CarGurus IPO, Harmonix Layoffs, Turing Award & More Boston Tech News
[Updated 4/5/17, 12:07 pm. See below.] It’s time to catch up on some of the latest happenings in the Boston tech scene:
—CarGurus, a Cambridge, MA-based company that runs an online car marketplace, has hired banks to help lead an initial public offering, according to reports by Axios and Reuters, which quoted anonymous sources. Reuters reported the potential IPO could happen by the end of 2017 and value CarGurus at more than $1 billion.
CarGurus was founded in 2006 by TripAdvisor co-founder Langley Steinert. He said last May that CarGurus generates more than $100 million in annual revenue and has been profitable for years—which it achieved with only $5.5 million in outside funding.
—Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM) has agreed to acquire Soasta, a Mountain View, CA-based company that provides software to help businesses measure, test, and improve the performance of their websites and apps. The price of the all-cash acquisition wasn’t disclosed.
—Harmonix Music Systems recently laid off at least 17 people as part of a restructuring, according to a report by video game website Gamasutra.
—ClearGov said it closed a $1.2 million seed funding round led by Kepha Partners, with contributions from MassVentures and unnamed individuals. The Hopkinton, MA-based firm makes software that local governments use to better manage data, and more simply and clearly share it with citizens.
—Tim Berners-Lee, the renowned MIT professor who invented the World Wide Web, won the Association for Computing Machinery’s A.M. Turing Award. The award is akin to a Nobel Prize for computing, and it comes with a $1 million prize from Google.
The last Turing Award winner from MIT was Michael Stonebraker in 2014, a computer scientist who has created several companies based on his foundational work in database management systems.
—Russ Wilcox has joined Pillar, a new early-stage venture fund in Boston, as a partner. Wilcox is the former CEO of E Ink, a maker of electronic displays used in the Amazon Kindle, which was sold in 2009 to a Taiwanese firm for an initially announced price of $215 million. (The acquisition total ended up being about $480 million, according to Wilcox’s LinkedIn profile.) Later, Wilcox helped start Transatomic Power and was the co-founder and CEO of Piper Therapeutics. [This paragraph updated with final E Ink sale price.]
—Database technology firm VoltDB promoted its chief revenue officer, David Flower, to the role of president and CEO. Flower succeeds Bruce Reading, who led Bedford, MA-based VoltDB for five years. Reading left the company in February, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Reading will remain an advisor to VoltDB, a spokesperson said.
—Asics, a Japan-based maker of shoes and athletic clothing, plans to open a product development lab in Boston near South Station, the Boston Business Journal reported. The move is an expansion of the firm’s local presence, following its purchase of Runkeeper last year.
—GE’s efforts to embed itself in the Boston area’s innovation scene continued with a new partnership with MassRobotics. Under the partnership, MassRobotics will help GE find and assess robotics startups and projects for potential investments, acquisitions, partnerships, and licensing deals. GE will work with MassRobotics to host events and foster dialogue around advanced manufacturing, 3D printing, connected devices, drones, and artificial intelligence.