Boston Tech Watch: Jobble, Soofa, Dynatrace, Markforged & DataRobot
The Boston tech scene lands its first IPO of 2019. DataRobot rakes in about $200 million more. Pushback on facial recognition spreads from Somerville, MA, to neighboring Cambridge. Markforged and Desktop Metal head back to court. Read on for more of this week’s Boston tech news.
—Burlington, MA-based software company Everbridge (NASDAQ: EVBG) is acquiring threat intelligence software company NC4 for $83 million in cash and company stock. Everbridge says the goal is to create a platform to handle everything from threat intelligence to incident management and communications. NC4 has offices in El Segundo, CA, Merrifield, VA, and Richmond, VA. The combined company will have 950 employees.
—Jobble, an online marketplace for on-demand workers in the gig economy, has raised $11 million in a funding round led by Vestigo Ventures and AXA Venture Partners and joined by Guardian Strategic Ventures and Harlem Capital Partners. Jobble says its platform has filled jobs in more than 1,600 towns and cities across the US. The cash will be aimed at beefing up the startup’s development team to work on the Jobble software user experience, as well as building out sales and marketing teams. In 2016, Jobble raised $1.2 million from the BOSS Syndicate and other investors.
—Smart city tech startup Soofa, Emerson College, and Somerville architecture and design firm Supernormal have partnered to install a dozen of the startup’s news feed boards across Boston, according to a press release. Soofa’s public digital news feed screens were placed in Codman Square, Chinatown, and Lower Allston through a program run by the city’s office of New Urban Mechanics. Cambridge-based Soofa has raised about $3.35 million in venture funding and is backed by Underscore VC and Pillar.
—Cambridge is considering a ban on the city government use of facial recognition technology. The move follows neighboring Somerville’s move to prohibit the use of the technology by the city. The Cambridge ordinance was introduced by Mayor Marc McGovern. A poll from ACLU Massachusetts found that 91 percent of state voters think there needs to be government regulation on the use of facial recognition tools, and 79 percent of voters want a moratorium on use of the technology.
—Dynatrace, a software intelligence firm based in Waltham, MA, priced its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, selling 35.6 million shares at $16 a piece to raise $544 million for the firm, the company said. The IPO is the first this year by a tech company headquartered in the Boston area. Shares jumped to about $25 each at midday, putting the company’s market cap at about $7 billion.
—Markforged is back in court suing 3D printing competitor Desktop Metal. The companies have been fighting over patents and other legal claims since 2017. This lawsuit centers on Desktop Metal marketing materials that Markforged says contain numerous false claims and therefore violate a 2018 settlement agreement that included a non-disparagement clause. Desktop Metal denies the claims.
—Automated machine-learning startup DataRobot has closed a Series E funding round in the ballpark of $200 million, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. The round is being led by Sapphire Ventures, one source said, and puts the company’s valuation in the $1 billion-plus “unicorn” range. The round comes less than a year since DataRobot’s $100 million Series D and puts its total venture haul above $400 million.