Boston Tech Watch: Vaxess, Fusion Power, Wayfair & MassChallenge

An acquisition, accelerator awards, access to venture capital, and arguments over e-commerce sales to migrant detention centers. All that and more in this week’s Boston tech news. Read on for the details.

—Email security company GreatHorn says it raised $13 million in a funding round co-led by RRE Ventures and .406 Ventures and joined by Techstars Ventures, V1.VC, and Uncorked Capital. GreatHorn says its cloud email security platform analyzes emails before they reach an inbox and provides threat detection, incident response, and post-incident analysis. The company, based in Waltham, MA, adds that 2018 was its third consecutive year of triple-digit growth.

—EnterpriseDB, a database management business based in Bedford, MA, was acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners for an undisclosed sum, the company said this week. EnterpriseDB builds software and provides services for Postgres, a relational database software. Michael Stonebreaker, the investor of the Postgres platform, and database expert and entrepreneur Andy Palmer are joining the company’s board of directors as part of the deal.

—Vaxess Technologies, a medical technology company developing a patch for drug delivery, closed out a $8.2 million Series A funding round led by MIT venture firm The Engine. Vaxess, a spinout from research at MIT and Tufts University that’s based in Cambridge, MA, has raised $22 million in grant and equity funds to date.

—Startup accelerator MassChallenge awarded $200,000 in prizes to six digital health companies from its health cohort this year. 1upHealth, a Boston startup working with patient data aggregation for application development, won the top $100,000 award and also a $10,000 startup choice award. A Mountain View, CA-based company, GoGoGrandparent, which helps older adults use on-demand transportation companies without a smartphone, won a $40,000 award. AI-powered email phishing security startup Pixm, based in Waltham, MA, won the other $40,000 award. A $20,000 judges award went to Boston startup Marigold Health, a text-based app for anonymous group psychotherapy. Jersey City, NJ-based workplace wellness marketplace Welnys won a $10,000 award. Cash aside, the 31 startups from the year’s group have secured in total $26 million in funding and $5 million in revenue, according to MassChallenge.

—Wayfair employees in Boston walked off the job to protest furniture sales the e-commerce company made to two US government detention centers in Texas that are holding child migrants. The latest sale of about $200,000 in furniture to a detention center in Carrizo Springs, TX, became known to employees last week. Workers demanded the company stop sales to the centers, which are run by government contractor BCFS, and also asked Wayfair donate the profits from the sales to a legal aid nonprofit for immigrants. Wayfair leaders refused to halt the sales and instead promised a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross.

—Nuclear energy startup Commonwealth Fusion Systems closed a $115 million Series A funding round to beef up work on the demonstration fusion reactor power plant it hopes could one day be a breakthrough in the fight against climate change. The cash for the Cambridge, MA-based startup is coming from Future Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Safar Partners, Schooner Capital, Starlight Ventures, Italian oil and gas company Eni, Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and MIT’s venture firm The Engine.

Brian Dowling is a Senior Editor at Xconomy, based in Boston. You can reach him at bdowling [at] xconomy.com. Follow @be_d

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