Boston Tech Watch: Disney, DraftKings, Carbon Black, MassChallenge
[Updated 2/11/16, 10:52 a.m., to include the DataCamp announcement.] This week, we’re tracking the latest news about DraftKings, Disney’s local research lab, startup funding announcements, and layoffs at tech companies. Read on for details.
—Disney is closing its Cambridge, MA, research lab that opened five years ago, the Boston Herald reported. The lab, one of several worldwide, was working on artificial intelligence, data mining, and materials science, according to Disney Research’s website.
—We’ve got several updates in the ongoing DraftKings saga. Facing legal challenges in the U.S., the Boston-based company announced the expansion of its daily fantasy sports contests to the U.K. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe reported that 21st Century Fox marked down the value of its $160 million investment in DraftKings by around 60 percent. And ESPN ended an exclusive advertising partnership with DraftKings that had the company reportedly spending $200 million a year on ads with the network, according to Yahoo Finance, which reported the news based on unnamed sources.
—Waltham, MA-based cybersecurity firm Bit9 + Carbon Black dropped the “Bit9 +” from its name and tacked on $13.7 million to its $54.5 million funding round announced in October. The new money comes from previous investors and a new, undisclosed investor, BetaBoston reported.
—BeON Home, a Cambridge-based developer of smart light bulbs intended to boost home security and enable emergency lighting, raised $2.9 million in a round led by Jopeko. The startup said it has raised nearly $5 million total from investors.
—DataCamp, a Cambridge-based provider of online data science courses, snagged $1 million from Accomplice. The startup, which has raised $2.3 million total from investors, said it’s opening a new office in Cambridge and hiring more employees.
—Teespring, the company that helps people design and sell T-shirts and other clothing online, is shuttering its former headquarters in Providence, RI, BetaBoston reported. The company began laying off and relocating its Providence employees last year. It has locations in San Francisco, Seattle, and Hebron, KY.
—Speaking of layoffs, Nashua, NH-based cybersecurity firm DataGravity just cut an unspecified number of jobs in order to lower its spending, according to Fortune.
—MassChallenge will launch a new startup accelerator program in Mexico City later this year, its fifth location worldwide. The Boston-based nonprofit tipped its hand about its expansion to Mexico last year, but the new program wasn’t made official until this week.
MassChallenge also added Startup Institute CEO Diane Hessan to its global board of directors.
—The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced it’s investing $50,000 each in five cleantech startups based in the state: Blackburn Energy, EverVest, PSM Clean Energy, Tank Utility, and Tessolar. The money is through MassCEC’s new AccelerateMass program, which targets companies that have graduated from business accelerators.