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Monday, October 23, 2017

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Dylan: Another reminder that 50 on Fire is in about three weeks. If you want $15 off your ticket, use the discount code 3WEEKS on the Eventbrite page. The discount is valid until 5 p.m. today.

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Lucy: Think of the last time you took a train: how many people were texting in your coach? My guess is many.

Americans, especially young adults, like text-based communications. A 2011 report from Pew Research Center states that cell owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day. More recently, Business Insider reported that WhatsApp is steady replacing SMS: 30B messages are sent over WhatsApp each day — 10B more than the global SMS system.
The texting tools may have changed, but the trend remains. Messaging is still one of the most powerful ways to gain readers’ attention. That’s why a handful of companies based in the greater Boston area have decided to use SMS to provide their services, which range from building baby journals to dating counseling.
There’s Qeepsake, for example. Launched by a married couple living in Waltham, this SMS-based service helps customers keep track of memories related to their children. By sending SMS to Qeepsake, users build an archive of texts and photos they can decide to print as a baby journal.
Another company on our list is The Silver Postwhich is offering a really simple service: printing photos and messages on behalf of the sender, and mailing them on a postcard to their grandma. Users send their messages via SMS, the company takes from there and grandmothers find a postcard in their mailbox.
We’ve reported on all these companies before, but we’re always on the lookout for new ones. If you know of any Boston companies that are using SMS to do “X,” let us know. Read more: 3 Local Startups That Are Launching a Business Based on SMS 

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Making Moves

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

Dylan: Bullhorn, the Boston-based provider of CRM software for the recruiting industry, is changing ownership. The company announced today that Vista Equity Partners has reached an agreement to sell Bullhorn to Insight Venture Partners, which has a stake in other local companies like ezCater and SmartBear. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, and the new investment from Insight will be used to further accelerate the company’s growth. The entire management team will stay in place once the deal closes, which is expected to happen in Q4. One interesting tidbit from the press release: Bullhorn’s revenue has quadrupled in the past five years.

Lucy: New acquisition alert. Digi International, a company in the Internet of Things space, purchased Boston-based TempAlert, which provides automated, real-time temperature monitoring services. Digi reached the deal for $45M in cash plus future earn-out incentives.

Dylan: Here’s one way to avoid venture capital when running a startup: spin it out of an existing company. That’s what happened with Explorics, a new marketing tech startup based in Manchester, N.H., that began as a software project at marketing agency GYK Antler. Read more: How to Avoid VC: Spin Your Startup Out of an Existing Company

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: Portal Instruments, a Cambridge-based startup that has developed a needle-free drug delivery system, has raised a $5.9M round, according to a new Form D. The startup was among two MIT-born technologies to win an award at SXSW this year.

Lucy: Devoted Health has raised nearly $62M from investors, Xconomy reported. The healthcare company was created by former athenahealth leaders.

Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Dylan: Salsify has hired Steve McKenzie as its VP of sales. McKenzie previously held the same role at InsightSquared and served several senior and strategic roles at Mimecast before that.

In The Community

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

Dylan: Turns out Jeff Bezos was in town last year for a swanky dinner with a number of people in the Massachusetts robotics sector. Among the people in attendance for a dinner at Liquid Art House were Daniela Rus of MIT’s CSAIL, Tom Ryden of MassRobotics and Rodney Brooks of Rethink Robotics, BBJ reported.

Lucy: I cannot even begin to list how many Boston tech events are happening this week. Tonight, for example, The Security of Things hosts its meetup starting at 7 p.m. at Akamai’s Cambridge HQ. On Thursday, artificial intelligence fans can gather at District Hall for a free panel. Read more: BostInno Approved: October’s Top Tech & Startup Events in Boston

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin

Lucia Maffei

Kyle Gross

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