Boston Tech Watch: iRobot, Bose, Nasuni, Endurance, Ascend & More
[Updated 4/20/17, 4:26 pm. See below.] Here are some of the latest developments in the Boston-area tech scene:
—Bedly, an online housing rental marketplace with offices in Cambridge, MA, and New York, has raised a $2.7 million seed round. The investors include Accomplice, Founder Collective, and individual backers, including Diane Hessan, according to BostInno. [This paragraph added.]
—Paul Flanagan was named the president of cloud storage firm Nasuni, where he will work alongside CEO and co-founder Andres Rodriguez. Flanagan previously was a managing director at Sigma Prime Ventures and Sigma Partners, through which he invested in Nasuni and joined its board. Earlier in his career, Flanagan was CEO of StorageNetworks and chief financial officer of Vistaprint.
Meanwhile, Nasuni is relocating its headquarters from Natick, MA, to Boston’s Seaport neighborhood. The company also announced the hiring of a new chief marketing officer, Tom Rose, and a new vice president of human resources, Kathleen Parrish.
—Endurance International Group (NASDAQ: EIGI), a 20-year-old software company based in Burlington, MA, is looking for a new CEO to succeed co-founder Hari Ravichandran. Ravichandran will remain in that role until his successor has been selected, the company announced.
Ravichandran led Endurance to an IPO in 2013, a $1.1 billion acquisition of Waltham, MA-based Constant Contact in late 2015, and over $1 billion in revenue last year.
But Endurance’s board decided to “accelerate” the planning for his successor because of “the significant expansion of the business, the substantial focus on free cash flow generation and risk management, and the previously disclosed SEC investigation regarding non-GAAP metrics,” according to a press release.
—Ascend Learning, a Burlington-based education technology company, is being sold by its owners, Providence Equity Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, to Blackstone (NYSE: BX) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The purchase price wasn’t publicly disclosed, but Reuters earlier reported the deal would be over $2 billion.
—Elsewhere in edtech, Boston-based Panorama Education released a new software platform for tracking K-12 students’ development. The five-year-old startup says its new product helps educators understand and assess kids’ progress across academics, attendance, behavior, and social-emotional learning. Panorama says its software serves more than 5 million students in 7,000 schools in 40 states.
—Roomba maker iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) filed lawsuits against several competitors—including Hoover, Black & Decker, Bissell, Bobsweep, and iLife—claiming their robotic vacuum cleaners infringe on its patents.
—Meanwhile, Bose is facing a class action lawsuit claiming the company has violated a federal wiretapping law with wireless headphones and an accompanying app that tracks what customers listen to without their permission. The lawsuit also alleges that the data was shared with other companies, the Boston Globe reported.
—Circulation, a Boston-based software startup that coordinates non-emergency medical transportation with Uber and other ride providers, said it has expanded its service to more than 700 hospitals and clinics across 25 states.
The company also shared data that indicates its service is reducing patient transportation costs by 40 to 50 percent, while getting patients to appointments on time in 95 percent of cases. Circulation also said only 8 percent of its users don’t show up for appointments—compared with an industry average “no-show rate” of more than 25 percent, Circulation said. Read more about Circulation in this Xconomy profile from last fall.