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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Lucy: After shutting down in April, transportation startup Bridj is getting resurrected more than 10,000 miles away from Boston.

Dylan: Bridj plans to relaunch later this year in Sydney, Australia, after it was acquired by Australian transportation operator Transit Systemsaccording to a message published to Bridj’s Facebook page on FridayBridj’s Twitter account and website also make references to Sydney, which is further supported by trademark and business filings in Australia. The company’s Facebook page said it’s also planning to relaunch in the United States sometime in the future.

A source familiar with the deal confirmed to me that it was an asset sale that completed sometime over the summer. Bridj founder Matt George also confirmed the deal but declined to provide any details.

Founded in 2014, Bridj gained national headlines for its concept of a data-driven shuttle bus service, even though the startup only ended up operating in a total of three cities, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Kansas City, the latter of which was for a one-year pilot program. Backed by over $11M from investors, the service created central pickup and dropoff points based on route requests made on its app.

Bridj shut down in April after an investment deal fell through with Toyota, The Boston Globe reported in May. At the time, transportation experts said the company likely wasn’t able to sustain itself due to high costs and a large number of public transit alternatives. In August, national transportation planning firm Wells + Associates acquired BreakShuttle, a provider of college break transit services run by Bridj that had been profitable.​ Read more: Bridj Is Coming Back from the Dead — in Australia

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

Making Moves

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

Dylan: Forbes has released its 2017 World’s Billionaires List, and it includes 15 Massachusetts residents, including Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson (No. 75 with a $14.4B net worth) and Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler (No. 1290 with a $1.6B net worth).

Lucy: Say goodbye to Foodler. The Boston-based take-out delivery service shut down on Tuesday after its sale to Chicago-based Grubhub completed, The Boston Globe reported. Grubhub entered into an agreement to acquire Foodler in June.

Dylan: Local VC firm OpenView has partnered with Athena Alliance to increase gender diversity in company boardrooms.

Lucy: Ever wondered what’s above the Macy’s building in Downtown Crossing? There’s a nearly 1 million square foot data center that serves Harvard UniversityThe Red Sox, the Broad Institute and Vertex, as well as more than 90 domestic and international network providers, like AT&T and Comcast. It’s Markley‘s data center, which is also home of many pieces of modern and contemporary art. Read more: Office Envy: Inside Markley’s Artsy Data Center in Downtown Crossing 

Dylan: Mobile payments startup Circle just announced that users of its app can now transfer money from Circle to a U.S. bank account instantly, without any fees. This means people in the United Kingdom and Europe “can instantly send money to the U.S. at no cost, with no FX markup,” Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s CEO, said in a statement.

Lucy: Congratulations to the winners of the Beantown Throwdown – the Boston area’s multi-school student startup pitch-off. WorkAround from Brandeis took home the gold, Hear Me Now from MCPHS finished in second place and Infinite Cooling from MIT took third. 

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

Dylan: Drivn, a coaching software platform based in Natick, has raised $520K out of a $1M equity offering, according to a new Form D.

Lucy: New edtech startup Edmit raised $450K in an equity offering, according to a new Form D.

Player Personnel

Who’s moving where.

Dylan: Eli Daniel, a former executive at Spotify and Bridj, has been hired by digital marketing and AI startup WEVO as its CTO.

In The Community

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

Dylan: Interested in investing in a cryptocurrency? Blockchain startups Talla, Cognate and Sia will be pitching their token sales at the Granary Tavern on Thursday, Oct. 26. There is limited room, so be sure to sign up for a ticket soon.

Lucy: Four Massachusetts-based companies were included in Fortune’s list of 100 Best Medium Workplaces: CyberArk, ezCater, Salsify and Shawmut Design and Construction.

Dylan: C Space is looking for folks who know a lot about cutting edge technology and have an opinion about the future of finance for an interactive workshop it’s holding in Manhattan on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Interested and can make the trip from Boston? Fill out this survey.


Just random stuff…

Dylan: If you’re interested in the Boston video game industry, I recently started a weekly newsletter called BosBattle you can sign up for right here. I’ll still be writing plenty of video game/esports stuff for BostInno, but if you’re craving more, you know where to go now.

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Meet The Authors

Dylan Martin

Lucia Maffei

Kyle Gross

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