Boston Tech Watch: Gradifi, Numerated, Jibo, Corvus, Botkeeper
A wave of cash for finance and insurance tech startups, a robotic assistant goes dark, and a medical transportation startup’s move across the Bay State make up the latest in Boston technology news. Read on for details.
—The former head of PayPal’s (NASDAQ: PYPL) Boston office, David Chang, has been named CEO of Gradifi, a Boston-based employee benefits startup offering student loan refinancing and college savings plans. Gradifi was bought by First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) two years ago for $32 million, according to an SEC filing. Chang takes over for former CEO Tim DeMello who left the business earlier this year.
—Fintech startup Numerated says it has raised $8 million in additional funding and added Raj Date, a former deputy director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to its board. Founded last year, the Boston-based company sells lending software to banks to offer automated online credit decisions. Numerated says it has raised $17 million in venture funding so far.
—Jibo, the Boston-based startup behind the “social robot” assistant, has pulled its business license in Massachusetts, the Boston Business Journal reported. The license news follows Jibo’s move to lay off nearly all of its employees in June. It’s the latest indicator that the closely-watched startup, which graced the cover of Time Magazine in 2017, is unlikely to execute a turnaround. At the time of the layoffs, a source told Xconomy additional funding for the company had failed to materialize.
—Corvus, a Boston-based commercial insurance technology company, raised $10 million in a new funding round. Hudson Structured Capital Management and .406 Ventures led the round, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures, a previous investor. Corvus says it plans to expand its existing two products into other lines of commercial insurance. Corvus says it has raised a total of $14 million across two rounds of funding.
—Insurance technology startup Bindable says it has raised an undisclosed sum in a funding round led by Epic Holdings, Motive Partners, and Wafra. Bindable, headquartered in Boston, has developed a a digital platform for insurance sales and distribution.
—Botkeeper, an automated business bookkeeping software startup based in Boston, says it has raised $18 million in a new Series A round. Greycroft and Gradient Ventures, Google’s artificial intelligence-focused fund, participated in the round, along with some of the Botkeeper’s previous investors. The investment brings the company’s total amount raised to $22.5 million, Botkeeper says.
—Workable, a Boston-based maker of a recruiting platform for small businesses, has raised $50 million of new financing, the company says. London-based private equity firm Zouk Capital led the round, with participation from 83North Venture Capital, Balderton Capital, Notion, TriplePoint Capital, and Endeavor Catalyst. Launched in 2012, Workable says more than 20,000 companies have used its platform to evaluate 50 million candidates for jobs in 100 countries.
—Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN), a Burlington, MA-based developer of voice recognition and conversational A.I. tools, says it is spinning off its automotive division into a separate publicly traded company by September 2019. Nuance says its systems are used in vehicles sold by many leading automakers, including Audi, BMW, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Hyundai, SAIC, and Toyota.
—Visible Body, a Newton, MA-based anatomy teaching app startup, has raised more than $6.3 million in equity financing, according to a document filed with securities regulators. In a separate announcement that did not disclose the deal size, Visible Body says it received a strategic investment from Capitala Group and Lineage Capital, two private equity firms.
—Logistics technology company Acuity Link, which manages non-medical medical transports for healthcare systems, has moved its headquarters into Boston’s Seaport neighborhood from its former location on Cape Cod, according to the company. The company, founded in 2016, says the location puts it in closer proximity to the metro area’s 25 hospitals and 20 community health centers. Acuity Link plans to continue some operations from its former headquarters in Yarmouth Port, MA.