VC

66 stories
Hey, Look Over Here
Twitter's second VC investment: Indoor beacon ad startup Swirl
Image courtesy Swirl Networks
Some of the biggest names in tech are pouring more money into digital ads that can follow shoppers around the store, ready to light up a smartphone screen when marketers think the time is right for a little nudge. 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
Venture
Venture capital's diversity problem isn't just bad PR — it's bad for business
Ellen Pao, Therese Lawless, Alan Exelrod
Legendary venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers was cleared of any wrongdoing in last week’s sensational trial alleging gender discrimination against Ellen Pao, a former member of the firm. But there’s no question that the venture capital world suffers from a lack of diversity — a situation that persists even though researchers at the country’s top business schools have shown it’s bad for business, which should be the bottom line for any investor. 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
VC bubble or not, sea of funding options is boon for entrepreneurs
GREYCROFT PRINCIPAL ELLIE WHEELER AND FORMLABS SALES AND OPERATIONS LEAD LUKE WINSTON SPEAK AT MIT VC & INNOVATION CONFERENCE. (MIMI PHAN/MIT SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT)
Are we in a venture capital bubble? No one quite agrees as to whether we are or not, and venture capitalists and industry analysts have staked out on both sides of the debate over the course of 2014. Whether or not a bubble exists, it is clear that soaring valuations, increased venture funding, and a sea of new financing options are opening up more doors for entrepreneurs seeking funding. Read More
Delicious deal
Phoodeez catering raises $600k, led by Project 11
Phoodeez caters large-scale corporate functions and small-scale luncheons by supplying food from multiple local restaurants. Workers at Litmus, an e-mail analytics firm in Boston, enjoyed a Phoodeez lunch in July.
Katie Rae was at an MIT conference when a familiar thought crept into her head: “How quickly can I duck out of this boxed lunch and go get real food?” “But I peeked into the box and said, ‘Wow, this actually looks good,’ ” she recalled. “That was my introduction to Phoodeez.” Now Rae’s venture capital firm, Project 11, is leading a $600,000 investment round in Phoodeez, a Boston startup that caters corporate functions by supplying food from multiple local restaurants that specialize in different types of cuisine. Read More
'The tide has turned'
Vivek Wadhwa still fearless on the issue of women in tech
Vivek Wadhwa (photo by Halley Suitt Tucker)
Something very big is happening in tech on Sept. 9, and I’m not talking about the Apple announcement. On Tuesday, a new book from Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya, Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology, is coming out. I caught up with him in Silicon Valley this week to talk about diversity in technology and hear more about the book. Read More