Today MassVentures announced its continued investment in uTest as part of a $43 million Series E round of funding led by Goldman Sachs. This latest round brings the company’s total funding to more than $80 million since its founding in 2007.
The funding follows a recent announcement that uTest is rebranding to ‘Applause’ to reflect an expanded vision. Now, with the investment, the company plans to expand its offering to bring 360 degree app quality to brands around the world, expand its in-the-wild testing, grow its distribution channels, broaden the uTest community and consider M&A to help build out its offerings.
“From the beginning, it’s been exciting to watch a young Massachusetts-based startup create game-changing business model and become one of the dominant players in the app testing market,” said Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures. “The additional investment from Goldman Sachs and the continued support of other partners confirms Doron’s vision and our investment, and supports uTest/Applause as it continues to scale and meet the ever-increasing demands of app developers and end users.”
For more details on the announcement, read Doron Reuveni’s blog post here.
MassVentures today announced its investment in Curoverse. Curoverse has raised $1.5 million to accelerate commercial development of the Arvados open source platform for genomic and biomedical big data and bring to market products and services based on the platform.
Arvados was released as a free and open source project in April 2013 at http://arvados.org. Today, the Arvados software powers a private cloud with 300 TB of storage and 500 cores that is used for genomic analysis at the Harvard Personal Genome Project and for research work at Harvard Medical School. The platform includes a content addressable distributed storage system and a computational management system designed to make complex analyses easily reproducible.
“MassVentures is pleased to see this type of large scale, big data IT opportunity pursued here in the state,” adds Jennifer Jordan, Vice President, MassVentures. “Curoverse has an opportunity to further Massachusetts’ leadership in biomedicine, bringing customers a unique solution to address the big data infrastructure needs of their biomedical research and clinical applications.”
For the complete Curoverse press release please click here.
This year marked a significant milestone for MassVentures. With its recent investment in Content Raven, we have now attracted over $1B of outside investment capital to our portfolio companies. Through its investment gains, MassVentures has leveraged $14M of state funding into $91M of its own investments. More importantly, because of the capital and commitment of over 50 venture funds and angel groups with whom we partnered, more than $1B has been invested in 138 portfolio companies, contributing to the growth of the Massachusetts economy.
Getting capital to these startups is a very important part of what we do. Another part is addressing capital gaps where the investment community may not be providing adequate capital. From our recent innovation economy survey, entrepreneurs and investors reinforced that it is very difficult for first-time entrepreneurs to raise money. In addition the gap remains from $50K to $1M but the surveyed showed that it is increasingly harder to raise from $1M-$3M; the Series A gap.
With those results in hand that affirmed our mission, MassVentures accomplished the following over the year:Led the oversubscribed Series A funding round of more than $2M for Content Raven. The first investment in partnership with MassDevelopment’s Emerging Technology fund.
- Led a $755K seed round of financing for online publishing startup Libboo
- Continued with the second year of the SBIR START program, providing $2M of funding to fourteen companies.
- Portfolio exits from Incentive Targeting to Google and Clarity to Turbon to replenish investment capital.
Since 1978 MassVentures has focused on getting companies started – companies like uTest, lifeIMAGE and OwnerIQ and further back, Concord Communications and Kronos, to help grow the local economy and position Massachusetts as a world leader in innovation.
We look forward to this continued success in the year ahead.
Excerpts from Xconomy:
Like a lot of people in New England, Tara Mardigan didn’t get much sleep Sunday night.
Unlike a lot of people, Mardigan is team nutritionist for the Boston Red Sox. Asked what she put in Gomes’s cereal yesterday, she jokes that it was “100 percent natural.”
And that’s about all Mardigan would say specifically about the players’ eating habits. But she could talk freely about a startup that she’s involved with—Cambridge, MA-based Segterra, a personal health and wellness company. Mardigan sits on the startup’s scientific advisory board and serves as a consultant on nutrition.
Segterra makes a Web-based health platform called InsideTracker. Based on analyzing a blood sample, the company makes personalized recommendations on food and lifestyle to improve an individual’s health and performance. The company is led by CEO Rony Sellam and founder Gil Blander.
Governor Deval Patrick today celebrated growth and opportunity in the Massachusetts innovation economy during a tour of Harvest Automation’s onsite manufacturing facility and robotics testing area. Harvest Automation manufactures sophisticated robots to support the agricultural industry at farms across the nation. The company’s growth from two to 37 employees has been bolstered by state investment through MassVentures.
