The Boston Deals You Missed During the Holidays: Cash for Kala Pharma, Funds for ViewFinity, Silver for SCVNGR, & More

1/4/10

Feeling a bit out of the loop on the New England tech and life sciences news? Don’t fret. We’ve compiled the Boston-area deals you may have missed during the last couple of weeks of 2009. There were enough of them to indicate that tech lawyers and execs were quite busy over the break.

—Waltham, MA-based software firm ViewFinity found $8.6 million in Series B funding, according to an SEC filing. The firm, which makes SaaS software for support and management of desktops, laptops, and other computing devices, says on its website that its investors are Chicago-based JK&B Capital and Giza Venture Capital, of Israel and Singapore. The exact investors in the second-round financing were not listed in the regulatory filing.

EnglishCentral reported in an SEC filing that it scooped up new funding in a $3.5 million equity round. I checked out the demo of the firm’s video-based system for learning English online, and it looked like a potentially effective way to pick up the language. Though the participants in the round were not named in the filing, the Lexington, MA-based startup revealed back in October that its backers include Atlas Venture and Google Ventures.

Eye Gate Pharma, of Waltham, brought in $11 million of a planned $22.7 million financing round, according to a regulatory filing. The company, which said back in March 2008 that it had raised $31 million, is developing a drug delivery device that uses electrical currents to put drugs deep into the eye without needles. Company CEO Stephen From told investors back in October that he was raising money to fund a late-stage clinical trial of the firm’s lead drug, a reformulated corticosteroid, for dry eye syndrome

—The state of Massachusetts revealed two days before Christmas all of the Bay State biotechs that had recently been awarded $25 million in tax breaks as an incentive to create more than 900 jobs in the commonwealth over the next year. Not surprisingly, some of the largest tax breaks are going to some of the state’s biggest biotech firms, such as Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB), Genzyme (NASDAQ:GENZ), and Shire Human Genetic Therapies.

—A top-secret biotech startup called Kala Pharmaceuticals raised $2 million in an equity round, according to an SEC filing. Next to nothing is known about Boston-based Kala, but the firm’s board includes renowned MIT bioengineering professor Bob Langer and former MIT researcher Justin Hanes, who is now a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Johns Hopkins University. New York-based Lux Capital’s Robert Paull is the founding CEO of Kala.

—Mobile gaming startup SCVNGR of Boston raised $4 million in a second round of financing, according to a December 24 regulatory filing. Mass High Tech reported that the cash came from Google Ventures and return investor Highland Capital Partners; Google Ventures’ Rich Miner joined SCVNGR’s board as part of the deal.

—Billerica, MA-based directory assistance firm Jingle Networks raised $6.75 million in its fifth round of funding, according to a regulatory filing.

—Mobile display maker Pixtronix of Andover, MA, raised $19 million in equity and warrants, according to a report in Mass High Tech based on a regulatory filing.

—Amicas (NASDAQ: AMCS), a medical imaging and information management company in Boston, agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of private equity firm Thoma Bravo for roughly $217 million. Amicas shareholders, who will have to approve the deal, would receive $5.35 in cash per share, a 24 percent premium over the average closing price of the stock in the 30 trading days ending December 24, 2009.

—A New Years Eve regulatory filing showed that Boston-based Digital Lumens has raised $5 million. The startup, a developer of high-efficiency lighting, lists Flybridge Capital Partners, Stata Venture Partners, and Black Coral Capital as its investors.

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