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VC Funding Update: Boston Startups and Tech Firms Raised $2.3B in February

March 03, 2021

The following article is from BostonInno

Boston-area startups, tech companies and other local innovators collectively raised just under $2.3B in February — and in an exceedingly rare instance, software startups overtook biotech to fuel the funding.

Software companies, including AI, data and e-commerce startups, brought in a total of $1.3B last month. Some heavy-hitters gave the vertical a major lift: Walpole unicorn Thrasio raised $750M, OutSystems raised $150M and Nexthink raised $180M, qualifying it as a unicorn for the first time.

Biotech companies came in a relatively distant second place, pulling in a little over $616M as a group. Meanwhile, hardware and robotics had a strong month, as Locus Robotics raised $150M in a Series E round that brought it up to unicorn status as well.

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Below are the startups and related firms that raised capital in February, according to data compiled by BostInno.

Cambridge-based Cellino, a new regenerative medicine startup developing an AI-guided laser editing platform, closed a $16M seed financing round. The round was co-led by The Engine and Khosla Ventures, with participation from Humboldt Fund and 8VC.

Natick-based cancer early detection startup Mercy BioAnalytics raised $27.3M in equity, including $5.3M in convertible notes, per an SEC filing.

Cambridge-based Reverie Labs, a pharmaceutical company using machine learning to develop small molecule kinase inhibitors, closed a $25M Series A round led by Ridgeback Capital Investments with participation from First Round Capital, Y Combinator, Neo and other existing investors.

Precision oncology therapeutics company Acrivon Therapeutics raised $15.5M in equity from two investors, according to a Form D filed on Feb. 12. The company and its clinical biomarker development group is headquartered in Cambridge, with biomarker discovery efforts concentrated in a wholly-owned subsidiary in Lund, Sweden, according to the company’s LinkedIn profile.

Precision immunology startup ImmuneID emerged from stealth with $17M in seed funding. The round was led by the Longwood Fund, with participation from Arch Venture Partners, Pitango HealthTech, In-Q-Tel, Xfund and others.

Immunotherapy startup Elicio Therapeutics closed a $73M Series B round. The company did not disclose investors.

ABclonal Biotechnology, a Woburn-based life science tools and services provider, completed a $92.9M Series C financing led by Sequoia Capital China and LYFE Capital. Other new and existing shareholders, such as Sigma Square Capital, Kinghall Ventures and Lucion Capital, participated in the new round.

Burlington-based cell and gene therapy startup Saliogen Therapeutics raised $20M in equity, per an SEC filing.

Woburn-based Purinomia Biotech, maker of a small molecule biological designed to treat cancer, autoimmunity, inflammatory disease and metabolic syndrome, raised $2M in equity, per an SEC filing.

Orna Therapeutics, a startup developing circular RNA for pharmaceutical applications, made its official debut with more than $100M in funding, $80M of which comes from a recently closed Series A round. The round was co-led by MPM Capital, Taiho Venture and F2 Ventures, with participation from Kite, Bristol Myers Squibb, Astellas Venture Management, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research and the PAGS Group.

Waltham-based Xilio Therapeutics, a biotech company developing potent, tumor-selective immunotherapies for patients with cancer, closed a $95M Series C round led by Rock Springs Capital with participation from Bain Capital Life Sciences, Deerfield Management Company and RA Capital Management, among other new investors. Xilio’s existing investors, including Atlas Venture, SV Health Investors, Takeda Ventures, RiverVest Venture Partners and MRL Ventures Fund, also participated in the financing.

Boston-based microbiome startup DermBiont raised $6.6M in debt in a $15M funding round, per an SEC filing.

Theon Therapeutics, a Boston biotech developing small molecule correctors of RNA pathobiology, raised $2.8M in equity in a $10M funding round, per an SEC filing.

Cambridge-based biotech startup Cellarity closed a $123M Series B round from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, The Baupost Group and Banque Pictet on behalf of their clients, plus eight other investors and founding firm Flagship Pioneering.

Consumer Tech
Brookline-based protein bar startup IQ Bar raised $2.8M in equity, per an SEC filing.

Beam, a wellness brand that sells THC-free CBD products, announced the completion of a $5 million Series A financing with participation from new investors including The Yard Ventures, Litani Ventures and Carter Comstock.

Boston-based Incredible Foods (a.k.a. Quantum Designs), which is manufacturing biomimetic botanical fruit, raised $1.75M in debt in a $5M funding round, per an SEC filing.

Digital Health
FOLX Health, a new, Boston-based digital health care service provider for the LGBTQIA+ community, raised $25M in Series A financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Existing investors Define Ventures and Polaris also participated in the round. 

Cambridge-based Elucidata, a biomedical molecular data startup, closed a $5M pre-Series A funding round led by IvyCap Ventures with participation from Hyperplane Venture Capital and several angel investors.

Mightier, a Boston startup behind a video game system for teaching children emotional regulation, was awarded a $2M grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to support research on the impact of video games on improving children's mental health.

PatientsLikeMe, the world’s largest integrated community, health management, and real-world data platform, announced it has raised $26 million in financing led by Alta Partners, Hambrecht Ducera Growth Ventures, Optum Ventures and PBM Capital.

