Deals, Digs, & Gigs: Boston Tech News on DraftKings, IBM, GE, & More

Here’s a smattering of recent moves—acquisitions, new offices, and key hires—in the Boston-area tech sector:


—Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel have reached an agreement to merge their online fantasy sports companies, according to a report from Dan Primack that cited anonymous sources. Both companies declined to comment to Primack, who reports that an official announcement could come in the next week.

—GE Digital’s $915 million acquisition of ServiceMax drew a lot of attention this week, but it also announced two presumably smaller deals: the purchase of and Bit Stew Systems, two machine learning startups. Terms weren’t disclosed for either acquisition. Bit Stew, based in British Columbia, previously raised about $24.3 million from investors, while Berkeley, CA-based had raised $3.6 million, according to Crunchbase.

—In other acquisition news, Boston travel technology startup Lola said it acquired the technology of hotel search startup Room 77, but not its team. Terms weren’t disclosed. According to Crunchbase, Mountain View, CA-based Room 77 had raised nearly $44 million from investors, including Expedia and General Catalyst Partners.


—IBM announced it has moved the headquarters of its cybersecurity business to 75 Binney Street in Cambridge, MA, a building that also houses IBM Watson Health. The move is part of a $200 million investment this year in IBM Security software, services, and facilities.

The investment funded a space in IBM Security’s new headquarters to run simulated cyber attacks for training purposes, expanded capabilities for IBM’s security operations centers located around the world, the launch of a new incident response and intelligence consulting team, and the previously announced purchase of Resilient Systems. A source told Xconomy that acquisition was for more than $100 million.

—New York cloud computing firm DigitalOcean will open an office in Cambridge next year, the Boston Business Journal reported. The office will be led by the company’s chief technology officer, Julia Austin, who was hired in June. Austin is a former vice president at VMware and Akamai.


—Two local venture capital firms announced new hires. Rob May, founder and CEO of artificial intelligence startup Talla, was named a venture partner at Pillar, one of Boston’s newer venture funds. The role is part time, and May will continue running Talla, he told Xconomy in an e-mail.

Meanwhile, Brendan Hannigan joined Polaris Partners as a venture partner. Hannigan previously was the general manager of IBM Security. Before that, he was CEO of Q1 Labs, a Polaris-backed cybersecurity firm acquired by IBM in 2011.

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