Whoever said that January is a slow month for news has never tracked Boston M&A deals in January 2018, I bet.
After a slow start, 10 deals relevant for the Boston community – some of them involving big tech names – have been announced in January, by our count.
This past 30 days will be remembered for Amazon and Facebook scooping up two local startups (Sqrrl and Confirm.io, respectively), for Evergage’s first acquisition and for an incredible rumor: VMware – which headquarters in Palo Alto, CA but has a shiny, new Boston office – could acquire Dell Technologies in a “reverse merger,” whereby VMware would actually buy the larger Dell.
CNBC reported that the alleged move, which would likely be the biggest deal in tech history, would give “investors who backed Dell’s move to go private in 2013 a way to monetize their deal, while helping Dell pay down some of its approximately $50B debt.”
Here are the BostInno Departed from January 2018:
• Not a startup or a company, but worth mentioning. Intelligent.ly, a local leadership development program popular among the Boston tech crowd, is shutting down, but it may have a future in a different form. Co-founders Sarah Hodges and Dave Balter said they could no longer give the program the attention it deserves because of their full-time jobs (Hodges is a partner at Pillar and Balter runs Flipside Crypto). The program helped 1,950 people from more than 120 companies.
• Hatch Fenway, a startup launchpad in Fenway that counted Google Ventures-backed Toast as its anchor tenant, has shut down. But that was apparently part of the plan from when it first opened more than two years ago, according to a statement from Hatch’s developer, Samuels & Associates. A representative told BostInno that Hatch’s community space will continue to hold events for the time being.
The Merged and Acquired:
• Medford-based Agero, a software provider for auto manufacturers and insurers, has acquired San Francisco-based Swoop. They are best known for their end-to-end dispatch management platform for roadside assistance. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
• AOTMP, a global research firm for telecom management best practices and industry standards, is acquiring Boston-based Blue Hill Research, a tech research firm focused on organizational tech investments that was founded by Ralph Rodriguez, who is CTO and co-founder of Confirm.io (just acquired by Facebook: see below).
• Context Labs, a Cambridge-based company building a blockchain-based supply chain system, has acquired another local startup, IoT ImpactLABS. The company said the deal, whose value was not disclosed, will help it accelerate integration with Internet-connected devices, sensors and systems.
• French technology company Akeneo has acquired Sigmento, an Israel-based technology company specializing in product data automation. Akeneo has its U.S. headquarters in Boston.
• International payments startup Flywire has acquired OnPlan Holdings, the Chicago-area parent company of OnPlanU and OnPlan Health, which provide payments solutions for higher education institutions and healthcare organizations, respectively.
• The deal is now official. Amazon is acquiring Sqrrl, a cybsersecurity startup founded by former NSA employees. That makes two Boston-area acquisitions for Amazon in less than two months (the other acquisition that happened in late December was that of home security camera maker Blink).
• Freight Farms has acquired a fellow Boston startup called Cabbige, which provides online business management software for small farmers.
• Evergage, a Somerville startup that provides real-time personalization software, announced it has acquired a 16-year-old retail tech company considered a “pioneer” in the product recommendation space: MyBuys. This marks the first acquisition for Evergage.
If you think there’s a startup missing from this list, email me at email@example.com