Startups

164 stories
Do the Robot
Rethink Robotics adds $13.4m as it pushes 'little brother' bot Sawyer
Photo via Rethink Robotics - Credit: Cassandra Zampini,
<a href="www.cmzphoto.com">www.cmzphoto.com</a>
Making robots sure isn't cheap. Consider Rethink Robotics, a Boston-based maker of bots meant to work alongside humans in manufacturing and similar industrial jobs: Since its founding in 2008, Rethink has raised a whopping $113.5 million in venture investment.  Read More
Smell Ya Later
Smell-o-phone creator expands scent ambitions to books, clothes, wearables
Goldilocks 2
David Edwards made a lot of money selling an inhalable-medicine startup to global pharmaceutical company Alkermes. Since then, the Harvard professor has turned his attention to fantastical experiments which fuse art and science, including a hard-to-define experimental workspace and gallery in Paris and a tabletop device that emits the scents of food and coffee when someone sends it a digital message. Read More
Play Ball!
Parking apps help Fenway fans get a leg up on Opening Day
Globe Staff/Lane Turner
Jason Heard got to Fenway Park at noon for Monday’s Red Sox home opener, but he wasn’t there to watch the game. Instead, Heard was working for a parking lot tucked behind the ballpark, waving cars into an alley with a bright orange flag. Fifty dollars per carload for the prime spots. If that seems steep, the market didn’t think so — an hour and a half before the first pitch, Heard was using his flag to tell people there were no more spots to be had. Read More
Capital W
Boston women's venture summit spotlights gender balance, bias in entrepreneurship
Former State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien made a pitch for her company during the Boston Women's Venture Summit in South Boston. (Globe Staff/Wendy Maeda)
The inaugural meeting of Capital W: The Boston Women's Venture Summit wasn't just another conference, it was a Silicon Seneca Falls. And if you don't get my reference, go read about Susan B. Anthony's conference in 1848 where women met to talk about their freedom (or lack thereof). Read More
It's Electric
With $23m investment, FirstFuel eyes European expansion for its energy efficiency software
Electric power pole
The last big wave of venture investment in clean-tech startups has long since crashed and rolled back. But if you’re making software instead of something produced by a factory, private investors are still willing to open up the checkbook. That’s certainly the case for FirstFuel Software, a developer of data analysis software for electric utilities. The Lexington, Mass.-based company says today that it’s raised another $23 million in venture capital, in part to help bankroll an expansion in Europe. Read More
home sweet home
Online real estate startup Placester adds $15M, plans to double staff
House Sold Sign
Most people think of Zillow as a website where they can check out how much homes cost — their own house, their neighbors’ houses, and maybe even their dream home. But as a business, Zillow’s primary target is actually real estate agents. The Seattle-based company makes most of its money selling online ads and other marketing services to real estate agents, who want to be seen by all of those people snooping on home prices. Read More
Valore buys Boundless, combining old-school textbooks and digital alternatives under one roof
Textbooks
Boston is both the capital of American higher education and one of the country’s top centers for technology entrepreneurship. So it makes sense that entrepreneurs here would be interested in rethinking the big business of college. Today, two of those companies are joining forces. Valore, a nine-year-old Boston company that runs online marketplace sites for textbooks and student loans, is acquiring online learning startup Boundless, which provides digital alternatives to textbooks. Read More
Mouse Money
Big companies seeing big business in DraftKings' online fantasy sports games
DraftKings founders (from left): Paul Liberman, Jason Robins. and Matt Kalish [Image via DraftKings]
The business of online, one-day fantasy sports betting has become huge almost overnight. Here's one way to measure that explosive growth: DraftKings, a Boston-based company founded in 2012, is reportedly attracting investment from one of the biggest names in sports media. Read More
Fiksu lays off 10 percent of workforce, CFO departs as IPO plans hit a wall
(Shutterstock)
Fiksu, a mobile marketing technology company that last year said it had surpassed $100 million in annual revenue, has laid off about 10 percent of its workforce as part of a reorganization, chief executive Micah Adler said. Chief financial officer Ken Goldman has also left the company effective today, less than a year after coming on board to help Fiksu prepare for a possible initial public offering. Read More
Cybersecurity summer camp
MIT students, Highland Capital, partner to launch Cybersecurity Factory
Networking Switch
Over the past several months, two PhD candidates in MIT's CSAIL program have been busy attempting to solve a few tough questions: How do you make cybersecurity sexy? How can you create excitement about the field? And perhaps most importantly, how do you take the impressive work being done at academic institutions and find ways to bring it to market? Read More
Building Buzz
Nanigans gets $24M for social media ad-tech expansion
Nanigans
Social media is big business — and it should get even bigger as traditional ad spending continues moving to digital channels. One of the beneficiaries of that shift is Nanigans. The five-year-old company, based in Boston, helps advertisers get the most out of their marketing budget by allowing them to target their digital ads and see how well they perform across hundreds of millions of social-media users. Read More