Boston Tech Watch: SmartBear, Wellist, LogoMix, Biobot, NEVYs & More

[Updated 5/16/18, 10:09 am. See below.] It’s time to catch up on recent news from the Boston-area tech sector, including a pair of acquisitions; investments in digital health, artificial intelligence, and wastewater analytics; and scenes from this year’s “Star Wars”-themed NEVY Awards. Read on for details.

—Boston-based LogoMix, a provider of logo design tools and other branding and marketing services, was acquired by Shoreview, MN-based Deluxe Corp. (NYSE: DLX) for $43 million in cash, according to a press release. LogoMix CEO and founder Craig Bloem previously co-founded Performable, a Boston-area marketing automation startup sold to HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS) in 2011.

—SmartBear Software, a Somerville, MA-based provider of tools for software developers and testers, said it acquired Hiptest, a French company that offers a software testing platform. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but a spokesperson said Hiptest’s 15 employees will be joining SmartBear.

Private equity firm Francisco Partners acquired a majority stake in SmartBear last year; a source told Xconomy the deal had an enterprise value of $410 million. SmartBear is currently profitable and generating more than $100 million in annual revenue, the spokesperson said.

—Wellist said it raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Summation Health Ventures and .406 Ventures. The Boston-based digital health startup’s software enables hospitals to connect patients and caregivers to vetted vendors of non-medical services, such as home cleaners, child care providers, and emotional support groups.

—Cambridge, MA-based Cambridge Blockchain announced it raised a $7 million Series A investment that includes new equity funding and the conversion of outstanding debt. The startup is developing blockchain-based software to help people exercise more control over their personal data online, and to help financial institutions and other organizations manage data and comply with regulations. HCM Capital, the venture arm of Foxconn Technology Group, led the investment and was joined by Partech and Digital Currency Group. [This paragraph added.—Eds]

—MIT spinout Biobot Analytics said it pulled in $2.5 million in seed funding. Chicago-based Ekistic Ventures led the investment; it was joined by Y Combinator, Data Collective, Hyperplane Venture Capital, Homebrew, Refactor Capital, Bragiel Brothers, Liquid 2 Ventures, Soma Capital, and Pioneer Fund, according to a press release e-mailed to Xconomy.

Biobot, which participated in the inaugural session of MIT’s DesignX startup accelerator last year, aims to gather valuable insights into the health of populations by analyzing wastewater samples. It plans to initially use its system to help address the opioid crisis by better understanding drug consumption.

—LinkSquares, a Boston-based startup that uses artificial intelligence software to analyze legal contracts, closed a $2.16 million seed funding round led by Lawrence Field and Charlie Stephenson of Regent Private Capital, BostInno reported. Other backers included Talla CEO Rob May and Flipside Crypto CEO Dave Balter.

—Yobe, a “voice biometrics” startup, said it raised $1.8 million in seed funding from Clique Capital Partners. Boston-based Yobe said it is developing signal processing software that uses artificial intelligence techniques to identify, track, and separate different voices in noisy environments, which has applications for voice authentication and speech recognition products.

—Lastly, the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) held its sixth annual NEVY Awards event last week at the House of Blues in Boston. The NEVCA goes all out for this event, and this year’s party was no different. I left my lightsaber at home, but I was delighted to see others dress up as Jedi, Ewoks, Lando Calrissian, and other characters from a galaxy far, far away. (Also, props to the rebels who showed up in “Star Trek” uniforms.)

Click here for the list of NEVY winners, and check out photos below.

Jody Rose, president of the New England Venture Capital Association, dressed up as Princess Leia for the event. She was joined on stage by Gita, a mobile robot developed by Piaggio Fast Forward. Photo by Jeff Engel.

The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy can also be used as a disco ball. Photo by Jeff Engel.








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