Carta Launches Total Comp
Boston Tech Companies Raised $378M Last Week
I enjoy following product launches from the financial intermediaries that sell to the startup world. I’ve written about AngelList’s Rolling Funds, Recurring Transfers, and Roll Up Vehicles in the past. It’s interesting to follow because I think we’ll look back at the companies reducing the complexities of running/investing in startups in a similar way to how we look at AWS did for web hosting. Get a product online in minutes, get a financial structure up in minutes.
Carta is at an interesting inflection point as a company. On one end, they’re the massive incumbent that’s inching towards bringing liquidity to private markets with CartaX. On the other end, they’re facing fierce competition from up-and-coming cap table management companies like Pulley, SecFi, and from the local favorite Shoobx. The rivalry here is great because startups benefit immensely in terms of cost reduction and feature growth. Carta’s newest feature is Total Comp, which helps private companies efficiently grant equity packages using real-time private market data on stock options and salaries.
Carta’s massive trove of private market cap table data gives them a significant edge on the competition. They’ll compare employee compensation packages to other private peer groups so startups can get more scientific about what to initially offer employees — and also what to give employees before they start to think about leaving. It overlays those comparative equity packages with real-time salary data, so startups can see the equity-salary mix they’re offering employees across the company and how it compares to other compensation packages at private tech companies.
It also feeds nicely into their thesis behind CartaX. Public companies are siphoning away the best talent because they can offer cash, stock, and liquidity. Startups historically have only been able to offer the first two. Now services like CartaX and AngelList’s Recurring Transfers are leveling the playing field, as are more local players in Boston like Vested. As Carta’s CEO puts it, “Private company growth curves with public-like liquidity.” More transparent equity package pricing among private companies also hopefully leads to more competitive offers to employees.
This also reminded me of the bizarre and insane story of Greg Reyes, CEO of Brocade Communications — the first person to ever be convicted for fraudulent backdating of stock options, and who was recently pardoned by Trump. It turns out that serving on an equity compensation committee can be more dangerous than it seems.
Stuff I’m Reading:
Profile of Boston-based Neurable, which makes anti-distraction headphones
Fidelity Digital Asset Dir. of Research leaves for Castle Island Ventures
Interview with Jason Finger on hybrid investment firm Upper90
Boston Tech Financing Rounds
Wasabi just secured a $112M Series C led by Fidelity, with support from Forestay Capital and North Atlantic Capital. It’s is a cloud storage company that can store data at 1/5th of the cost of competitors’ services. The company’s product eliminates the need for complex tiers of storage. Instead of storing data in different places based on the frequency of use or speed that it must be accessed, it can all instantly be uploaded and retrieved using a “hot storage” technique. They raised a $30M Series B less than a year ago.
Surgical data platform Caresyntax just raised $100M in Series C funding led by PFM Health Sciences LP., with participation from Optum Ventures, Intel Capital, Lauxera Capital Partners, Vesalius Biocapital III, Arno Capital, Rezayat Investments. They measure device, imaging, video, EMR, and vitals data in operating rooms to extract insights that improve surgical experiences.
Relevant to the conversation above, Waltham-based Salary.com just secured $67M from Accel-KKR Credit Partners, Centre Lane, and Wells Fargo Capital Finance. Not as much focused on the equity side, but they build software that helps companies calculate competitive salaries for employees.
Seven Bridges 🧬
Bioinformatics company Seven Bridges announced the close of the first $15M of their $30M Series C. They offer an end-to-end data analytics platform that speeds up the journey from sifting through raw biomedical data to making treatments and diagnostics.
VerAI, which is building an AI platform for uncovering mineral deposits, raised $3.4M. They want to use massive datasets from terrain explorations to trace unique signatures of mineral deposits that current systems, or the naked eye, couldn’t catch.
Another interesting local mining technology company: Phoenix Tailings.
Prescient Devices 📡
Prescient Devices announced a $2M seed round led by Z5 Capital last week. They’re working on a low-code platform for IoT solutions in a drag-and-drop style.
Insulin management software company Glytec just raised $21M, with $9M coming in the form of debt from SVB and $12M in equity led by Savitr Capital. They’re serving the 34M diabetic Americans with their software Glucommander, which helps with inpatient and outpatient glycemic care.
Materials science company LiquiGlide just raised $13.5M for its plastic that eliminates friction between solids and liquids, reducing waste that usually sticks to containers. It has a host of consumer and B2B applications, but the ketchup video speaks for itself. No surprise that Colgate toothpaste just partnered with them.
Impact Biosystems 😅
Athletic recovery technology company Impact Biosystems just raised a $4.5M seed round led by Will Ventures and NextView Ventures. They want to use hardware and software to track the muscle profile of individuals and simulate the active recovery process in real time.
Unlike other devices on the market that use crank-piston based mechanisms, the Impact device employs a proprietary electromagnetic actuator for greater accuracy, precision, and real-time monitoring. This allows the recovery process to be highly customized to each individuals’ muscles, making it more effective. — Impact
Outcomes4Me just announced a $12M oversubscribed Series A. They’re the developer of a mobile application to help guide breast cancer patients through the complex treatment process. The app helps empower patients to make well-informed decisions regarding treatment or clinical trial opportunities related to breast cancer. It’s led by ex-Celsius Therapeutics COO Maya Said.
Form Health 🏃
Personalized telehealth weight loss company Form Health has raised $11M in a $12M round. They’re previously backed by SignalFire and provide users with a personalized weight loss plan with ongoing support from a specialized physician.
According to a recent Form D filing, enterprise knowledge management company Keeeb just raised $8M in funding. They’re working on enterprise search — a fascinating new category focused on making disparate workplace resources accessible via a single search bar — similar to companies like Command E.
After raising $6.6M back in January, Slim.ai just raised an additional $3M according to a new filing. They’re building a product on top of the opensource project DockerSlim (which the founding team helped develop) that takes care of the complexity associated with containerized applications so developers can instead focus on writing and running code.
Techstars alum Wunderite just announced a $3M seed round led by Spark Capital, with participation from Boston Seed and leading insurance industry executives. Spark’s Alex Finkelstein also joined the board. They build software for the insurance industry to help independent agents create customer workflows that rival enterprise-grade applications that large insurers can build.
Fisherman, a small business marketing platform focused on generating customized websites for the restaurant industry, raised $1M from Lorimer Ventures according to Crunchbase.
A new filing shows that Attestiv raised $1M in a $4M round. They help businesses guarantee the authenticity of digital assets. I last wrote about them in March’20 when they closed a $2M seed round led by Castle Island Ventures. They authenticate digital assets to verify they haven’t been altered — something especially valuable in industries such as insurance underwriting, IoT network communications, and media.
Blackburn Energy 🚚
A new filing shows that Blackburn Energy just raised $500K in new funding. Their main product is a kinetic energy recovery system that can be retrofitted onto existing trucks. By storing kinetic energy from braking and downhill coasting, drivers can generate electricity, store it in an auxiliary battery, and use it for the many electronic components on a modern truck (lifts, radios, etc). This takes stress off of the alternators and allows truck drivers to use those electronics without idling the vehicle.