Boston Tech Watch: Iron Mountain, Hitachi, Circle, Locus & More

Here are some of the latest headlines from the Boston-area tech scene:

—Locus Robotics, which announced a $25 million Series B funding round in November, appears to have raised an additional $9.2 million, according to an SEC filing. The Wilmington, MA-based startup makes robots and software for order fulfillment warehouses.

—SolidEnergy Systems, a Woburn, MA-based advanced battery startup with roots at MIT and Harvard, raised more than $34 million from investors, according to an SEC filing.

—Centre, a new blockchain venture created by Boston-based online payments company Circle, said it raised $20 million via a “Simple Agreement for Future Tokens,” or SAFT, a fundraising method that enables backers to take stakes in Centre’s planned network before a future public sale of digital tokens that will enable use of its network. Centre is developing open-source, blockchain-based software to enable payments between various fiat currencies and “digital wallets,” such as Venmo, Circle Pay, PayPal, or Facebook’s payments service.

—In related news, Commonwealth Crypto raised $1.5 million from Underscore VC, Highland Capital, Notation Capital, and the founders of United Bitcoiners, according to a press release e-mailed to Xconomy. The Cambridge, MA-based startup is developing software aimed at making cryptocurrency trading more secure.

—Partners HealthCare’s Connected Health group announced it helped Hitachi develop artificial intelligence technology aimed at predicting the risk of heart failure patients being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days. Interestingly, a press release announcing the new tool notes that it’s designed to explain to human users how it reaches its conclusions. Some A.I. tech gets criticized as being a “black box,” which could limit trust in and adoption of such products.

—Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) inked an agreement to buy the U.S. operations of IO Data Centers for more than $1.3 billion. The Boston-based data storage and management company will gain ownership of four data centers in Arizona, New Jersey, and Ohio.

—Portsmouth, NH-based Senet sold EnerTrac, its system for remotely monitoring fuel tank levels, to the Wesroc division of Nebraska-based Independent Technologies. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

—Pulse@MassChallenge announced the 32 startups that will participate in the second session of its digital health accelerator, which begins in January. The companies hail from across the U.S., including Massachusetts firms Day Zero Diagnostics and Orbita. There’s also one company from Mexico, called Unima.

Jeff Engel is Deputy Editor, Tech at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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