“Harvest Automation is an exciting part of a flourishing robotics industry here in Massachusetts,” said Governor Patrick. “Harvest and companies like it prove that our strategy of investing time, ideas and a little money in education, innovation and infrastructure is a winning strategy for the Commonwealth.”
In 2008, MassVentures invested $500,000 in Harvest Automation and, in 2009, joined their board of directors as an observer. MassVentures continues to be actively involved with the company, investing approximately $2 million to date. With its help, Harvest Automation has leveraged a total of $18 million in private investment. Read the full story…
As of September 27, 2013, MassVentures will be moving to Boston’s new Innovation district! We look forward to being part of the vibrant technology community in the area. Our new address will be:
308 Congress Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02210
(In the same building as the Boston Children’s Museum)
Our phone numbers will remain the same.
When: September 7, 2013
Where: WPI Higgins Labs, Room 116, Worcester, MA
WHAT TO PUT IN AND NOT PUT IN YOUR FINANCIALS
DAVID FOGEL, CPA, Managing Director Swifton CFOs LLC
PERFECTING YOUR PITCH
ANNETTE REYNOLDS, Executive Director
128 Innovation Capital Group
COMPETITION AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
LUIS BARROS, Co-Director, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, MIT Portugal Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BUILDING YOUR IP PORTFOLIO
MARIA L. CEDRONI, ASSOCIATE
Hamilton Brook Smith and Reynolds11:00 am
BUILDING YOUR MANAGEMENT TEAM
BRIGID OLIVERI SIEGEL,Partner, Polachi
GO TO MARKET STRATEGY
Over the past few months MassVentures has conducted research with the goal to gain a broad perspective on the state of the funding market for early stage technology companies in Massachusetts – what’s working well, what are the gaps, and how has it changed since we last conducted this research in 2011. We received over 300 responses to the survey; 55% were entrepreneurs, 15% from the VC community and 15% service providers.
A Shifting Gap to the Series A Round
Respondents continue to indicate that the capital gap in funding entrepreneurs is between $0-$3 million. However there is a noticeable shift from seed to Series A over the past two years. This may be indicative of it being easier to raise seed money, which means more companies are running into the challenge of raising the Series A round. Additionally, most agree that funding for 1st time entrepreneurs and underserved industries and regions of Massachusetts continues to be a challenge.
Raising the Series A Round
There is much discussion regarding the Series A capital gap and the difficulties in raising follow-on funding. We posed the question to our entrepreneurs and received positive news that 67% of respondents were able to raise follow-on funding in less than 12 months. Most found the process efficient, although many are still looking for a better understanding and a consistent process for how to navigate it.
Boston You’re My Home
There is significant debate throughout the community in regards to the best place to launch a startup. For all the “threats” that entrepreneurs are leaving in droves, the majority think it is overstated. However, for those that are leaving, they are primarily heading to California and New York for access to capital, capital for new markets and the speed and efficiency of the investment.
Industries on the Rise
It was great to see that according to respondents, healthcare IT continues to thrive in the state, and mobile and biotech have improved greatly. Consumer funding is still thought to be lacking although hopefully there is positive momentum with funding of companies such as LevelUp, Gemvara, DisruptorBeam and SessionM.
MassVentures Role in the Ecosystem
From the survey, most respondents agree that the State should play a role in identifying in-state opportunities, developing a talent pool and VC financings. It is the primary goal of MassVentures to focus on the identified capital gap – Series A investments and occasional and opportunistic seed rounds. We provide capital for first-time CEOs, including our recent investment in Content Raven, and look towards industries underserved by the venture community.
For the full survey results, please click here. Thanks to all those that shared their insights. We look forward to working with you to continue to support the Innovation Economy in Massachusetts to create new sustainable companies and job growth. If you would like to talk with us about the launch of your new idea and company, please feel free to contact me.
“The MassVentures team is willing to take a risk and invest in first-time CEOs and leading-edge emerging market segments not typically served by the Massachusetts venture community. They have been an active supporter of our strategy, growth and continued success.” Read the full story..
Our Investment Focus
MassVentures is a venture capital firm focused on fueling the Massachusetts innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization.
MassVentures focuses on Series A investments and considers occasional and opportunistic seed rounds. We provide capital for first-time CEOs and/or founders and consider industry segments not adequately served by the venture community.
Our track record of success combined with our expertise, contacts and support for entrepreneurs makes MassVentures an attractive venture partner for early-stage companies in Massachusetts.
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