Boston Tech Roundup: Freight Farms, Autodesk, Mavrck, Atlas
Startups are raising money, a small developer shop has been acquired, and the split-up of a venture capital firm motors along in this collection of recent deals around the Boston-area tech sector:
—Freight Farms, a Boston-based startup that sells hydroponic vegetable-growing systems housed in shipping containers, has raised $3.7 million in new investment led by Spark Capital. The company, a 2013 graduate of the Techstars accelerator program, also offers online software to help customers monitor and manage their crops. The systems can grow lettuces, herbs, and some vegetables. They cost $76,000, and cost about $13,000 a year to operate, the company says. In a blog post, Spark Capital’s Todd Dagres says the firm thinks Freight Farms is both poised to be a leader in its market and “is also driven by a noble cause.”
—Autodesk, the company behind AutoCAD product design software, is expanding its New England footprint. In interviews with BetaBoston, the company says it is acquiring local software development agency Terrible Labs and investing in Boston connected-room technology startup Robin. Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) did not reveal a price tag for either deal, but says it also plans to open a significant office in Boston, along the lines of its notable San Francisco manufacturing and workspace, called Pier 9. Autodesk already had offices in Waltham, MA, and Manchester, NH.
—Mavrck, a social-media marketing startup based in Boston, has raised a $2.5 million Series A investment round. The cash comes from GrandBanks Capital, based in Wellesley, MA. Mavrck, formerly known as Splashcore, completed the Techstars accelerator program in November.
—One small follow-up to a story we’ve covered previously: Atlas Venture has filed SEC paperwork seeking a $250 million fund, its 10th. The difference is that this time, Atlas is focused solely on biotech investments, instead of being a combined tech and biotech firm as it was in the past. The partners announced in October that they intended to split into two separate firms, each focusing on their own specialty. The former Atlas tech investors plan to raise their own fund under a new name.