Boston Tech Roundup: Irrational, Wayfair, Spark, ClickSoftware
[Updated 8:40 a.m.] Layoffs, IPO filings, investment, and an acquisition in this trip through a few of the week’s storylines around the greater Boston technology sector:
—Irrational Games, developers of the big console franchise BioShock, has abruptly shut down. In a post on the company’s website, co-founder Ken Levine says he wants to build a new studio that will have ”a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers.” He’s taking about 15 members of the Irrational team, which will reportedly cause about 100 layoffs. Irrational was owned by Take-Two Interactive, which will also be the parent of Levine’s new studio.
—Boston-based home goods seller Wayfair is inching closer to a public-market debut. The company, which recently said its sales were more than $900 million in 2013, has reportedly selected the bankers who will run an upcoming IPO of its stock, according to The Wall Street Journal. You’ll also recall that recently, Wayfair was reported to have raised a round of private funding that valued it around $2 billion. Whenever Wayfair files its IPO paperwork, it’ll be able to do so secretly, taking advantage of the JOBS Act provision for companies with less than $1 billion in yearly sales. [Added this item.]
—Nabeel Hyatt, the former Zynga Boston general manager who is now a San Francisco-based investor at Spark Capital, has led a new investment round in San Francisco delivery startup Postmates. It’s a $16 million Series B round for Postmates, which enlists people to deliver groceries, meals, and other items from local businesses via a smartphone app. Spark’s marquee investments in recent years have included Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.
—ClickSoftware Technologies, a Burlington, MA-based maker of mobile software for managing workforces, has acquired a competitor. ClickSoftware (NASDAQ: CKSW) says it is paying $14.7 million in cash to merge with Mountain View, CA-based Xora, adding about 130,000 users to its previous user base of 500,000. ClickSoftware says the combination also will help it move further into the small and medium-sized business market, and give it new distribution channels with wireless carriers.