Best Buy Picks Up MindShift, Termeer Funds NanoString, Basho Adds $5M More, & More Boston-Area Deals News
This week’s roundup of New England deals includes companies working on vocal cord repair, cancer stem cells, database software, IT services, and drug counterfeiting prevention.
—Prolific MIT professor and inventor Bob Langer is working on a new project with a Harvard University surgeon that’s aiming to repair damaged vocal cords. The vibrating gel they’re developing has attracted funding from The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and actress Julie Andrews, and could help treat aging singers as well as throat cancer patients.
—Verastem, a Cambridge, MA-based developer of treatments focused on cancer stem cells, has filed for an initial public offering after just 15 months in business. The startup—founded on the science of MIT’s Bob Weinberg and Eric Lander and led by biotech entrepreneur Christoph Westphal—is looking to raise $50 million in the IPO.
—Basho Technologies, a Cambridge-based database software maker, raised $5 million in new funding from its existing equity holders. And Waltham, MA-based Innocentive, whose collaboration software platform has roots at Eli Lilly, bumped its most recent funding round up to $5.1 million.
—Henri Termeer, former CEO of Cambridge-based Genzyme, joined the investor syndicate of Seattle-based NanoString Technologies, a startup developing a diagnostic tool to better enable personalized medicine. NanoString collected a $20 million Series D investment from Termeer, GE Healthcare, BioMed Ventures, Clarus Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and OVP Venture Partners.
—MindShift Technologies, a Waltham-based provider of cloud, data center, and other IT services for businesses, was acquired for $167 million by Best Buy (NASDAQ: BBY). The retailer said the acquisition helps it expand its IT services offerings for small and mid-sized businesses. MindShift, meanwhile, will keep its name, leadership team, and all 500 employees.
—-Late last month, Lebanon, NH-based PharmaSecure raised $3.9 million in a round of funding led by Innovation Endeavors—the former Google CEO Eric Schmidt—with participation from Gray Ghost Ventures, Healthtech Capital and TEEC Angel Fund. My colleague Arlene took a closer look at the four-year-old startup, which is developing drug packaging technology to prevent counterfeiting in markets like India.
—Newton, MA-based Zeo, a maker of sleep management technology, raised $1 million of a debt-based offering that could hit $4 million, an SEC filing showed. This September the startup expanded its sleep coaching system to a mobile app.