August Startup Financings in MA Rose Slightly to $143M, With Plenty of Smaller Deals

Xconomy Boston — 

Startup deal-making in Massachusetts rebounded slightly last month. Thirty companies brought in $143.6 million in equity-based financing deals, which was almost a 10 percent increase from July’s total of $131.4 million, according to data provided by private company intelligence platform CB Insights.

It’s not anything like the surge we saw in June, when Bay State tech and life sciences companies raked in $307 million in funding, but it’s still an improvement. Could it be the area is slowly readying itself for a busy new innovation season?

Watertown, MA-based gene-silencing drug developer Dicerna Pharmaceuticals took the top spot last month with a $25 million Series B round. That deal, plus another 11 financings, made healthcare the leading sector for August, with a total of $77.1 million raised.

The energy industry showed up with the third-biggest deal in August, a $10 million Series A round for Cambridge’s 24M Technologies, a new spinoff from Watertown, MA-based lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems (NASDAQ: AONE). The startup, which is working on energy storage systems that use a mix of lithium-ion and flow battery technologies, hasn’t given too many details yet about its products or business plan, but the first institutional round seems to be part of a strong push to establish 24M as its own entity in the public’s eye.

The Internet sector stayed strong in second place, with $33.4 million raised. And mobile and software companies regained some footing as far as fundraising goes. Companies in both spaces have been struggling to bring in much money this year; last month, the software industry pulled in a grand total of $100,000, and mobile companies got no money at all. Both rebounded in August to raise just over $11 million.


It’s also worth noting that while the total dollar amount brought in by startups was still relatively low in August, the number of deals wasn’t. So, in reality, it’s the individual deal sizes that shrank during the later part of summer, not the number of companies getting funding. For example, Bay State equity deal-making boomed to $307 million in June, the total came from 31 transactions. Last month, however, nearly the same number of deals (30) amounted to less than half the total amount of cash ($143.6 million). And July’s dwarfed total also came from a relatively high number of transactions, 26. Also, last August startups raised more money ($179.2 million) from fewer deals (21).

Massachusetts also saw a higher number of startup financings last month than it did earlier in the spring, when monthly startup investing totals hovered in the neighborhood of $200 million. So it seems startups made do with less financing in the past two months than they had earlier in the year. We’ll have to wait to see how this trend plays out in the fall. Meanwhile, check below for the full list of deals.


Bay State startups brought in another $13.6 million through debt- and rights-based financings. Read below for the breakdown.


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