Boston Tech Watch: Cisco, Acacia, Great Hill Partners & GNS Healthcare

Billions with a “b” is the word of the week in Boston tech news, with Cisco paying a couple billion dollars for a Massachusetts tech firm and PE firm Great Hill Partners closing its latest ten-digit growth fund. Read these stories and more in this week’s roundup:

—Nebulous, a Boston company developing a cloud storage platform using blockchain technology called Sia, has raised $3.5 million in a funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures and joined by Bessemer Venture Partners, A.Capital Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Dragonfly Capital Partners, Hack VC, INBlockchain, SV Angel and other investors. The company says its decentralized cloud storage system, at $1 per terabyte per month, is far more affordable than what’s offered by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other providers. Nebulous says its users have already stored four petabytes (equal to 4 million gigabytes) of data, with two more petabytes still available for storage on the Sia network.

—Rhapsody, a Boston tech company working on helping healthcare data systems communicate with each other, is merging with Frisco, TX-based CorePoint, another provider of healthcare interoperability systems. Terms of the merger were not disclosed. The companies say in a press release that both will continue to support their respective platforms.

—Private equity firm Great Hill Partners has closed its seventh growth fund measuring $2.5 billion after five months of fundraising. Investors in the fund range from public and private pensions, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, healthcare systems, institutional fund managers, family offices, and high net worth individuals, Great Hill said in a press release. The fund will continue Great Hill’s approach to invest in growing middle-market companies in sectors ranging from software to financial and healthcare technology, digital media, eCommerce, and internet infrastructure.

—Speaking of Great Hill, Chaossearch, a startup developing search and analytics for the Amazon Web Services cloud platform, has named Derek Schoettle as an independent board member for the company. Schoettle is an operating partner at Great Hill and was leading Waltham, MA-based ZoomInfo until March when it was bought by Washington marketing firm DiscoverOrg.

—GNS Healthcare, a Cambridge, MA-based company using machine learning for precision medicine, has raised $23 million in a funding round led by the corporate venture arm of health insurer Cigna (NYSE: CI). Joining the round were Amgen Ventures (NASDAQ: AMGN), Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG), Echo Health Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments (NYSE: ARE), and former Caesar’s CEO and Aetna division president Gary Loveman. For patients, GNS’s technology uses data from health records to match people with therapeutics, procedures and particular care management.

—Signavio, a German business process technology company with East Coast offices in Burlington, MA, has raised $177 million from Apax Digital and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners.

—Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is buying Maynard, MA-based Acacia Communications (NASDAQ: ACIA) for $2.6 billion in a deal to boost the networking giant’s stock of optical technologies, the companies announced Tuesday. The deal values Acacia at $70 per share, a 46 percent premium to its closing stock price Monday, but still a bargain compared with Acacia’s peak share price of $100-plus in 2016, the year it went public. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of Cisco’s 2020 fiscal year.

—Executives from Black Duck Software and Veracode, including Bob Brennan and Bill Ledingham, are relaunching cloud computing infrastructure firm ReactiveOps and renaming the business Fairwinds after a deal backed by angel investors to take over the company. The company isn’t disclosing how much the angel investor paid to buy out ReactiveOps, but it says the investors have put in several million dollars more for working capital.

—Dynatrace, a 14-year-old enterprise software intelligence company, has filed paperwork for an initial public offering that could raise as much as $300 million to restock its war chest and shrink its sizable debt. If it follows through on the IPO plans, the Waltham, MA-based company would list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DT,” according to Dynatrace’s filing with the SEC. It has not yet said how many shares it plans to sell and at what price.

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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