E Ink Scooped up by Taiwanese Display Maker, EMC Battles NetApp For Data Domain, Polatis Picks Up $8M, & More Boston-Area Deals News

6/5/09

The B word (billion) cropped up in not one but two deals in this week’s New England tech and life sciences news.

—Cambridge, MA-based E Ink agreed to be acquired for $215 million by Taiwan-based display manufacturer Prime View International. The Taiwanese firm was already a partner of E Ink’s on the manufacture of its electronic paper display technology, which is used in Amazon’s Kindle and other e-book devices. Wade had a great interview with E Ink CEO Russ Wilcox after the deal was announced.

RxVantage of Providence, RI, took in a $500,000 seed investment from Providence venture firm Slater Technology Fund. The startup provides Web-based scheduling software for healthcare companies and doctors’ offices.

—Hopkinton, MA-based EMC (NYSE: EMC) launched a bidding war with Sunnyvale, CA-based rival NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) over Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP), a Santa Clara, CA-based data deduplication company. NetApp had already offered $25 a share for Data Domain on May 20; EMC came in with a $30 per share offer on June 1—a deal that would value Data Domain at $1.8 billion. NetApp came back two days later with a $1.9 billion offer, which is still on the table.

—Optical-switch maker Polatis of Andover, MA, and Cambridge, England, routed $8 million into its coffers from existing investors 3i Ventures, Alta-Berkeley Ventures, DFJ Esprit, Flagship Ventures, Gainesborough & Peponi Investments, JK&B Partners, and the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation.

Concert Pharmaceuticals of Lexington, MA, forged an agreement worth $35 million up front and perhaps more that $1 billion in total with drug giant GlaxoSmithKline. The deal centers on the startup’s technology for replacing some of the hydrogen atoms in existing drugs with deuterium, changing the drugs’ properties and, hopefully, improving their performance and side-effect profile.

—Boston- based American Well inked a deal with Golden Valley, MN-based OptumHealth, a unit of the country’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, that could expand the availability of American Well’s system for providing over-the-Web doctor visits. Before this deal, only the Hawii and Minnesota franchises of Blue Cross/Blue Shield had hired American Well to implement the service for their members. Wade interviewed American Well CEO Roy Schoenberg about the deal’s implications for the startup.

—Somerville, MA-based Founder Collective, a new seed-stage venture fund, raised $30 million from limited partner investors, according to Eric Paley, a general partner and founder of the firm and a former senior advisor to IDG Ventures (now Flybridge Capital Partners).

—Massachusetts General Hospital spinoff Life Image of Newton, MA, raised $2.5 million in a Series A round of equity financing. The startup is developing software and services that allow healthcare providers to store, transfer, share, index, and search radiological images.

—Teen social network provider Hangout Industries of Boston, MA, added $4 million onto its Series A financing round, bringing the total for the round to $9 million. Highland Capital Partners and Polaris Venture Partners contributed the new funds.

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