• Mon, May 2nd 2016 9:00 AM

    Boston's newest investment firm wants to disrupt venture capital

    Boston's newest investment firm wants to disrupt venture capital

    A former North Bridge Venture Partners investor is launching a new $100 million venture capital fund with CEOs of some of Boston's most well-known tech companies, including Wayfair, Rapid7, TripAdvisor and DraftKings. After spending nearly two decades as a North Bridge investor, Jamie Goldstein said he launched Pillar with the idea of upending the traditional venture capital structure to make the relationship between founders and investors more equitable and transparent. To that end, Pillar will…

  • Fri, Apr 29th 2016 4:00 PM

    Delayed robot says to frustrated customers: 'I just need a little more time'

    Delayed robot says to frustrated customers: 'I just need a little more time'

    Jibo the robot is feeling remorseful. For about a month, customers of Boston robot-maker Jibo have expressed their frustrations on Facebook about the company's delay in shipping their highly-anticipated $500 robot of the same name. The company said via Facebook in early April that they would not be delivering the robot by the March/April timeframe it had promised. In a video posted on YouTube on Friday, company executives said the robot will now be shipped in October. Executives said the delay…

  • Fri, Apr 29th 2016 12:00 PM

    Boston tech-focused VC firm plans to raise new $80M fund

    Boston tech-focused VC firm plans to raise new $80M fund

    Boston firm .406 Ventures, which has backed several local cybersecurity firms including Veracode and Carbon Black, is planning to raise another $80 million fund. The firm, which is led in part by Maria Cirino, one of the Bay State's few female venture capitalists, plans to raise $80 million for its .406 Ventures 2016 Opportunities Fund, L.P., according to a regulatory filing. Funds have not been raised yet, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last summer, the firm…

  • Fri, Apr 29th 2016 8:20 AM

    Co-working company MakeOffices charts expansion behind funding from developer

    Co-working company MakeOffices charts expansion behind funding from developer

    Arlington-based co-working company MakeOffices is planning to open more locations the D.C. area, Chicago and Philadelphia, and is also looking at opportunities in New York City. MakeOffices has been expanding at a rapid clip recently, opening its first locations in Chicago and Philadelphia over the last few months. The company will also hit seven locations in the D.C. area soon, with a Logan Circle location opening this fall and one in Clarendon in 2016. The company is also looking to expand in…

  • Thu, Apr 28th 2016 8:30 PM

    10 Boston-area tech VC deals to know about in April

    10 Boston-area tech VC deals to know about in April

    Tens of millions of dollars worth of venture capital funding were invested in local companies during the month of April. They include several software companies, a 3-D printing startup, and a boxing startup founded by the son of pro-boxer George Foreman. Click the photo gallery above to see 10 funding deals you should know about in April.

  • Thu, Apr 28th 2016 5:20 PM

    Kendall Square is getting a new coffee house — with co-working space

    Kendall Square is getting a new coffee house — with co-working space

    A Washington-D.C.-based company offering shared office space announced it will open a fourth Boston-area location, this time at 295 Third St. in Kendall Square, anticipated to open this June. The company, Cove, is opening the 1,300-square-foot location in partnership with Barismo, a Boston-based coffee roaster and retailer. Barismo is taking over space formerly inhabited by Voltage Coffee & Art, a popular hangout with Kendall's biotech and tech crowd. "This is something we're excited about…

  • Thu, Apr 28th 2016 5:20 PM

    Co-working company MakeOffices charts expansion behind funding from local developer

    Co-working company MakeOffices charts expansion behind funding from local developer

    Arlington-based co-working company MakeOffices is planning to open more locations the D.C. area, Chicago and Philadelphia, and is also looking at opportunities in New York City. MakeOffices has been expanding at a rapid clip recently, opening its first locations in Chicago and Philadelphia over the last few months. The company will also hit seven locations in the D.C. area soon, with a Logan Circle location opening this fall and one in Clarendon in 2016. The company is also looking to expand in…

  • Wed, Apr 27th 2016 4:30 PM

    Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary scoops up Gemvara

    Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary scoops up Gemvara

    Gemvara, an online customizable fine jewelry company that was founded as Paragon Lake in 2006, has been acquired by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Richline Group. The news was first reported by BostInno on Wednesday. Gemvara CEO Matt Nichols declined to talk to BostInno about the terms of the acquisition. Gemvara has changed its business model several times since it was first founded in 2006 as a web-based supplier of custom-designed jewelry for small and midsize jewelers. It's backed by $51 million…

  • Tue, Apr 26th 2016 3:10 PM

    MIT plans to be at the forefront of virtual reality — here's how

    MIT plans to be at the forefront of virtual reality — here's how

    In recent months, Natalie Pitcher has witnessed a so-called "explosive" interest in the field of virtual reality among undergraduate and graduate students alike at MIT. Pitcher, a graduate student at MIT's Sloan School of Management, has now embarked on an initiative to make MIT a leader in the burgeoning field of virtual reality. Still a nascent industry, the field of virtual reality allows users to to be immersed into computer-generated simulations of environments through hardware and headsets…

  • Tue, Apr 26th 2016 11:10 AM

    Metal 3D printing startup now has $47.5M in funding in one year

    Metal 3D printing startup now has $47.5M in funding in one year

    With the mission of creating an affordable and efficient metal 3D printer, Lexingon startup Desktop Metal has raised more than $47 million -- and the startup is only about a year old. According to a recent regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Desktop Metal raised a fresh $33.76 million in equity funding. A request for comment from the company was not immediately returned. Last November, the company raised $13.85 million in equity funding, which was its first investment…

