following a $530M Series F just last month, Boston and London-based open-source cybersecurity platform Snyk has raised an additional $75M from Atlassian Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. The investment also tacked on an additional $100M to their previous valuation, bringing it to $8.6B.
Third-party risk solutions provider SecZetta just announced a $20.5M Series B led by SYN Ventures, with support from MassMutual Ventures, ClearSky, and Rally Ventures. They help businesses safely collect non-employee data while managing the appropriate provisions for such data throughout its lifecycle.
According to a new filing, crowdfunding analytics platform KingsCrowd has raised $1.1M. The company aggregates private market investment opportunities from a variety of sources and puts them into one feed to surface the most popular qualified investment opportunities.