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October 12, 2017

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Dylan: A friendly reminder: We’re expanding to our third market this year on Monday. Introducing Cincy Inno, which will cover all things innovation in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can sign up for its newsletter here. 

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Lucy: Say hello to CarGurus, Massachusetts’ newest public tech company.

Dylan: The Cambridge company debuted on the stock market at $29 per share, roughly 80 percent above its IPO price of $16. Since it debuted on the Nasdaq Global Select market under “CARG” this morning, enthusiasm has waned a little bit, with the stock price now floating around $27. The company raised $150M the day before after pricing its IPO at $16, above its expected range of $13 to $15.

CarGurus’ debut on the stock market marks a significant win for the Boston area, where big consumer tech successes are less frequent than on the West Coast.

“CarGurus, Wayfair, Runkeeper, Kayak et al. will hopefully inspire other awesome founders that you can build a special consumer company in this town,” Bijan Sabet, a local venture capitalist who has invested in Tumblr, Twitter and Wayfair, told me in an email.

With such a big IPO pop on its first day of trading, the question remains whether CarGurus can sustain this level of first-day enthusiasm. Earlier this year, Snap popped well above its IPO price, but the Snapchat maker’s stock price is now a little below that $17 level.

Lucy: What makes CarGurus different is that it has actually been profitable leading up to now. In 2016, the company brought in $198.1M in revenue with a net income of $6.5M. For the first six months of 2017, the company’s revenue was $143.3M with an $8.6M net income. Read more: CarGurus IPO Pops 80% in Trading Debut

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Making Moves

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

Lucy: How rapidly Amazon is expanding? And what is the overall effect on the U.S. economy? The Business Journals with Craig M. Douglas has published an analysis with an interactive map that you’ll find here. “Americans have supported the Bezos surge in two distinct ways: by buying everything from dog food to diamonds on and by kicking in at least $1.24 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies and incentives that have fueled the company’s growth across the country,” Douglas wrote.

Dylan: The intrigue surrounding Kaspersky Lab‘s alleged role in a Russian hacking of an NSA employee continues to escalate. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Russian government used Kaspersky’s popular antivirus software to “secretly scan computers around the world for classified U.S. government documents and top-secret information, modifying the program to turn it into an espionage tool.” The report, citing current and former U.S. officials, said that capability could have only been made possible with the knowledge of Kaspersky, which has its U.S. headquarters in Woburn. The company told the WSJ that it “was not involved in and does not possess any knowledge of the situation,” adding that it was willing to cooperate with U.S. authorities to address the issue.

Lucy: Cambridge-based Openbay, an online marketplace for automotive repair, announced Openbay Profile, an online presence for the automotive care business allowing consumers to interact and exchange information for service and repair.

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: Three months after the launch of XFactor Ventures, the women-led seed fund for female entrepreneurs, the firm has revealed its first eight startup investments. While the fund launched by Flyrbridge Capital hasn’t invested in any Boston startups yet, Flybridge’s Kate Castle told me she hopes a couple local investments will be announced soon. One of XFactor’s first investments is a founder some BostInno readers may recognize: Ellen Chisa, who was most recently VP of product at Lola Travel. Read more: XFactor Fund For Female Founders Reveals 1st Eight Startup Investments

Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Dylan: Kuebix, a freight intelligence software provider backed by Boston VC firm Pillar, has made four leadership hires: Rich Forcier as CFO, Hetal Joshi as VP of worldwide services, Emanuel Kadziela as VP of engineering, and John McCammond as VP of business development. Forcier was previously CFO at DataXu, Joshi was previously at Cognizant, Kadziela was previously at Currensee and McCammond was previously at Fleetmatics. 

In The Community

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

Dylan: Our general manager Kyle Gross attended a panel on the media’s battle against fake news yesterday at Progress Partners‘ Connect event yesterday. Here are a few takeaways: New Democrat Network founder Simon Rosenberg says the issue can’t be ignored and platforms must be held accountable; Forbes editor Randall Lane says we must teach our children to intuitively smell BS to fight against fake news, though it may be too late for tens of millions of adults who already distrust mainstream news sources; Upworthy CEO Eli Pariser says a welcome development is that local news sources are becoming more trusted and that the general issue of fake news creates a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to solve.

Read This Right Now

Insight and analysis from the community and beyond.

Lucy: In a post for Noteworthy, entrepreneur and angel investor Wayne Chang gives his definition of Minimum Loveable Product (MLP): “An MLP is a product that is so intuitive, so satisfying to use, that your customer base can’t help but tell someone else about their experience. (This quality is what I look for in each of the companies I invest in as well — and I have invested in 50+ startups.)”

From Our Partners

Seismic: In 2002, the lives of Braintree brothers Jack and Craig Shadduck would change forever. At age 13, Jack suddenly fell ill to transverse myelitis, a rare immune disorder. Jack was left paralyzed from the neck down.

This is the story of Craig’s devotion to his older brother in the years since, and how each community that he is a part of can’t help but become inspired to do their part to help his friends and family, the town of Braintree and the company he now works for SeismicRead more: Brother’s Bond Inspires Local Company, Community

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin

Lucia Maffei

Kyle Gross

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