Boston Tech Roundup: Kanojia, NetProspex, Jana, Erecruit, & More
A new year means a bunch of new deals to catch up on around the Boston-area innovation sector, including secretive new companies from notable executives, an acquisition, and fundraising for several private companies:
—Chet Kanojia, the founder and CEO of defunct video-streaming startup Aereo, is apparently looking for his next gig. News comes via Re/code, which reports that Kanojia and several Aereo alums are working on a new Boston-based company called Project Decibel. There aren’t details about what the new company will do, exactly—Re/code says it’s more of a “lab” setup to let the Aereo veterans work on new ideas. Massachusetts state corporate filings show that Kanojia is indeed the head guy at Project Decibel, which recently changed its name from the equally cryptic Ether Mining.
—NetProspex, a marketing information company that specializes in corporate executive databases, has been acquired by publicly traded corporate data provider Dun & Bradstreet for $125 in cash. Dun & Bradstreet says NetProspex will continue to operate out of its Waltham, MA, headquarters as a unit of the new parent company. NetProspex had raised about $27 million in private investment since its founding, including a $13 million Series C round announced last spring.
—Jana, a startup that helps marketers reach consumers in the developing world, has raised another $12.5 million in private investment. CEO Nathan Eagle tells the Boston Business Journal that the money comes from existing investors, which include Boston venture firm Spark Capital and marketing company Publicis Groupe. Publicis previously invested $15 million in Jana, in mid-2013.
—Erecruit, a Boston-based software developer that serves professional staffing companies, has filed SEC paperwork for a new $12 million equity financing. Last summer, the company announced that it had raised $25 million in its first institutional round of investment. That round was led by North Bridge Growth Equity. An e-mail seeking more information about the new filing wasn’t immediately returned.
—Yottaa, a software company that helps other businesses improve the performance of their websites, has filed SEC paperwork indicating a $10.4 million investment. The company last raised $16 million in mid-2013, but has switched CEOs since then, from founder Coach Wei to experienced executive Vick Vaishnavi. Last month, Vaishnavi told the BBJ that Yottaa planned to move to a much larger office in Waltham, from its existing headquarters in Boston.
—Sense Labs, a Cambridge, MA-based startup working on home monitoring and automation technology, has filed SEC paperwork for a $2.5 million investment round. Two venture capitalists are listed on the filing as board members: CRV’s Izhar Armony and Prelude Ventures’ Gabriel Kra. The company, previously known as Sage Devices, hasn’t publicly launched any products or services yet.
—Accion Systems, a startup working on satellite propulsion technology, has raised a $2 million seed round. The investment was led by FF Science, a division of venture firm Founders Fund that is focused on hardcore tech and science projects. Accion says other investors include RRE Ventures, SDF Ventures, Founder Collective, and Galvanize Ventures. The company’s founders, CEO Natalya Brikner and Louis Perna, met while working at MIT’s Space Propulsion Lab.