Boston Deals: Incentive Targeting, Nantero, A123, TransMedics & More

11/28/12Follow @curtwoodward

[Updated 2:30 pm] A flurry of Boston-area investment and acquisition news hitting our radar screens today:

Incentive Targeting, a startup that priovides Web-based behavioral marketing services for grocery stores, has been acquired by Google. The startup has now confirmed the news, but isn’t providing any details. We don’t have any numbers to put with the deal yet, but a source does tell us that the acquisition was “a good win for investors, especially given the time frame from original investment.”

Incentive Targeting, based in Woburn, MA, was founded in 2007. It closed out the second segment of a Series A investment round in October 2011, for a total of $4.4 million invested from Hub Angels Investment Group and others. The startup’s founder is Ben Sprecher, who has served as VP of marketing. Incentive Targeting’s CEO was veteran startup executive Win Burke.

Nantero, a Woburn nanotech company that has been developing a new kind of semiconductor technology, has raised $10.6 million. Mass High Tech has more details to go along with the SEC filing disclosing the Series D investment, reporting that two companies seeking to commercialize the company’s technology have joined previous investors, which include Charles River Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

The vision for Nantero, as we described several years back, is to produce a new kind of memory chip based on carbon nanotubes. Nantero, which was founded in 2001, says chips built with this tech can combine the speed and density of SRAM and DRAM chips with the permanent storage capacity of flash memory. The company is led by co-founder and CEO Greg Schmergel.

—Troubled cleantech company A123 Systems, which makes lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and other applications, has secured $50 million in bankruptcy financing from Wanxiang Group, a big Chinese automotive and energy company. The financing was approved earlier this week by a federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware, where A123′s case is being handled.

Industrial tech company Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) has bid $125 million for A123′s automotive business. Other bids—including an expected offer from Wanxiang—are due Dec. 4, although any sale of the high-profile company to overseas interests is certain to stir up political scrutiny. Waltham-based A123 (NASDAQ: AONE) was awarded a $249 million federal grant in 2009 to build its manufacturing facilities, the same year it made a big splash for having the country’s biggest IPO ($370 million-plus). It had drawn about $130 million of the grant by the time it sought bankruptcy protection in mid-October.

TransMedics, an Andover, MA-based company that develops systems for transporting transplant organs, has raised another $36.1 million in equity financing. In a press release, the company says the investment was led by Abrams Capital, along with existing investors Flagship Ventures, Hercules Technology Growth Capital, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

TransMedics’ last big financing report came in March 2010, when it raised a $35.4 million round. The company was among those whose public-market dreams were dashed by the Great Recession—after filing for an IPO worth up to $86 million in September 2007, TransMedics pulled its registration in December 2008.

Getabl, the Boston company behind text-messaging-for-business service Pingup, has filed paperwork for a new $4 million equity round. Pingup announced in July that it had raised a $1 million seed round from Avalon Ventures and angel investors. We profiled Pingup in August, looking at how CEO Mark Slater thinks the timing is right to give the “text maniacs” in so-called Generation Y a new way to interact with businesses.

Bullhorn, a Boston-based seller of workforce recruiting software, says it has acquired two North American companies that provide similar services: Vancouver, BC-based MaxHire Solutions and St. Louis-based Sendouts. Bullhorn says it will continue offering both of the acquired companies’ products. Bullhorn announced this summer that it was being acquired by Vista Equity Partners, a firm with offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Austin, TX.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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