Fighting Harassment, Raising Funds, & More Boston Tech News

Summer is here, but news from the Boston-area tech community hasn’t slowed down. Here are some of the recent headlines:

—In a Medium blog post, the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) pledged more action to fight discrimination and sexual harassment. The initiatives are partly a response to sexual harassment allegations against venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck that came to light last week, leading to Caldbeck’s resignation from Binary Capital, a San Francisco investment firm he co-founded in 2014.

NEVCA invited its members to sign an “Anti-Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Statement.” It also pledged to organize a seminar and training program on conscious and unconscious biases; create a sort of “Title IX coordinator” position, who would respond to disclosures of sexual or gender-based harassment allegations in the local startup community; and continue building its Hack.Diversity program.

—A federal judge approved a temporary restraining order that puts the proposed merger between DraftKings and FanDuel on hold, the Associated Press reported. The Federal Trade Commission is challenging the merger over monopoly concerns, and a trial to decide the deal’s fate could begin in November.

—BostInno spotted that Jeremy Hitchcock, co-founder and former CEO of Internet infrastructure firm Dyn, is working on a new startup called Minim. The company’s website says it aims to help Internet service providers monitor and secure subscribers’ home networks and connected devices. Minim was founded in response to the distributed denial-of-service attack that hit Dyn last year, temporarily blocking Internet access to a number of popular websites and apps. The attack was executed through unsecured smart home devices.

—M.Gemi, a Boston-based seller of high-end shoes and other accessories, raised $16 million in a Series C round led by Burda Principal Investments, with contributions from Accel, General Catalyst Partners, and Forerunner Ventures. M.Gemi said it has now raised a total of $47.2 million since its founding in 2015. The company sells products online and in a store in New York. A second store, in Boston, is scheduled to open later this summer.

—Boston-area advertising technology company Celtra announced a $15 million investment led by Unilever Ventures and WPP. The company previously raised at least $10.2 million from investors. Celtra got started in 2006 as an text message-based marketing firm, then moved into rich-media ads after the iPhone came out in 2007.

—SLIPS Technologies, a Cambridge, MA-based provider of slippery coatings for applications in industries like manufacturing, marine vessels, and medical devices, said it secured $8.6 million in funding. That includes a $2.95 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as private capital from Anzu Partners, BASF Venture Capital, Swiss entrepreneur Hansjörg Wyss, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, according to a press release.

In addition, the Harvard spinout appointed its board chair, David Ward, to the CEO position. Founding CEO Daniel Behr has left the company, the Boston Business Journal reported.

—Tripleseat, a Concord, MA-based sales and event management software company, grabbed $7 million from growth equity firm Level Equity. Before the investment, Tripleseat said it had built the nine-year-old business mostly without outside capital.

—GreatHorn secured a $6.3 million Series A funding round mainly from Techstars Ventures and .406 Ventures; ff Venture Capital, SoftTech VC, and RRE Ventures also chipped in. Belmont, MA-based GreatHorn provides security software for cloud communications. It’s an alum of Techstars’ New York accelerator program.

—Chaos Sumo received a $1 million seed investment from Stage 1 Ventures, BostInno reported. The Medford, MA-based startup helps companies structure and analyze data stored using Amazon’s cloud-based services.

—Advanced Functional Fabrics of America opened a lab and headquarters near MIT’s campus, where high-tech textiles will be developed. The organization was created last year with over $300 million in funding from federal, state, and private sources. The Boston Globe and WBUR have more details about the kinds of technologies being developed.

—Syed Zain Gilani, CEO of the Boston-based ride-hailing app company Safr, was recently arrested on a warrant from the Virgin Islands, where he faces charges of defrauding the government of over $2 million, the Boston Globe reported. Gilani’s attorney told the Globe that he denies any wrongdoing, and that the matter has “nothing to do with Safr.”

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