Cybersecurity, DraftKings, OBJL, and 24M: A Boston Tech Roundup
In the run-up to summer, there have been a bunch of technology deals to catch up on around town. The news spans cybersecurity companies, business software, gaming, and energy—kind of a microcosm of New England tech innovation.
—BitSight Technologies has just raised a $23 million Series B round from Comcast Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners, and other investors. The startup uses global data to assign security ratings to companies across industries, and help customers do risk management.
—Endpoint security startup Barkly announced it has raised $12.5 million in Series A funding led by NEA, with Sigma Prime Ventures also participating. (The Boston Business Journal has a good rundown on local security companies that have raised money this month.)
—Bit9, another Boston-area security firm, recently acquired the engineering staff of restaurant-tech startup Objective Logistics for undisclosed terms. The latter company’s CEO and co-founder, Phil Beauregard, and its core intellectual property are not part of the acquisition. Matt Grace, Objective Logistics’ other co-founder, went full-time on another startup, Rekindle, which was acquired by HubSpot in March. (Another notable startup-staff acquisition is Wayfair’s recent hiring of most of CustomMade’s employees.) Objective Logistics had raised $7.6 million as of 2013. The company got started in 2009 to gamify the performance of waitstaff and other workers. It sounds like the restaurant industry was too slow to adopt the technology.
—DraftKings, a fast-growing fantasy sports startup in Boston, has inked an important advertising deal with ESPN, but a rumored $250 million investment from Disney (ESPN’s majority owner) is not happening. Rather, DraftKings is looking to raise a big round from other investors, according to multiple reports. In any case, the ESPN partnership will help the company compete with its archrival, FanDuel, in a sector that’s seeing escalating interest and investment.
—24M, a battery technology company spun out of A123Systems, came out of stealth after five years of work and $50 million raised from CRV, North Bridge, and others. There was speculation the company was working on combining aspects of lithium-ion batteries and flow batteries, but 24M is concentrating on the former—in particular, making lithium-ion batteries cheaper, safer, and faster to manufacture. The company is led by Yet-Ming Chiang and W. Craig Carter, both MIT professors, and CEO Throop Wilder.