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Metcalfe Reflects on $2.7B 3Com Buyout, MyPunchbowl Parent Adds New Punch, $30M More for Fate Therapeutics, & More Boston Deals News

Xconomy Boston — 

Dealmakers appear to be getting their business done before the week of Thanksgiving—because we’ve seen a decent stream of deal closings involving Boston-area life sciences and tech companies over the past week or so.

—Framingham, MA-based Punchbowl Software, which operates the party planning website MyPunchbowl.com, said it acquired technology assets of a group vacation website called I’m In. Punchbowl founder and CEO Matt Douglas provided details on why the transaction made sense for his startup.

—After months of operating quietly, seed-stage venture fund Founder Collective officially debuted last week. Eric Paley, a managing partner and co-founder of the firm, told us why he and other software entrepreneurs came together to form the new venture outfit, which has offices in Cambridge, MA and New York City. Here’s a hint: They were a bit frustrated with the status quo in the venture industry.

Fate Therapeutics, the San Diego-based biotech startup focused on developing techniques that make stem cell research practical for the pharmaceutical industry, reeled in $30 million in a Series B round of venture financing. Kirkland, WA-based OVP Venture Partners led the new round of investment in Fate, which was founded by top academics at Harvard University, Stanford University, The Scripps Research Institute, and the University of Washington.

ImmunoGen (NASDAQ:IMGN), a Waltham, MA-based biotech firm, reported this week that the firm sold a second license to its technology—which is for linking targeted antibodies to cell-killing molecules—to industry giant Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) for $1 million upfront, plus potential milestone payments.

Corindus, a Natick, MA-based startup developing a robotic system for implanting vascular stents, collected $5.3 million of a planned $10 million in venture dollars, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

—Cambridge -based Ligon Discovery found $1 million in a seed round of financing from incTANK Ventures, with plans to validate its small molecule microarray system for drug discovery that was developed at Harvard. The company was founded by folks from Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

—We spotted Angus Davis, a co-founder of Microsoft’s voice-based Internet search subsidiary Tellme Networks, at Polaris Venture Partners’ Dogpatch Labs recently and wondered what he was up to. It looks like he’s been working on a new Providence, RI-based startup called Swipely, which quietly swept up a cool $1 million from First Round Capital.

—Jealous? Highland Capital Partners, the Lexington, MA-based venture powerhouse, closed its eighth fund, worth a whopping $400 million. While that’s a big sum even in the world of venture investing, peHUB’s Dan Primack pointed out that Highland’s previous fund was twice the size of its most recent one.

—Last week technology legend Bob Metcalfe provided an insider’s perspective of Hewlett-Packard’s $2.7 billion buyout of 3Com, the Marlborough, MA-based firm that he founded in 1979. Very few people get to reflect on their role in a deal of this magnitude, so it’s definitely worth reading what Bob had to say.

—From the bad news department, Bob reported last week that autumn brought a decline in Massachusetts venture deal activity. Investors bet a total of $169 million in 19 venture deals in the Bay State last month, down from the $228 million pumped into 25 deals in the state in September.

—Newton, MA-based Powerhouse Dynamics is raising $2 million in venture funding to develop software that tells consumers how much energy they are consuming. This could be just the information that people need to remind them to turn off the lights before they leave a room or lower the thermostat before heading to work for the day.

—It seems like there’s consolidation in every business nowadays. The Renewable Energy Business Network (REBN), a group of cleantech professionals in the Boston area, merged operations with the Clean Economy Network Foundation of Washington, DC. The REBN name will be phased out in favor of the Clean Economy Network name.