Massachusetts Startup Investing Surges to $307M in June, Led by $60M Boston-Power Deal

Xconomy Boston — 

It wasn’t just temperatures that were heating up in Massachusetts in June. Venture investing in the Bay State’s tech and life sciences startups soared to $307.1 million, brought in through 31 equity-based deals.

For several months this spring, venture investing in the region hovered in the neighborhood of $200 million, according to data provided by our partner, private company intelligence platform CB Insights. A very small part of the increase in June is an artifact of a change in the way we’re putting the list together—we previously reserved the “under the radar” deals worth less than $1 million apiece for a separate list. But the inclusion of those smaller transactions only accounted for an additional $4.1 million and 7 deals.

The real boost came from some mega-deals that went to companies in sectors beyond healthcare—breaking another trend from the past few months, when life sciences companies usually nabbed the top funding spots on our monthly roundups. The big winner in June was Boston-Power, a Westborough, MA-based maker of advanced lithium-ion batteries. Greg reported on this growth equity Series E round when news of it first hit, noting that Boston-Power plans to use the money to expand into international markets, boost production of its battery technologies, and build up its Boston-Area presence. The company is in the early stages of a foray into the electric utility markets, with technologies out to store energy from renewable sources.

Boston-Power was the only company in the energy sector to attract funding last month, but the $60 million deal still made energy the runner-up industry for dollars raised in June. June’s energy investment was also a twenty-fold increase from the $3 million the sector raised in May. Healthcare topped the list for dollars raised by sector in June, with nearly $165 million brought in across 14 equity deals. Ryan wrote about the top healthcare deal in June, $29 million for Cambridge, MA-based FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, a drugmaker that’s soon to file for FDA approval of its first product, a treatment for the neural disease TTR amyloid polyneuropathy, which causes sufferers to lose control of movement in their arms and legs.


There were also a few interesting companies in the smaller deals section of the June investing list. There’s JamHub, a Whitinsville, MA-based startup that’s making what it calls a “silent rehearsal studio” and brought in a $370,000 equity deal last month. Users plug their instruments into the company’s device and can listen and jam out at top volume with their headphones on, while the rest of the world remains undisturbed by the volume that typically accompanies band rehearsals. Check out the demo here.

It seems that startup funding in June followed a trend that we’ve reported in other stories on venture investing in Q2 2010: the dollars are way up this year compared to last. This year’s June numbers are more than double the $145 million that Massachusetts startups pulled in during the same month of 2009.

See below for the full list of Massachusetts equity investments in June.


There were also another seven non-equity deals, that brought in $27.3 million in June. See below for the breakdown.