Jackpot Scores $14M, MIT Startup Wins 20K-Euro Prize, Nuance Acquires ShapeWriter, & More Boston-Area Deals News

6/23/10Follow @xconomy

We saw news of financings for stealthy startups in healthcare and IT, as well as an acquisition in the mobile space, and a business competition prize winner.

Predictive BioSciences raised $25 million in Series C funding, to put towards selling its test for bladder cancer and for developing its diagnostics technology. New investor ProQuest Investments, a Princeton, NJ-based venture firm with offices in San Diego, led the financing round for Lexington, MA-based Predictive. Flybridge Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates also put cash towards the Series C.

—Norwood, MA-based Boston Biomedical, a company developing drugs that target stem-cell-like properties of certain cancer cells, wrapped up a $2 million equity offering.

Affirmed Networks, a Waltham, MA-based telecom startup, grabbed $10.9 million of a planned $11.5 million equity offering. Mass High Tech first reported the funding news and wrote that the company is backed by Matrix Partners and is incubated at Charles River Ventures.

—Cambridge’s Daktari Diagnostics plumped up its Series A round with another $820,000, bringing the financing’s total to $3.7 million. Hub Angels, Launchpad Venture Group, Mass Medical Angels, Norwich Ventures, Partners Innovation Fund, and individual investors have put money toward the round. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, of Seattle, has also put $600,000 into the startup, which is making devices for less expensively monitoring HIV patients in developing countries.

—Jackpot Rewards, a Newton, MA-based provider of online rewards and sweepstakes programs, raised $14.1 million in a convertible debt financing. The company pulled in $12 million in a similar offering in October.

MIT spinout peerTransfer won a 20,000-Euro prize for most promising early-stage startup in the HIT Global Entrepreneurship Competition in Barcelona. Cambridge-based PeerTransfer was one of 23 contestants from across the globe, and is working on a money transfer network that analyzes the net flow of cash transferred between two countries. It matches up transactions so that the money effectively only stays within one country, enabling customers to avoid international fees and bad transfer rates.

—Cambridge-based Acceleron Pharma, brought in $8.4 million of a planned $11.5 million round of equity, options, and warrants, an SEC filing revealed. The biotech startup, which makes genetically engineered drugs for treating conditions such as anemia and bone loss, is backed by a number of venture firms, including Advanced Technology Ventures, Venrock Associates, and Polaris Venture Partners.

—Burlington, MA-based speech recognition software giant Nuance (NASDAQ: NUAN) has acquired ShapeWriter, according to the Silicon Valley-based startup’s website. ShapeWriter is working on technology that allows touchscreen users to type by swiping their fingers across the keyboard rather than tapping letters individually—an area that Seattle-based Swype is also charging ahead in. Swype recently has made partnership deals with a number of equipment manufacturers and wireless carriers.

Tatara Systems, an Acton, MA-based maker of mobile networking hardware, said it has raised a $7 million financing led by North Bridge Venture Partners, with contributions from Highland Capital Partners.

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