• Fri, Jul 31st 2015 7:50 PM

    Uber gets to $50B valuation faster than Facebook did

    Uber gets to $50B valuation faster than Facebook did

    Uber on Friday became the second venture-backed company to hit a valuation of $50 billion, and it did it a year faster than Facebook did. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources who said the San Francisco on-demand transportation company raised $1 billion in new funding that values the company at about $51 billion. Get the free daily TechFlash Silicon Valley newsletter. It did that in just six years since it was founded in 2009, compared to the approximately seven years it took Facebook…

  • Fri, Jul 31st 2015 2:50 PM

    Four VC deals to know about for the week of July 27

    Four VC deals to know about for the week of July 27

    Here's a snapshot of four Boston-area startups that have raised or officially announced new investor funding for the week of July 27. EcoVent Systems, the Boston-based maker of a smart, room-by-room heating and cooling system, officially announced in a press release its latest round of funding, which the Boston Business Journal had reported in June. Total funding to date for the company is now about $10 million. Investors include Emerson Climate Technologies, a business segment of Emerson (NYSE:…

  • Fri, Jul 31st 2015 1:30 PM

    Somerville clean tech startups are bringing manufacturing jobs back to Massachusetts

    Somerville clean tech startups are bringing manufacturing jobs back to Massachusetts

    Somerville-based clean tech startup incubator Greentown Labs is on a mission to help connect hardware startups across the Boston area with local manufacturers. With help from a $270,000 grant from MassDevelopment, Greentown Labs teamed up with the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) earlier this year to help startups and manufacturers in the Bay State establish mutually beneficial relationships. The initiative came out of the realization that startup founders building physical…

  • Thu, Jul 30th 2015 4:50 PM

    A former venture capitalist is the MBTA's new chief business guy

    A former venture capitalist is the MBTA's new chief business guy

    A former venture capitalist at Cambridge-based General Catalyst Partners is now the chief administrator for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Brian Shortsleeve was named chief administrator on Thursday, and will be working alongside the newly appointed MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. Shortsleeve, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, most recently spent about six years as managing director at General Catalyst Partners, a venture firm whose portfolio companies include Cambridge-based…

  • Thu, Jul 30th 2015 4:30 PM

    Startups in Somerville clean tech incubator have raised nearly $100M in funding

    Startups in Somerville clean tech incubator have raised nearly $100M in funding

    Clean tech startups in Somerville-based incubator program Greentown Labs are thriving, and here's proof: The 76 startups that have participated in the program since it was founded in 2011 have raised $97 million in investor funding. The startups in the incubator program are expected to reach the $100 million mark within the next few weeks, said Executive Director Emily Reichert. That's up from $44 million in total cumulative funding as of May 2014. Greentown Labs has been on a growth spree over…

  • Thu, Jul 30th 2015 3:20 PM

    Startups in Somerville clean tech accelerator have raised nearly $100M in funding

    Startups in Somerville clean tech accelerator have raised nearly $100M in funding

    Clean tech startups in Somerville-based accelerator program Greentown Labs are thriving, and here's proof: The 76 startups that have participated in the program since it was founded in 2011 have raised $97 million in investor funding. The startups in the accelerator program are expected to reach the $100 million mark within the next few weeks, said Executive Director Emily Reichert. That's up from $44 million in total cumulative funding as of May 2014. Greentown Labs has been on a growth spree…

  • Wed, Jul 29th 2015 5:30 PM

    Is Fidelity getting into the bitcoin game?

    Is Fidelity getting into the bitcoin game?

    Fidelity Investments is seeking a trademark that suggests it may be planning a larger presence in the realm of virtual currency. The investment management company applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a mark for the term "Fidelitycoin" last week, as was first reported by the website CryptoCoinsNews. The trademark concerns "financial services, namely, financial exchange services for virtual currency; electronic wallets; charitable services in the name of virtual currency." No…

  • Wed, Jul 29th 2015 2:40 PM

    Six 'unicorns' born in Boston with valuations above $1B

    Six 'unicorns' born in Boston with valuations above $1B

    With $300 million in venture capital funding secured this week, online fantasy sports startup DraftKings became the most recent private tech firm headquartered in the Boston area to earn "unicorn" status -- that is, venture-backed companies whose valuations are at least $1 billion. In the above photo gallery, we take a look back at five other unicorns born in Boston during the years 2015 and 2014, ranging from biotech firms to storage companies. These companies are private firms whose valuations…

  • Tue, Jul 28th 2015 4:40 PM

    Why this VC-backed company moved its HQ from San Francisco to Boston

    Why this VC-backed company moved its HQ from San Francisco to Boston

    Technology veteran Omer Trajman moved to San Francisco from Boston a few years ago, but when he founded his own big data analytics startup, Rocana, he chose the Boston area as its headquarters. Trajman, who founded venture-backed Rocana about a year and a half ago, said that while San Francisco innovators are future-thinkers focused on the next big thing, Boston innovators are more focused on solving current issues with high-tech solutions. He said he hopes his company can serve as a role model…

  • Tue, Jul 28th 2015 2:10 PM

    Elon Musk and dozens of Mass. technologists call for a killer-robot ban

    Elon Musk and dozens of Mass. technologists call for a killer-robot ban

    A petition that calls for a worldwide ban on autonomous weapons, essentially killer robots, has attracted entrepreneur Elon Musk and scientist Stephen Hawking and also gained support from at least 45 Massachusetts technologists. They include students and researchers from MIT, Harvard University, Boston University and the University of Massachusetts, along with technologists at companies including Cambridge-based Internet content delivery firm Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM) and Burlington-based…

  • Tue, Jul 28th 2015 1:10 PM

    Elon Musk and dozens of Mass. technologists call for a killer-robot ban (BBJ photo gallery)

