The Series A Story in Boston Tech: $270M Invested in Past Year

6/25/14Follow @gthuang

It’s a busy news week for established tech companies around here—see Aereo, Imprivata—but let’s take a look at the other side of the market: the early-stage startups.

For all the talk of a Series A crunch and the limited number of Boston venture capitalists investing in A rounds for local tech companies, we saw at least three relevant deals this week:

Coherent Path, a retail analytics startup based in Cambridge, MA, has raised a $6.25 million Series A round led by Sigma Prime Ventures and GrandBanks Capital.

SmashFly Technologies, a Concord, MA-based recruitment marketing firm, has closed a $9 million A round led by OpenView Venture Partners.

Whoop, a wearable healthtech startup (formerly known as Bobo Analytics), has raised $6 million, according to an SEC filing. Jeff Fagnan of Atlas Venture is listed as a director. (This may not be a classic “A” round, since the company raised $3 million-plus last year, led by Atlas, but it warrants mentioning.)

This made me wonder: what does the past year look like for Series A deals in Boston? I browsed through our stories and VentureDeal listings, as well as outside reports, to compile a list of what I thought would be a couple dozen deals, tops.

To my surprise, I found nearly 40 Series A investments over $2 million in local tech companies since June 2013. Granted, most were fairly small. Most were led (or co-led) by Boston-area VC firms, but not all. Most are companies that sit outside the echo chamber of popular blogs and media. Very few are consumer focused—no surprise there—and quite a few have to do with enterprises, analytics, cloud data, networking, marketing, hardware, and security.

Here are the local tech Series A deals over $2 million that I found over the last year, starting with the most recent:

Coherent Path, $6.25M
SmashFly, $9M
Whoop (fka Bobo Analytics), $6M
RailPod, $2.5M
CloudHealth, $3.2M add-on
BlueConic, $3M+
Evergage, $4M
InsideTracker, $2.5M
BookBub, $3.8M
Placester, $5.5M
HourlyNerd, $4M
MachineShop, $3M
Layer3 TV, $21M
OwnCloud, $6.5M
Optio Labs, $10M
Quanttus, $19M
Cybereason, $4.6M
WeSpire (fka Practically Green), $3M
LoopPay, $10M
Clypd Books, $7.2M
RapidMiner, $5M
ByteLight, $3M
Formlabs, $19M
Nutonian, $4M
Handybook, $10M
Sqrrl, $5.2M
BoardProspects, $2.4M
Quantopian, $6.7M
Qstream, $2.9M
Salsify, $8M
Evolv Technologies, $11.8M
Vee24, $5.5M
Objective Logistics, $5.3M
Fotonauts, $5.3M
Groupize, $2M
Tivli, $6.3M
Isabella Products, $9.2M
Content Raven, $2M
BitSight Technologies, $24M

That adds up to $270 million-plus invested in 39 deals. Let me know if I missed any, or if any don’t belong on the list. It’s not a huge number—relative to the $3 billion invested in all Massachusetts companies in 2013—but it belies the perception that Series A deals aren’t happening in Boston tech.

So, perhaps the real funding bottleneck is at the Series B and C stage. We’ll get to that later.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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