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Monday, November 27, 2017

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The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Dylan: Since 2013, a new robotics startup founded and led by former iRobot CTO Tom Wagner has been shrouded in secrecy. But while the company’s website only displays a logo, there have been a number of state and federal filings and resumes that shed light on a company that has now been in “stealth mode” for four years.

Wagner’s company is called Berkshire Grey, and it’s not the only stealthy startup in Greater Boston we have been able to get details on. Using government documents, LinkedIn profiles, websites, news stories and sometimes statements from the founders themselves, we have uncovered information on 11 local startups that are currently in stealth mode and should be on your radar for next year.

— Berkshire Grey, for instance, is working on artificial intelligence-based robotic and automated material handling systems, according to the resume of Kevin Ahearn, Berkshire’s VP of business development. The company raised a $3M seed round in 2013 and counts Khosla Ventures as an early investor, according to PitchBook.

Compt is a software startup founded by former Jana CFO Amy Spurling that is focused on helping companies attract and retain talent. “Free beer and ping-pong are no longer enough to attract and retain top talent in an evolving, and competitive workforce. Compt offers the solution,” Spurling told me recently.

— Michael Sheeley, co-founder of Runkeeper, is working on a direct-to-consumer healthcare company with former Autotegrity CMO and TripAdvisor alum Steve McAveeney. In a recent message to me, Sheeley described the startup as “a personalized, caring, and sympathetic competitor to WebMD.”

Other stealthy startups on my list include the General Catalyst-backed Tidelift, Project HomeTap (from former Skyhook Wireless CEO Jeff Glass), NextDroid (self-driving cars), and Domovi (from former Datto hardware engineer Leanne Cushing). Read more: 11 Stealthy Boston Startups to Watch in 2018

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.


Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves in Boston.

Dylan: Optimus Ride, a Boston-based autonomous vehicle startup that recently raised an $18M Series A, plans to shuttle passengers around the Union Point development in South Weymouth as part of a pilot sometime in 2018, The Boston Globe reported.

Lucy: After edXGE and Microsoft partnered to help local students get tech jobs, other organizations are making efforts to enhance STEM education in Boston and MassachusettsThe Boston Celtics and GE Foundation are joining forces to launch the “Brilliant Career Play,” a mobile STEM lab designed to bring age-appropriate STEM experiences to Boston and Massachusetts public middle school students. The mobile lab is currently slated to travel to nine different middle schools throughout Massachusetts.


New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Lucy: LearnBolt, which is developing a cloud-based learning platform for businesses, raised $50K in a debt and option offering, according to a new Form D.

Dylan: ClimaCell, which provides granular weather data using wireless networks, has raised a $15M Series A round led by Canaan, with participation from Fontinalis Partners and Square Peg Capital. The company has customers in the aviation, construction, financial services and outdoor entertainment sectors. A company representative told me the company has 25 employees and plans to double that by the end of this year. You can read my profile on ClimaCell from earlier this year and learn about how near-death experiences for the founders inspired the creation of the company.

Lucy: Right after Thanksgiving, we decided to list all the Massachusetts private companies that raised a Series D round in the past 12 months. We thought it was a good way to keep some potential IPO candidates on the radar, as well as a refresher on who are the late-stage ventures who made significant moves recently. The list doesn’t include Quanterix, a biotechnology company that in August 2017 added $8.5M to its $46M Series D round and is looking to raise $61.5M in its initial public offering, BBJ reported today. The names our readers will be familiar with include ezCaterCybereasonDesktop Metal and Indigo. Read more: 12 Massachusetts Companies That Announced Their Series D Since Thanksgiving 2016 


Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Dylan: LevelUp COO Andrew Boch is leaving the company after working there for six years to join Cambridge travel startup Hopper as COO on Dec. 1, Hopper spokeswoman Brianna Schneider told me. Both companies have made big moves in the past 12 months, with LevelUp raising a $50M round from banking giants in May and Hopper expanding its price prediction app to hotels after raising a $61M round last December.


In The Community

The events and happenings to know about tonight and this week.

Dylan: Trying to figure out a holiday party for your early-stage startup? After taking a one-year hiatus, the Boston Holiday Tech Co-Party is coming back in December, and the event’s organizers are looking to find out how many people would be interested. If your startup has five to 25 employees and is less than five years old, head to this link and fill out a form. The event’s organizers include angel investor Jay Batson, TUGG, PromoboxxPretty Instant and others.

Lucy: As for other tech events, plenty of options to end November with a blast, from the Intro to SEO workshop hosted by General Assembly tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. to the November Open-Source IoT Meetup at Artisans Asylum in Somerville on Thursday. For more details, check out our list. Read more: BostInno Approved: November’s Top Tech & Startup Events in Boston 


Read This Right Now

Insight and analysis from the community and beyond.

Lucy: In a guest post for BostInnoBarkly CEO Mike Duffy comments on the soaring cost of cyber attacks for the healthcare industry, which has a wide presence in Boston: Healthcare institutions are expected to lose $1.3 billion to cyber attacks in 2017 alone, and with some of the top hospitals in the country located here in Boston, that brings the threat and potential economic impact of cyber attacks even closer to home.”


Featured Jobs

Featured startup and tech jobs on BostInno’s new Careers Directory.


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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin
dmartin@americaninno.com

Lucia Maffei
lmaffei@americaninno.com

Kyle Gross
kgross@americaninno.com

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