Boston Roundup: Matrix, Grommet & Rakuten, Ambient, Summer@Highland
Updated 10 a.m. with new item
Some news on VC fundraising, startup investment, corporate layoffs, and student entrepreneurship in this midweek rundown of items to catch up on:
—Matrix Partners, based in Waltham, MA, has confirmed that it’s raised $450 million for its 10th venture fund. The news first surfaced in mid-April, courtesy of Fortune’s Dan Primack. Matrix did have one bone to pick with that earlier report: although its ninth fund was $600 million, as Primack noted, Matrix says that included a $150 million “special opportunity fund” that didn’t actually wind up drawing any capital from Matrix’s investors.
—E-commerce startup The Grommet (no longer Daily Grommet) has added more investment from Japanese e-commerce site Rakuten. As Kara Swisher at AllThingsD reports, neither company is saying how much money was put into Grommet again (Rakuten led an unspecified Series B investment in the startup last fall). But the larger company is now Lexington, MA-based Grommet’s “majority stakeholder,” Swisher says.
—More cleantech blues: Newton, MA-based Ambient Corp. is charging $350,000 in costs to a restructuring plan, most of that in employee severance. The Boston Business Journal cites unnamed sources pegging the number of laid-off Ambient workers at more than 25, roughly a quarter of the company’s overall workforce. Ambient (NASDAQ: AMBT), which makes smart grid connectivity and communications equipment, also announced its CFO was resigning earlier this month.
—Highland Capital has picked the newest class of student entrepreneurs to participate in its Summer@Highland program, which offers free office space and a no-strings-attached stipend of $18,000 to work on a startup idea over the summer. The full list of participants includes some good hometown representation, with teams from Harvard, MIT, Boston College, and Olin College. Cambridge, MA-based Highland recently filed paperwork outlining plans to raise a $400 million ninth fund.
—Acacia Communications, an equipment supplier for telecommunications companies, has raised a new $20 million round of financing. Summit Partners led the round, joined by existing investors Matrix Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, and Egan Managed Capital. Acacia is based in Maynard, MA.
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