Khosla Backs Ori, BU Creates Fund, Mobee Merges & More Boston Deals
Here are some of the latest venture funding and acquisition headlines from the Boston innovation cluster, including a $100 million endowment for Boston University research, international expansion for Bullhorn’s recruiting software business, and an investment in a robotic furniture startup. Read on for details.
—Boston University said it plans to create a $100 million endowment to fund faculty and student research in life sciences and engineering. The money comes from a $115 million donation from Rajen Kilachand, a BU alumnus and businessman. The rest of the gift—the largest in BU’s history—supported the construction of a 170,000-square-foot research center that opened on Thursday.
—Khosla Ventures led a $6 million Series A investment in Boston-based Ori, a developer of modular furniture powered by robotic systems and software. (Click here to see how it works.) The startup, which has roots at the MIT Media Lab, is initially targeting small urban apartment dwellers.
—Smart Lunches raised $6.28 million from investors, according to a filing with the SEC. The Boston-based company helps coordinate food deliveries for children at schools, daycare centers, and camps in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
—Bullhorn’s international business announced the acquisition of Connexys, a recruitment software company based in the Netherlands. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The acquisition is aimed at boosting Boston-based Bullhorn’s expansion in Europe. The company sells cloud-based customer relationship management software and other tools to businesses, primarily in the staffing and recruiting industry.
(You can read more about Bullhorn in these Xconomy stories from earlier this year: a Q&A with CEO Art Papas, and a look at its company culture—including an employee “jam room” located inside its headquarters.)
—Boston-based Linkable Networks sold some of its assets to Collinson Group, including Linkable’s software platform that lets consumers link coupons and other rewards to their credit and debit cards. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed in a press release announcing the deal. Collinson also said it hired some senior Linkable employees.
Last month, one of Linkable’s investors, Paraflon Investments, filed a books-and-records request claiming that Linkable was losing money and was unwilling to share much information about its operations or the Collinson deal, according to a report from Law360.
—Boston-based Mobee merged with San Mateo, CA-based Quad Analytix to create a new retail technology firm called Wiser Solutions. Mobee uses crowdsourcing and mobile tech to gather and analyze in-store retail data, while Quad Analytix has focused on analyzing e-commerce data for brands and retailers.
Their union is meant to offer retailers a more comprehensive set of tools for understanding their online and offline operations, according to a press release. Wiser also intends to apply its products to other sectors, such as financial services and consulting, the release said.