New England’s Lucky Seven: Under the Radar Startup Financings in April

Xconomy Boston — 

What do an online music marketing service, a maker of a platform that helps employers target job ads to potential candidates based on what they read, and a developer of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease all have in common? They’re all New England companies that pulled in financings worth less than $1 million in April, or what we like to call under-the-radar deals.

We got the data on their financings from our private company intelligence platform partner CB Insights, who also supplies us with a list of bigger monthly venture transactions. (Massachusetts companies pulled in $203 million across 21 of these $1 million-plus equity deals in April.) The under-the-radar deals are often too small for us to write about when news first breaks of them, but we think rounding up the deals as a group each month helps to paint a richer picture of what startup investing looks like in the region. And often the companies that make the list are the ones that are ramping up to exit stealth mode and hit the market.

There were five equity deals on April’s under-the-radar list, with the biggest financing, at $502,512, going to Waverx, a Waltham, MA-based maker of dermatological treatments. Two other companies brought in funding with options-based transactions. The April under-the-radar list shrank from March, when there were 16 such transactions, but it still includes a dynamic mix of life sciences companies, software makers, and Internet startups.

One interesting company on the April list was Hire Reach, a Cambridge, MA-based tech startup that’s revamping the employee search process. The company is using algorithms to get a picture of engineering job candidates based on the blogs and articles they read, and provide more targeted job ads to them. It pulled in $401,000 in equity-based funding last month.

Meanwhile, a $265,000 equity deal went to Playsmrt, a stealthy Bedford, MA-based company led by Beth Marcus, a serial entrepreneur who sold her joystick technology company EXOS to Microsoft in 1996. The company doesn’t have a website, but I actually caught up with Marcus last week to discuss the women’s CEO group she’s a member of. She told me that her venture is working on making the Internet safer for kids to browse.

We did happen to report on one of the financings on the list when it happened: the $376,950 that went to Nimbit, a Framingham, MA-based online music marketing service. (Earlier this year, the company also donated a year of its retail service as a prize for our Battle of the Tech Bands event). The April transaction capped off a $1.75 million Series A-1 round of funding, the company’s CEO Bob Cramer told me.

Read below for the full list of April’s sub-$1-million transactions in New England:


Waltham,         MA

A company developing fast, non-invasive treatments for dermatological disordersEquity$502,512
Hire ReachCambridge,      MAA developer of a platform that enables employers to find candidates based on what they readEquity$401,000
NimbitFramingham,  MAAn online portal for directly connecting musicians, managers, and music labels to fansEquity$376,950
Satori PharmaceuticalsCambridge,      MAA company developing therapies for Alzheimer’s diseaseOption To Acquire$315,000
PlaysmrtBedford,           MAA company working to make the Internet safer for children to browseEquity$265,000
AdelaVoiceEast Falmouth, MAA maker of technology for enabling voice applications in social mediaEquity$250,000
Whaleback Systems Portsmouth,    NHA developer of hosted voice services for small and medium-sized companiesOption To Acquire$122,216