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Thursday, November 30, 2017

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The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Dylan: Ever since a large fleet of dockless shared bicycles landed in Malden, where I live, from Ofo and LimeBike a little while ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about this whole dockless bike-share craze that has been blowing up in China and starting to take hold in the U.S.

Zagster, a Cambridge startup that has been offering bike-share programs since 2007, has a new approach to the dockless phenomenon: a program that comes with the flexibility of dockless without any of its drawbacks.

Introduced today under the name Pace, Zagster’s new program is different in two ways. The biggest difference is that it comes with a cable that lets you lock the bike to fixtures, meaning you can’t just leave the bike anywhere, unlike other dockless programs such as Ofo. What also separates Pace is that Zagster has designated racks where you can find the bikes, so you always know where to find them.

In a way, it’s a cross between docked bike-share programs like Hubway and dockless programs that have become all the rage.

“We believe very strongly that bikes should be locked to things,” Timothy Ericson, founder and CEO of Zagster, told me.

Zagster currently provides 200 bike-share programs across 35 states, Ericson said, with 98 of them serving cities and college campuses. Pace is aimed at Zagster’s city and college customers while the company’s corporate customers, which includes Salesforce and General Motors, will remain under the Zagster brand. The company is planning to launch its first Pace programs before next April. Read more: Zagster Has a Sensible New Approach to Dockless Bike-Share Mania

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Making Moves

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

Lucy: A company in the Harvard Innovation Labs’ batch, Evisort, is developing a series of algorithms that are meant to “organize, categorize, and draw insights” out of legal contracts, as their pitch says. Formed by four law students from Harvard, two data scientists from MIT and two computer scientists from Northeastern University, the company launched almost a year ago and currently has eight employees. Currently, Evisort provides six A.I.-powered modules that can extrapolate the contents and the meaning of 24 types of contracts. “Fundamentally, it’s a search tool: it’s basically Google for contracts,” Jerry Ting, Evisort co-founder and CEO, told me. Read more: This Harvard Law Startup Wants to Be the “Google for Legal Contracts”

Dylan: Just in time for the holidays, Lovepop has revealed new 3D pop-up greeting cards for Game of Thrones. The startup worked with HBO Global Licensing to get this deal. Valar Morghulis, everyone!

Lucy: In other news, ZeroTurnaround, a Java developer tool provider headquartered in Boston, has been acquired by Colorado-based Rogue Wave Software. 

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: Gamalon — a startup that has developed machine learning techniques for recognizing concepts in images or text more efficiently — has raised $800K for a financing round, which has a $2M target, according to a new Form D. The startup was founded by Ben Vigoda, who sold his previous startup Lyric Semiconductor to Analog Devices. It previously raised a $4M round last year.

Lucy: On a separate note, Cambridge-based cybersecurity company ReversingLabs raised $25M in Series A funding from Trident Capital Cybersecurity and JPMorgan Chase, among other investors.

Dylan: If you’re wondering how much Boston startup funding was raised in November, I have you covered. Largest November rounds came from Markforged’s $30M, along with Locus Robotics, ReversingLabs and Recorded Future, all three of which raised $25M each. Read more: These 24 Boston Startups Raised More Than $229M in November

Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Dylan: Rize, a Woburn-based 3D printing startup, has hired Andy Kalambi as its new president and CEO. He was previously at Dassault Systemes, where he served in multiple roles, including as CEO of the company’s ENOVIA brand.

Lucy: ZappRx hired two new executives: James Cornicelli as VP of corporate strategy and Rich Kramer as VP of commercial operations. Before joining the digital health company, Cornicelli served as global head of business development for UCB Biopharma’s Immunology and Bone business units, while Kramer was as VP of sales at Upfront Healthcare.

Dylan: QuickPivot added Peter Zaballos, CMO of SPS Commerce, to its board of directors.

Lucy: Michael Tonzola is the new group management supervisor at Cambridge BioMarketing. Previously, Tonzola served as VP, Account Director at Area 23.

Dylan: Fuze appointed Paul Milbury, former CFO of Starent Networks and Avid Technology, to its board of directors. Milbury will serve as the board’s chairman of the audit committee.

In The Community

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

Dylan: Thanks to our intern Fran Albanese, we have a new roundup of Boston tech and startup events in December for you to browse. Find Boston tech and startup events in BostInno Approved.

Featured Jobs

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

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin

Lucia Maffei

Kyle Gross

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