IRobot Nabs Nekton Research, Carbonite Comes Up with $20M, Parametric Ponders $2 Billion, & More Deals News

9/15/08

It was a light week for dealmaking among New England tech and life sciences firms, but if Parametric finds a buyer that one could be a doozy.

—Bedford, MA-based iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) inked an agreement to acquire Raleigh-Durham, NC-based Nekton Research—a maker of unmanned underwater robots—for $10 million up front and a potential $5 million in milestone payments. The move is part of iRobot’s big expansion into underwater vehicles.

—Boston-based Carbonite teamed up with China’s Lenovo to pre-install its online backup software on Lenovo’s IdeaPad and IdeaCentre computers. Carbonite also closed a $20 million financing round from existing investors Menlo Ventures, 3i Group, and CommonAngels, and new investor, Performance Equity.

—Parametric Technologies (NASDAQ: PMTC) of Needham, MA, a maker of software for computer-aided design and product lifecycle management, is exploring a sale in the $2 billion range, and has hired Goldman Sachs to recruit potential buyers.

—UpDown, a Cambridge, MA-based website that gives members $1 million in virtual money to invest in a portfolio of real companies and rewards them with cash when their virtual portfolios outperform the market, raised some real money of its own. Primary backer Joachim Schoss, a Swiss angel investor, put another $1 million into the startup.

—-Somerville, MA-based Echo Nest closed its first round of venture financing in a deal—the value of which was not disclosed—led by Commonwealth Capital Ventures. Echo Nest is developing Web-based software for music search, personalization, and interactivity.

—Prism VentureWorks of Needham, MA, led an $11 million Series B venture financing round for San Mateo, CA-based fraud prevention company Guard ID Systems. New investor Intersections (NASDAQ: INTX) and existing investor Trinity Ventures participated.

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