Boston Tech Watch: TripAdvisor, Ogin, Staples, Gillette, Draft & More

Here are some of the latest headlines from the Boston-area tech sector:

—Ogin, the Waltham, MA-based renewable energy company formerly known as FloDesign Wind Turbine, recently went into receivership and put its assets up for sale, the Boston Globe reported. Ogin had raised more than $150 million in venture funding. Read more about the company in this Xconomy article from 2010.

—Draft, a New York-based daily fantasy sports startup co-led by Jeremy Levine and Jordan Fliegel, is being sold to Ireland-based Paddy Power Betfair. Paddy paid $19 million in cash up front, and could pay an additional $29 million over the next four years, depending on Draft’s business performance, according to a news release.

Fliegel previously co-founded Boston startup CoachUp and the seed fund Bridge Boys. Levine is Fliegel’s long-time friend and a co-founder of Bridge Boys. The pair will continue running Draft.

WordStream, a Boston-based advertising technology firm, said it acquired California-based Algorithmic Ads for an undisclosed sum. The deal is WordStream’s first acquisition.

—TripAdvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP) stock rose after the company said it was pulling back on a three-year-old feature that allows users to book hotels directly on its travel review website. Bloomberg has more details.

Meanwhile, Needham, MA-based TripAdvisor formed a partnership with online food delivery service GrubHub (NYSE: GRUB) that enables people to order food through GrubHub after they read reviews of the restaurant on TripAdvisor’s site. As BostInno reported, the partnership is part of a series of deals TripAdvisor has struck with the restaurant industry.

—Framingham, MA-based Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) announced that it hired Brett Wahlin as its chief information security officer—a new role at the company. Wahlin previously held that position at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. The Boston Business Journal pointed out that the hire comes about two-and-a-half years after Staples suffered a cybersecurity breach that exposed data about 1.2 million shoppers’ credit cards.

—Boston-based Gillette launched a service that lets customers order shaving razors via text message. The Boston Globe saw the move as a way to compete with younger companies like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club, which offer razor subscription services. (Gillette began offering a subscription service three years ago.)

But some customers have abandoned subscription clubs in part because they end up with a surplus of razors, the Globe reported. Gillette’s on-demand service is reportedly new for the industry, and fits somewhere between the subscription clubs and traditional store purchases.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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