  • Mon, Apr 25th 2016 9:30 PM

    GE energy startup's first acquisition is of a lighting tech firm

    GE energy startup's first acquisition is of a lighting tech firm

    General Electric Co.'s energy spinout, Current, made its first acquisition of an intelligent lighting company, in a deal that GE executives say is a precursor to some major customer contracts. Boston-based Current announced on April 21 it acquired California-based Daintree Networks. The combined technology will allow commercial and industrial businesses who use intelligent lighting to analyze their energy consumption and identify ways to increase efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. In…

  • Fri, Apr 22nd 2016 6:50 AM

    Five startup lessons from The Roots frontman 'Black Thought' at Harvard iLab

    Five startup lessons from The Roots frontman 'Black Thought' at Harvard iLab

    To an observer, it seems as if Tariq Trotter is, and always has been, exceptional at everything. Also known by the pseudonym "Black Thought," Trotter is best-known as the frontman of Philadelphia hip hop band The Roots. But he's also a fashion entrepreneur and actor, who recently learned how to play the saxophone for a role in the 2014 James Brown biopic "Get On Up." In his down time, he cranks out restaurant-grade ravioli and whips up the occasional roasted chicken in duck fat. But in a candid…

  • Thu, Apr 21st 2016 4:00 PM

    Magic Leap rival hires MIT Media Lab exec who's committed to staying in Boston

    Magic Leap rival hires MIT Media Lab exec who's committed to staying in Boston

    Silicon Valley augmented reality startup Meta, whose rivals include Magic Leap, has appointed MIT Media Lab executive John Werner as vice president of strategic partnerships. Werner said he's committed to Boston, will remain in the city, and is in the early stages of thinking about opening a Boston office and hiring employees for Meta. He'll also be in charge of finding talent and landing investor funding, as well as forging strategic partnerships with larger companies. "I think Silicon Valley…

  • Thu, Apr 21st 2016 10:10 AM

    Bostonians can now use a mobile app to find a roommate

    Bostonians can now use a mobile app to find a roommate

    Finding a roommate or a room for rent in Boston is about to get easier. New York City-based Roomi, a mobile app that lets users find roommates and apartments, announced Thursday it will debut in Boston. Ajay Yadav, CEO and founder of Roomi, said Boston was the appropriate next city for Roomi to launch in because it can help renters find the best housing for their needs, especially as recent graduates leave campus housing and enter the job market. "With an expanding collegiate and young professionals…

  • Tue, Apr 19th 2016 11:50 AM

    Real estate tech startup makes second acquisition in two months

    Real estate tech startup makes second acquisition in two months

    Placester, a real estate tech startup, announced Tuesday it has made another acquisition, its second in as many months. The Boston company acquired Australian firm RealSatisfied, a provider of customer satisfaction tools that provides big-data insights to brokers, agents and brands, according to a release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Six-year-old RealSatisfied has five employees and will remain headquartered in Australia. With the acquisition, Placester now serves 400,000 real estate…

  • Tue, Apr 19th 2016 11:50 AM

    Biotech startup space Mass Innovation Labs to double Cambridge space

    Biotech startup space Mass Innovation Labs to double Cambridge space

    When Amrit Chaudhuri was slogging through the steps of forming a biotech startup, he had an idea -- what if there was a company that could provide the expertise, consulting and real estate services he needed to form his company. In May of 2015, Chaudhuri and two other start-up executives -- Seth Taylor and PC Zhu -- launched Mass Innovation Labs to make that dream into a reality. A year later, the privately-funded company has plans to double its presence in Cambridge and launch a program in California. ...

  • Fri, Apr 15th 2016 1:20 AM

    The 10 biggest Boston-area VC deals of Q1

    The 10 biggest Boston-area VC deals of Q1

    New England saw 119 venture capital deals representing an influx of $1.56 billion in investments during the first three months of 2016, according to a recently-published report with data from Thomson Reuters. That's up slightly from 120 deals worth a total of $1.37 billion during the corresponding period in 2015, according to the report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. The top 10 venture capital deals of the first quarter were mostly investments in biotech…

  • Thu, Apr 14th 2016 6:20 PM

    Cambridge startup, backed by heavy hitters, lands new investment round

    Cambridge startup, backed by heavy hitters, lands new investment round

    Onshape, a Cambridge-based developer of software for engineers, has raised another $25 million in funding, according to a regulatory filing. The new round brings total funding to date to $169 million for the four-year-old company, which specializes in computer-aided design. Participants in the company's latest investment round were not disclosed. Last September, California venture capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz ed a new round of $80 million into Onshape. Andreessen Horowitz was an early…

  • Wed, Apr 13th 2016 9:30 PM

    Harvard-born tiny house startup will announce an expansion

    Harvard-born tiny house startup will announce an expansion

    Details are scarce right now, but it appears that Harvard-born tiny house startup Getaway will soon embark on an expansion. In an email to customers (of which I am one) on Wednesday, Getaway's founder and CEO Jon Staff hinted at the expansion while soliciting help naming one of the startup's new cabins. "A secret: we're about to announce our expansion," Staff wrote in the email. "Would you like to nominate one of your grandparent's names to be the name of one of our new Getaway cabins?" Getaway…

  • Wed, Apr 13th 2016 9:50 AM

    Twitter, Wayfair investor Spark Capital is raising a new growth capital fund

    Twitter, Wayfair investor Spark Capital is raising a new growth capital fund

    Spark Capital, a Boston-based venture capital firm whose portfolio companies include Slack, Twitter, Wayfair, Oculus and Warby Parker, is planning to raise a new $500 million growth capital fund. This will be the firm's second venture growth fund in less than two years. The first Spark Capital Growth Fund was $374 million, which closed in June 2014. Scarce details about the second growth capital fund were found in a Tuesday regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Founded…