Massachusetts Startups Snag $175M In November, Money Raised For Drugs, Robots, Ice Cream, Bras

Xconomy Boston — 

Last month, the total dollars Bay State startups brought in slimmed down from October, but there was a harvest of smaller deals. Nearly a third of the month’s equity deals (12 of 37) rang in at under $1 million each.

All told, startups in the tech and life sciences raised $174.7 million in equity-based funding, a slight drop in dollars from the $199 million raised across 30 deals in October, according to data provided by CB Insights FundingFlash.

The first and second place sectors stayed the same from October to November. Last month, healthcare stayed on top, with $74 million, followed by the Internet sector, with nearly $43 million. But Internet companies pummeled those in the life sciences field when it came to the actual number of deals, 15 to 10.

The top financing was $24 million in Series C money for Cambridge, MA-based Cerulean Pharma, the developer of nanoparticle drugs targeted at cancer. The robotics field showed up among the top financings, with a $20 million Series B round for Heartland Robotics, tying for the second-largest funding for the month. The startup was started two years ago by Rodney Brooks, the co-founder of iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) and former director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Heartland has remained pretty quiet about what exactly it’s doing, but has made it clear that it’s bringing robots to an area where you might not be used to seeing them.


In addition to the usual crop of bigger biotech and IT financings, there was a flurry of quirkier technology companies getting funded last month. You might be surprised to see the food and beverages sector on our list of deals from last month, but Taunton, MA-based MooBella is turning ice cream high tech. The startup, which pulled in $9 million in an equity offering last month, makes computerized vending machines for customized ice cream orders.

Another unique company on the list was Boston-based Internet startup Tauntr—whose tagline is “adding insult to everything.” The media company, which raised $1.1 million last month, is offering a platform for sports fan to trash talk their rivals. Last month, investors also put money into an area that doesn’t typically show up much on our site—bras. Boston-based Zyrra, which I profiled back in October, uses CAD software to design what it says are better fitting bras, based on roughly 10 different measurements. The startup closed in $445,000 in angel money last month.

Also, Zyrra and another startup on the list, Abroad101, were part of MassChallenge, the $1 million startup competition program. They each nabbed a $50,000 check at the conclusion of the inaugural edition of the competition. On top of that, Abroad101 raised $500,000 in seed funding last month.

Read below for the full list of deals from November.

NovemberEquityTableAnother six Bay State companies raised a total of $12.6 million across non-equity financings last month. Check out those details below.


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One response to “Massachusetts Startups Snag $175M In November, Money Raised For Drugs, Robots, Ice Cream, Bras”

  1. J. D. says:

    Thank you for the shout out. We are really excited about our recent success and where we’re headed.