Sensata and Aveo Go Public; Genetix, Rhythm, and CorrelSense Get Funding; Pegasystems to Acquire Chordiant; & More Boston-Area Deals News

3/17/10Follow @xconomy

New England’s life sciences and software companies kept us busy with news of early venture rounds, IPOs, and partnerships.

—Battery Ventures, with offices locally in Waltham, MA, announced the close of its ninth fund, at $750 million. Existing limited partners account for about 85 percent of the fund’s investors, said the firm, which also has locations in Israel and California. The new fund will invest in a gamut of industries, including digital media, clean tech, enterprise IT, and semiconductors.

—Sensata Technologies (NYSE:ST), an Attleboro, MA-headquartered maker of sensors and switches, started trading on the New York Stock Exchange last week in an initial public offering priced at $18 a share, the low end of its proposed range of $18 to $20 per share. The 31.6 million-share IPO raised $568.8 million.

Rapid7, a Boston maker of network security software, pulled in half of a planned $4 million equity offering, according to a regulatory filing. Members of Bain Capital Ventures, an existing Rapid7 investor, were listed as directors on the filing for the $2 million financing, which included a total of eight investors.

—In more IPO news, Cambridge, MA-based Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO) made its public debut, selling 9 million shares at $9 apiece, well below the initially proposed range of $13 to $15 a share. The cancer drug developer’s stock started trading on the Nasdaq on Friday, and dropped a penny to close at $8.99. Luke wrote that the conservative maiden offering for Aveo attests to public investors’ reluctance toward biotech companies.

—Venture investors, on the other had, showed a bit of enthusiasm. Genetix Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge developer of gene therapies, pulled in a $35 million Series B round that included new investors Third Rock and Genzyme Ventures.

—The early stage funding news continued with a $21 million Series A round for Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, a developer of drugs for diabetes and obesity that has been incubating in the Boston offices of MPM Capital. The round was led by MPM and New Enterprise Associates and will go to funding Rhythm’s first two clinical trials, set to begin this year and next.

Cambridge’s Forma Therapeutics announced a partnership with the White Plains, NY-based Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to focus on discovering drugs for immune cell cancers. No financial details were revealed regarding the partnership, in which the two organizations will target a protein that plays a part in many forms of lymphoma.

—Windsor, CT-based financial services software provider SS&C Technologies Holdings set the range for its IPO at $13 to $15 a share. The 10.725 million-share offering could be worth as much as $160.9 million.

Pegasystems, a Cambridge-based maker of business process management software, announced its plans to acquire all outstanding shares of Chordiant Software for $5 a share, amounting to about $161.5 million in total. The deal comes two months after Cupertino, CA-based Chordiant, a customer experience software developer, rejected a $3.46-a-share buyout bid from CDC Software.

—Framingham, MA-based CorrelSense pulled in $8 million in Series B funding, which was led by Accel Partners and also included Vertex Venture Capital, eXceed Technology, and ProSeed Ventures. The money will go to sales, marketing, and product development for CorrelSense, which makes software for tracking business transactions and improving the performance of large enterprise applications.

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