Boston Tech Watch: TripAdvisor, DraftKings, Jibo & More
[Updated 1/12/18, 3:26 pm. See below.] It’s the end of the week. Time to catch up on some of the latest happenings in the Boston-area tech sector:
—DraftKings plans to hire almost 300 employees over the next year-and-a-half and will move into a new headquarters near downtown Boston that is more than double the size of the daily fantasy sports company’s current head office in the city, the Boston Globe reported. [This paragraph added.—Eds.]
—“Social” robot maker Jibo quietly replaced CEO Steve Chambers with chief technology officer Brian Eberman, according to its website. BostInno first reported the news. Chambers is now listed as the company’s executive chairman. Jibo recently went through layoffs after it began shipping its first product. [This paragraph added.—Eds.]
—TripAdvisor chief marketing officer Barbara Messing and senior vice president of sales Robin Ingle are leaving the Needham, MA-based company as part of an overhaul of its business divisions and internal structure, according to a report from Skift. The moves come as TripAdvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP) has struggled over the past few years to evolve its business model from its origins as a hotel and restaurant review site.
—Agero, a Medford, MA-based provider of roadside assistance services and related mobile apps and data analytics, announced it acquired San Francisco-based SwoopMe for an undisclosed price. SwoopMe, which goes by Swoop, sells roadside assistance software. Its employees have joined Agero, and Swoop will keep its San Francisco office and remain an “independently managed” business, according to an Agero press release.
—Context Labs announced its recent purchase of IoT ImpactLabs; the price wasn’t disclosed. Context Labs, which has offices in Cambridge, MA, and Amsterdam, says it sells blockchain-enabled enterprise software for tracking the supply chain of both physical and digital products. ImpactLabs, based in New Bedford, MA, helps businesses test and improve Internet-connected devices and systems for use in areas such as “smart” cities, food security, transportation, and renewable energy.
—Kuvée, maker of an Internet-connected wine bottle, shuttered its Boston office and laid off 15 of its 20 employees, the Boston Globe reported. The company has been trying to raise more venture capital to continue pursuing the business, according to the Globe. [This paragraph added.—Eds.]
—Hatch Fenway, a co-working space located in the Landmark Center in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, has shut down, BostInno reported. The shared offices, which opened in 2015, have housed the likes of Toast and Pulse@MassChallenge.
—WordStream, a Boston-based search engine marketing software firm, said it promoted president Howard Kogan to CEO and added him to the company’s board. He succeeds Ralph Folz, who has shifted to the role of executive chairman. Last year, WordStream’s chief technology officer and co-founder, Larry Kim, left the company to work on a new startup called MobileMonkey. (You can read more about WordStream in these Xconomy profiles from 2009 and 2011.)