Boston Roundup: Facebook, Bain Capital, Joi Ito, & More

3/7/13Follow @curtwoodward

Some big names making a little news around the Boston area this week, along with updates from startups, investors, and growing companies:

—It’s the return that, oh, everybody in the Boston-area consumer tech scene has been wondering about for years: Facebook might be opening an office in the area, according to this report from the Boston Business Journal’s Thomas Grillo. He cites anonymous real estate sources who peg Facebook’s office space shopping at around 7,000 square feet in Kendall Square, which would be enough room for more than 30 employees under typical circumstances.

Bain Capital Ventures is talking up the five partners that it’s added in the past year. That’s considered notable because of news that other firms across the venture sector are contracting, following several years of relatively lackluster performance. Also recall that former partner Jeff Glass left to take over CEO duties at Skyhook, and veteran managing director Jeff Schwartz is retiring at the end of the year.

—It looks like MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito wants to get back into the investing game. Scott Kirsner at Boston.com has an interview with Ito, who says he’s working on a new early stage fund that would raise money from the lab’s corporate sponsors to invest in startups coming out of the R&D center. Barb Darrow at GigaOm followed up with MIT, which notes that “the program has not yet been approved or funded.”

—A new seed-stage capital fund called Vodia Ventures is looking to raise about $15 million, according to an SEC filing. It’ll be led by Julianne Zimmerman, who writes that the fund is focused on startups that “address the major challenges of this century: clean air, water, and energy; food security; public health; etc.” The fund is affiliated with Vodia Capital, a Concord, MA-based boutique financial management firm.

Pneuron, a Woburn-based provider of business intelligence software, has raised $6 million in Series B financing. The round was led by Safeguard Scientifics, a publicly traded healthcare and technology investor. Existing investor Osage Venture Partners also participated.

—Boston-based Plastiq, an online payment provider that shifts transaction fees from merchants to consumers, has raised $6 million Series A investment round. It was jointly led by Atlas Venture and Flybridge Capital Partners, with participation from previous investors.

Clypd, a Cambridge startup aiming to build a TV ad service, has raised a $3.2 million Series A round. The company was started by Joshua Summers and Doug Hurd, who left PayPal three months ago to tackle the new project. Investors in the round are Data Point Capital, Atlas Venture, Freestyle Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners, Boston Seed Capital, and Transmedia Capital.

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

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