Boston Deals: Celtra, MediaSilo, L-3, Pushpins

1/23/13Follow @curtwoodward

Some acquisition, fundraising, and federal contract news bits that have been surfacing in the past week or so around the Boston area:

—Cambridge, MA-based advertising tech startup Celtra has added $4 million in investment cash, led by SoftBank Capital. Celtra says it plans to use the money to expand in Asia, particularly Japan, and to grow its San Francisco office by adding product development operations.

Celtra provides software for advertisers to target consumers on mobile devices and advanced Web browsers. The company previously said it started turning a profit in the third quarter of 2012, with sales growing 300 percent. Previous Celtra investors GrandBanks Capital and Fairhaven Capital joined SoftBank in the new round of financing.

MediaSilo, a Boston-based video software company, says it has raised $2.25 million in a Series A round led by Schooner Capital.

The company says it will use the money to add new markets for its product, an online software tool that helps marketers, media companies, and others produce and search for video. MediaSilo says it has users at more than 400 companies.

—A Massachusetts company will benefit from the federal government’s decision to switch out its airport body-scanners. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Friday that it was dropping the contract for Rapiscan machines, because the manufacturer couldn’t come up with a way to make the images of travelers’ bodies produced by the machines less revealing.

That’s a boost for L-3 Communications Security & Detection Systems, based in Woburn. As the Business Journal’s Galen Moore notes, the company—a subsidiary of New York’s L-3 Communications—announced in November that it had won a $245 million TSA body-scanner contract.

The L-3 scanners are based on a different technology than the Rapiscan machines that are being phased out. And L-3, The Associated Press reports, “was able to come up with software that no longer produced a naked image of a traveler’s body.”

Pushpins, a San Mateo, CA-based mobile coupon app maker formerly based in Boston, has been acquired by Performance Marketing Brands and will be part of the larger company’s San Francisco offices. TechCrunch reported that the price was between $10 million and $15 million—while not a huge sum in the M&A world, also not a bad return for investors who put less than $1 million into Pushpins, according to PandoDaily’s report.

Pushpins was founded in Boston in 2010 by Jason Gurwin and Peter Michailidis, who met at Harvard Business School. They were winners of an MIT100K Executive Summary Competition.

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

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