Boston Tech Watch: Harmonix, Whoop, Brand Networks, VentureApp & More

[Updated 3/14/17, 4:09 p.m. See below.] Since you might be snowed in today, it seems like a good time to hunker down with some recent Boston-area tech news. Here is the latest:

—Evolv Technology, a Waltham, MA-based security technology startup, has closed an $18 million Series B funding round from Lux Capital, Bill Gates, General Catalyst Partners, Data Collective, and others, according to a blog post from Lux’s Bilal Zuberi. The company’s products include scanner equipment that it says can detect concealed guns and non-metallic explosives using millimeter waves, sensors, and software algorithms. [This paragraph added.]

—VentureApp said it raised $4 million in a round led by Accomplice, with contributions from Boston Seed Capital, Fullstack Ventures, and individual investors. The Boston-based startup will now make its messaging platform for professionals publicly available—it was previously invite-only—and attempt to build a large user base nationwide. Currently, VentureApp is used by professionals from more than 2,000 companies in Boston and New York, including employees of DraftKings, HubSpot, and Silicon Valley Bank, according to a press release.

VentureApp is led by co-founder Chase Garbarino, who previously co-founded Streetwise Media.

—ONvocal raised nearly $4 million in debt financing, according to an SEC filing. The Burlington, MA-based company has developed headphones that can be controlled through voice commands, thanks to integrations with virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

—Genpact (NYSE: G) has signed an agreement to acquire Dedham, MA-based Rage Frameworks for an undisclosed price. Rage sells software for data aggregation, analytics, and task automation to customers in finance, manufacturing, technology, and other sectors. New York-based Genpact, a professional services firm that helps clients with digital tools, is a former division of Boston-based GE (NYSE: GE). [This paragraph added.]

—Boston-based Localytics has purchased Tapglue, a five-person startup based in Berlin, for an undisclosed price. Both companies are alumni of the Techstars Boston startup accelerator.

Tapglue provides software tools that help developers make their apps more social. Localytics, a mobile analytics and marketing software firm, is one of Boston’s better-funded tech startups, having raised more than $60 million from investors.

—Buoy Health unveiled its digital health assistant that uses artificial intelligence-related technologies to try and diagnose people’s symptoms and suggest next steps. The three-year-old startup developed its product at the Harvard Innovation Lab, and so far it has raised $3 million from individual investors, the Boston Globe reported.

—Harvest Automation, the Billerica, MA-based robotics startup, recently moved into a larger space, as it tries to revamp its business after shedding most of its staff. The Boston Business Journal has more details. (The story is behind a paywall.)

Brand Networks, which provides social media advertising software and services, has promoted chief revenue officer Todd Taplin to the role of CEO. He takes over for founder Jamie Tedford, who will remain involved as the company’s chairman. Taplin joined Boston-based Brand Networks last year. He is a veteran of Celtra, Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE), and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO).

—Major League Baseball will allow players to wear Boston-based Whoop’s biometric-tracking devices on their wrists during games. Whoop said MLB is the first U.S. pro sports league to officially approve its wearable devices for in-game use. (Some NBA players are hiding their Whoop devices under wristbands during games because they’re not allowed under league rules.)

Click here and here for past Xconomy coverage of Whoop.

—Harmonix Music Systems, the Boston-based video game maker best known for the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, unveiled its latest game last week. DropMix enables players to create custom mixes of popular songs by setting playing cards—which correspond to parts like a bass line or vocal track—into slots on an electronic board connected to a mobile app. The game was developed with Hasbro.

Harmonix announced DropMix on March 10, the first day of this year’s Pax East video game conference, held in Boston. That night, Harmonix celebrated Rock Band’s 10th anniversary with a party that included a demo of the company’s new virtual reality version of Rock Band.

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