Nuance, iRobot, Akamai, & More Boston Dealmakers

9/19/12Follow @xconomy

The last week has been full of acquisitions and funding news from New England’s robotics and IT industries.

—Late last week Lilliputian Systems, a Wilmington, MA-based developer of portable power technology for electronics, said that it brought in $40 million in funding from Rusnano, the Russian investment fund. The financing round could hit a total of $60 million and also included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Altira Group, Stata Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, and Fairhaven Capital.

—Cambridge, MA-based Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM) said that it acquired Pasadena, CA-based FastSoft for an undisclosed sum.

—Cambridge-based Block Avenue, which this Thursday launches its site for rating neighborhoods block by block, has collected $200,000 in seed financing, founder Tony Longo told me. The backers include former State Street Global Advisors chief operating officer Peter Leahy, NYC real estate executive Stephen Kliegerman, and early Facebook employees PJ Solomon and Steve King.

—An SEC filing indicated that Boston-based Linkable Networks has attracted $3.2 million of a targeted $5 million equity-based funding round. The startup, which develops technology for linking coupons to credit cards, recently announced a partnership with Master Card.

—Bedford, MA-based iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) announced that it will acquire Evolution Robotics for $74 million in cash. Pasadena, CA-based Evolution makes the Mint floor-cleaning robots and is expected to help iRobot expand in the increasingly-competitive home cleaning market.

—Daily Grommet said that it pulled in an undisclosed amount of Series B funding from the Japanese Internet giant Rakuten, owner of Buy.com. Daily Grommet CEO and co-founder Jules Pieri said her Lexington, MA-based startup and the Japanese company both share a passion for highlighting the people and stories behind interesting consumer products.

—The speech software giant Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN) announced its plans to acquire Ditech Networks (NASDAQ:[[ticker: DITC]]), a San Jose, CA-based maker of voice quality assurance and voicemail-to-text software. Burlington, MA-based Nuance will pay $1.45 per share, for a total of $22.5 million.

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