    Elon Musk and dozens of Mass. technologists call for a killer-robot ban (BBJ photo gallery)

    A petition that calls for a worldwide ban on autonomous weapons has attracted entrepreneur Elon Musk and scientist Stephen Hawking and also gained support from at least 45 Massachusetts technologists. They include students and researchers from MIT, Harvard University, Boston University and the University of Massachusetts, along with technologists at companies including Cambridge-based Internet content delivery firm Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM) and Burlington-based speech communications firm…

  • Tue, Jul 28th 2015 8:20 AM

    DraftKings to expand internationally and hire hundreds

    DraftKings to expand internationally and hire hundreds

    In the wake of a $300 million influx of cash from Fox Sports, the CEO of Boston-based online fantasy sports startup DraftKings said the company is set to expand internationally and hire hundreds this year. DraftKings announced Monday it had landed a $300 million venture funding round led by Fox Sports, and the company's estimated valuation is now upwards of $1 billion. Co-founder and CEO Jason Robins said the company will use some of the new investment to open an office in London and expand rapidly…

  • Mon, Jul 27th 2015 5:20 PM

    Innovation community reacts to demise of Boston 2024 Olympics

    Innovation community reacts to demise of Boston 2024 Olympics

    Startup founders and members of the innovation community in Boston had mixed feelings about the decision to pull the bid for the Boston 2024 Olympics. Amid what turned into a contentious bid for the 2024 Olympics, several Boston entrepreneurs had previously said the Olympics could serve as a catalyst to solve some of the city's problems, from transportation to housing. Winning the bid would also cement Boston's reputation as a world-class city for innovation, they said, officially quelling any notions…

  • Mon, Jul 27th 2015 9:40 AM

    DraftKings becomes Boston's next 'unicorn' after giant funding deal

    DraftKings becomes Boston's next 'unicorn' after giant funding deal

    Boston-based online daily fantasy sports startup DraftKings has landed a $300 million venture funding round led by Fox Sports, and the company's estimated valuation is now upwards of $1 billion. The Boston Business Journal earlier this month reported that DraftKings was still believed to be targeting $300 million in Series D funding, some of which was raised on June 30. According to Seattle-based venture capital research firm PitchBook, DraftKings' valuation is now upwards of $1 billion, making…

  • Sun, Jul 26th 2015 9:00 PM

    Demandware founder behind a stealthy startup aimed at mobile commerce

    Demandware founder behind a stealthy startup aimed at mobile commerce

    In 2004, Stephan Schambach founded Demandware, the Burlington-based software that helps companies seamlessly build their own e-commerce-enabled websites. Since then, Schambach served as CEO of the company (NYSE: DWRE) and invested in other firms such as Klara, a startup focused on helping patients connect with their doctors. Now, it appears Schambach is back in action with a stealthy, new company called NewStore focused on connecting various technologies like Apple Pay and Apple's iBeacon sensors. ...

  • Fri, Jul 24th 2015 1:20 PM

    Drone-led whale research and two other crowdfunding campaigns to know about

    Drone-led whale research and two other crowdfunding campaigns to know about

    This month, Boston-area entrepreneurs are taking to crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise money for whale research, bicycle helmets and smart vitamin dispensers. Here's what you need to know about each. A crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter that's aimed at using drones for whale research has this tagline: "We've invented a way to learn about whales while removing the need to harass them in the process . It's called Snotbot." The drones are custom-built in a partnership…

  • Fri, Jul 24th 2015 8:30 AM

    Six VC deals you should know about for the week of July 20

    Six VC deals you should know about for the week of July 20

    Below are six key venture capital funding deals to know about for the week of July 20, ranging from a robotics startup a big data analytics firm. Gameface Media, a Boston-based photography startup, has landed $4 million in new funding to embark on its next evolution: Acquiring decades-old photos of amateur athletes, including those on college football teams. The new "legacy" photo service will complement the company's original business, which offers participants of athletic events -- including…

  • Thu, Jul 23rd 2015 1:20 PM

    Boston VC firm launches tech city guide in Austin; plans to add other markets

    Boston VC firm launches tech city guide in Austin; plans to add other markets

    A Boston venture capital firm that's been investing in Austin startups is now launching an online city guide for the tech community. OpenView Venture Partners has teamed with Uberflip to develop a series of websites designed to provide tips on where to eat and where to do the best networking in Austin. Growth.in, which launches Thursday in Austin, also includes curated content with plans to launch similar websites in Seattle, Boulder, Colorado, Salt Lake City and Boston, OpenView Head of Marketing…

  • Thu, Jul 23rd 2015 8:40 AM

    Massachusetts VC funding slumps in Q2 to $1.4B

    Massachusetts VC funding slumps in Q2 to $1.4B

    Venture capital investment activity in Massachusetts slumped during the second quarter of the year, with $1.4 billion invested across 117 deals, compared from $1.58 billion over 121 deals in the first quarter. That's according to New York-based global venture capital databse firm CB Insights, which released its global VC activity report Thursday. Geographically, Cambridge landed the most amount of VC deals in companies headquartered there during the second quarter. Companies in Cambridge landed…

  • Wed, Jul 22nd 2015 5:00 PM

    Toro, No. 9 Park and other top Boston restaurants are taking a chance on this startup

    Toro, No. 9 Park and other top Boston restaurants are taking a chance on this startup

    Greater Boston's top restaurants including No. 9 Park, La Brasa and Toro Boston are taking a chance on BevSpot, which offers software to better track inventory, automate orders and boost efficiency. BevSpot, which is currently based in Boston's Downtown Crossing neighborhood but on the hunt for new office space, closed a $5.25 million Series A funding round from Bain Capital Ventures earlier this month. The company plans to use that money to grow its headcount from 17 to about 30 by the end of…