Cambridge-based Rhino Health emerged from stealth with a $5M seed financing round to improve AI-based health care solutions. LionBird Ventures led the financing round, which also includes Arkin Holdings and several angel investors.

Boston-based health care technology company VillagePlan received a $4.5M credit facility from Espresso Capital.

Medisafe, an eight-year-old Boston-based digital therapeutics company, raised $30M in Series C funding. Sanofi Ventures and ALIVE Israel HealthTech Fund led the investments. They were joined by Leumi Partners, Menorah Mivtachim and Consensus Business Group, previous investors Pitango HealthTech, 7wireVentures, M Ventures, Octopus Ventures, lool Ventures, Triventures, Ourcrowd, and Qualcomm Ventures. The company plans to use the money to "further expand its end-to-end solutions supporting patients managing medications and accelerate revenues growth."

Boston-based edtech startup Labster, which produces virtual laboratory simulations, raised $60M in Series C funding led by new investor Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from existing investors GGV Capital, Owl Ventures, Balderton Capital, David Helgason, Northzone, Swisscom Ventures and EduCapital.

Watertown-based WiTricity announced an additional $18M to its previously announced October fundraise of $34M. The extension included investments from Tony Fadell’s Future Shape and other private investors.

Malta, a Cambridge-based long-duration energy storage startup spun out of Google's X, raised $50M in a Series B round led by integrated energy group Proman with participation from new investor Dustin Moskovitz and existing investors Alfa Laval and Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

Bedford-based SpectraWAVE brought in $13.2M in Series A-2 financing to advancer its flagship intracoronary imaging product. The funding round is led by prior investor Deerfield Management, and includes follow-on investment from prior unnamed seed investors.

Metalenz, a developer of meta-optic technologies for new lenses spun out of Harvard University in 2017, secured a $10M Series A round from 3M Ventures, Applied Ventures LLC, Intel Capital, M Ventures and TDK Ventures, along with Tsingyuan Ventures and Braemar Energy Ventures.

Pykus Therapeutics, a Cambridge startup developing a dissolvable intraocular surgical device for retinal surgery, raised $2.5M in equity, per an SEC filing.

Solace Therapeutics, a Framingham-based medical device company focused on bladder disorders, raised $2.5M in equity in a $17.6M funding round, per an SEC filing.

Robotics and Hardware
Wilmington-based Locus Robotics raised $150M in a round led by Tiger Global Management and Bond. Existing investors Scale Venture Partners and Prologis Ventures, the venture capital arm of Prologis, participated in the Series E round, which qualified Locus as a unicorn.

Bluespec, which makes computer processors for the open-source market, raised $2M in equity from four investors.

Low-code CMS platform Unstack raised $3.1M in a seed funding round led by El Cap Holdings with participation from Andrew Bialecki, Ed Hallen, Dave Balter, Ralph Folz, TJ Mahony, Accomplice, MassVentures, Hustlefund, TBD Angels and others.

Nexthink, a Boston-based provider of digital employee experience management software, brought in a $180M Series D financing round led by Permira alongside existing investors, including Highland Europe and Index Ventures. The funding comes with a new valuation of $1.1B, making Nexthink a unicorn.

Synthetic data startup DataCebo, based in Weston, raised $3M in equity in a $3.2M funding round, per an SEC filing.

Walpole-based Thrasio reportedly secured an additional $750 million in venture capital from returning investors Oaktree Capital Management and Boston-based Advent International Corp.

Aidentified, a AI-based relationship and sales intelligence software startup, raised $10M in Series A financing. The company did not disclose most funders, saying instead the round was "backed by the founders, private investment funds and a range of private and corporate investors. "

Torii, a Boston-based maker of a real estate app aimed at Millennials, raised $2.3M in equity in a $3.2M funding round, per an SEC filing. ICMYI, we covered the startup's launch and seed round here.

Privately held software company OutSystems, which has offices in Boston, says it’s valued at $9.5B after a $150M capital raise. The round was led by Abdiel Capital and Tiger Global.

Higher ed-focused AI chatbot developer AdmitHub secured $14M in Series B funding led by Rethink Education with participation from ECMC Group's Education Impact Fund and Kresge Foundation's impact investment fund.

Software startup airSlate, which has 20 employees in Massachusetts, received $50M in debt financing from first-time debt investor Silicon Valley Bank.

Uplift Ventures, the Dover-based company that built a jet lag app, closed another round of angel funding at $500K, per an email to BostInno.

Sales and marketing demo platform maker Reprise raised $17M in Series A funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from existing investors Glasswing Ventures and Accomplice VC. The round follows closely on a $3 million seed investment less than a year ago.

Boston-based Creatio, a software company that provides a low-code platform for process management and CRM, raised $68M in a new round ed by Volition Capital with participation from Horizon Capital.

Beamable, a Boston-based provider of game makers with a technology platform to continuously operate, update, monetize and socialize their games, raised approximately $5M in a funding round led by Companyon Ventures and GrandBanks Capital, and joined by investors from, Oyster Funds and others.

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