Boston Tech Watch: Noncompetes, Funding Blitz, Battery Tech & More

As the weather heats up in the Boston area today, stay cool with the latest local tech headlines:

—The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill that puts stronger limits on noncompete agreements than a related bill passed earlier by the House. The Senate version caps noncompetes at three months and requires employers to pay the departed worker’s full salary during the enforcement period, the Boston Globe reported. The House noncompete bill limits them to 12 months and requires employers to pay half the person’s salary during that time, or to pay “other mutually-agreed upon consideration.”

In order to become law, the two bills must be reconciled and merged into a single bill that would then go to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk for final approval.

—Boston healthtech startup Docent Health announced it raised $15 million in a Series A round co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Maverick Ventures. Docent aims to improve patients’ experiences at hospitals and clinics through digital tools and specially trained employees who interact with patients throughout the course of their care. Docent previously raised $2.1 million in seed funding, Reuters reported.

—Cambridge, MA-based Modo Labs raised about $10 million in a Series B round of funding from Education Growth Partners, a private equity firm based in Stamford, CT. Modo Labs sells software that enables staff members at universities and businesses to quickly create mobile apps. Check out Xconomy’s previous coverage of Modo Labs here, here, and here.

—Mobile broadband technology company Altiostar raised $10 million in debt funding, according to an SEC filing.

Boston-Power founder and former CEO Christina Lampe-Onnerud’s next lithium-ion battery technology company, Cadenza Innovation, announced it raised more than $5 million from investors. The Series A round was led by Golden Seeds, with contributions from Connecticut Innovations, Scale Investors, Summit Power co-chairman Eric Redman, Rocket Fuel chief technology officer Mark Torrance, and other individuals in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Oxford, CT-based Cadenza has developed energy storage technology for lithium-ion battery packs used in electric vehicles and power grid systems. Lampe-Onnerud started the company in 2012, about a year after she relinquished her CEO role at Boston-Power, the lithium-ion battery manufacturer now based in China.

—Boston insurance tech startup Quilt raised $3.25 million in seed money. NextView Ventures, which incubated the startup, led the round, and was joined by Eniac Ventures, Founder Collective, Titan Partners, Basset Investment Group, and several individuals, BostInno reported.

—Boston-based Cogito said its voice analysis and behavioral analytics software will be used by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to help cadets improve their negotiation skills. The startup’s technology is also being used in call centers, among other environments.

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

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