Boston Tech Watch: TripAdvisor, MassChallenge, Twine Health & More
This week in Boston tech, we’re tracking trouble at TripAdvisor, the closure of a co-working space in Harvard Square, the winners of the latest MassChallenge Boston accelerator program, a pair of acquisitions, and venture investments that span cleantech, edtech, cannabis tech, and more. Read on for details.
—It’s been a challenging past few days for TripAdvisor. Last Wednesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a story in which multiple people accused the Needham, MA-based online travel review site of deleting posts in which they reported being raped or harmed in other ways while staying at Mexican hotels and resorts. The company denied that it deleted negative reviews because they might hurt its business, the Associated Press reported. TripAdvisor said some reviews were removed because they violated the company’s “family friendly” language guidelines, which have since been adjusted. The company reposted some of the reviews, the AP reported.
—Koa Labs plans to shutter its co-working offices in Harvard Square, according to a blog post from founder Andy Palmer, who is also the CEO of Cambridge-based Tamr. Palmer opened the shared workspace in 2012, before the current boom in co-working spaces. Koa has hosted the likes of Twine Health and Recorded Future, as well as Tamr.
In addition, Palmer wrote that he’s pressing pause on making new direct investments from the Koa seed fund, which has invested $8 million-plus into startups and other seed funds. Palmer says he’s focusing on running Tamr and is investing through Founder Collective, The Engine, Pillar Companies, and other venture funds.
—Speaking of Twine Health, the Cambridge, MA-based startup said it secured a $1.5 million investment led by Qiming Venture Partners, which brings the company’s total venture capital haul to $8.3 million. The MIT Media Lab spinout’s previous backers include Khosla Ventures, Palmer, and the late Henri Termeer.
Twine sells healthcare coaching and collaboration software—which integrates artificial intelligence technologies—to hospitals and other organizations. The company will use the new funding to try and expand its customer base in the U.S. and start selling internationally, including to customers in China, according to a press release.
—Watertown, MA-based Dynamo Software said it acquired HoldingsInsight, a one-year-old company that makes software for recording and sharing data about investments. Dynamo makes investment management and reporting software for the alternative assets industry. The deal comes a month after Dynamo, formerly known as Netage Solutions, sold a majority stake in its business to private equity firm Francisco Partners.
—In other acquisition news, Hudson, NH-based Right Networks announced it scooped up Atlanta-based Xcentric for an undisclosed price. Right Networks helps accounting firms and small businesses move their software applications to the cloud. Xcentric provides managed IT services for accounting firms.
—Silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies said it raised $9 million from undisclosed strategic partners and previous backers. The Bedford, MA-based solar energy company has raised over $81 million from investors, according to SEC filings.
—Medicinal Genomics, a Woburn, MA-based company that runs microbial tests on cannabis, raised $5 million in debt funding and other securities, according to an SEC filing. Read more about the company, which drew headlines a few years ago for sequencing the genome of the cannabis plant, in this Xconomy profile from 2012.
—Privy, a Boston-based marketing software startup, raised $2.1 million in an investment led by Accomplice, with contributions from KiwiVenture Partners and Cybereason chief marketing officer Mike Volpe, BostInno reported. Privy has raised a total of $4 million in venture funding, according to the report. Read more about Privy’s origins in this Xconomy profile from five years ago.
—MassChallenge and its partners doled out $1.5 million in cash prizes to the top startups from the organization’s latest accelerator program held in Boston. The four winners of the top prize, who each received a $100,000 award, were CozyKin, OffGridBox, Pykus Therapeutics, and Vence. Read more info about all the winners here.