Shell Backs Openbay, Ex-Nest Exec’s New Startup & More Boston Deals

[Updated 6/29/18, 9:55 am. See below.] Time to catch up on recent news from the Boston-area tech scene:

—, a stealthy new startup based in Watertown, MA, has raised $2.65 million from investors, according to an SEC filing. The company’s website doesn’t offer any clues about what it’s working on, but the new venture is led by Ben Bixby, who sold his previous startup, MyEnergy, to the smart home device maker Nest in 2013. Bixby spent the past five years at Nest, according to his LinkedIn profile.

—Veridium, a Quincy, MA-based company developing software to power biometrics-based identity authentication products, said it raised $16.5 million in a Series B funding round, according to a press release e-mailed to Xconomy. The round was led by U.K. entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Spencer, Veridium said. Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) and Michael Powell, a financial services executive and investor, also invested in the deal. Veridium was previously known as Hoyos Labs.

—Shell Ventures led an $8 million Series A investment in Openbay, a Cambridge, MA-based startup that runs an online marketplace for automotive repair and related services. Other investors in the round included previous Openbay backer Stage 1 Ventures, according to a press release. Openbay said it plans to invest in new software tools that utilize natural language processing, machine learning, and predictive analytics.

—Commonwealth Fusion Systems has raised $64.6 million in an equity funding round that has a $100 million target, according to an SEC filing. The MIT spinout is trying to commercialize a nuclear fusion energy system, an idea that physicists have been pursuing for years. Commonwealth Fusion is backed by Italian energy company Eni and The Engine, a startup incubator and venture fund created by MIT.

—PaymentWorks, a Waltham, MA-based company that sells software that helps companies and their suppliers share information, raised nearly $14.1 million in an equity funding round that could reach almost $15 million, per an SEC filing.

—MedRhythms, a Portland, ME-based healthcare technology startup, said it raised a $5.3 million Series A funding round led by Peter J. Werth of Werth Family Investment Associates, alongside contributions from Putney founder Jean Hoffman and other individuals. MedRhythms said it’s developing a system that uses sensors, artificial intelligence software, and music to try and help people with neurological injuries and diseases to recover walking capabilities, according to a press release. [This paragraph added.—Eds.]

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