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Educational Play Kit Company Osmo Sold to India’s Edtech Firm Byju’s for $120M

Byju’s, an edtech company based in India that claims a $3.6 billion valuation based on its sales success there, announced it has acquired Palo Alto, CA-based learning-through-play firm Osmo for $120 million.Named after the teacher Byju Raveendran, who founded the company in 2011, Byju’s is making its first acquisition in the United States to advance its goals of expanding globally and adding very young children to its user base. The company, which announced the deal Wednesday, had already made ...
Tags: Google, Deals, Startups, Mobile, Hardware, Education, Internet, Entrepreneurship, India, Funding, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Web, It, Vc


CommonGrounds Raises $100M to Open More New Flexible Office Spaces

Billions of dollars have already flowed to the purveyors of shared workspaces, and the investment spigot isn’t turning off yet.CommonGrounds Workspace, a San Diego, CA-based company that operates flexible office spaces in California and Colorado today, announced Wednesday that it had raised $100 million in a Series A financing to expand its lineup to roughly 50 sites during the next two years.The company says the new money comes from three investors: CommonGrounds’s seed-stage backer, a local r...
Tags: Deals, Facebook, Real Estate, Microsoft, Developer, Colorado, California, Funding, Trends, Tech, Nike, Development, Cigna, Venture Capital, San Diego, WeWork


ScoutRFP Scores $33M to Compete in Supplier Management Sector

ScoutRFP, whose software is designed to help businesses streamline the process of ordering goods from suppliers, announced that it raised $33 million in a Series C fundraising round led by Scale Venture Partners.San Francisco-based Scout, part of a tech sector dubbed supplier relations management, or SRM, aims to free businesses from painstaking traditional methods of seeking bids from various suppliers and comparing their merits. Some companies are still doing this by laboriously creating spre...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Cloud, Internet, Entrepreneurship, Funding, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Web, It, Vc, Software, Automation, Innovation


After 33 Exits in 5 Years, WI Seeks “More and Bigger” Startup Deals

When Propeller Health’s founders initially tried to raise funding for their new healthcare technology venture, many of the investors they spoke with were hesitant to take the risk.It was the early part of this decade, and Propeller was navigating the FDA’s regulatory process for medical devices. The company believed it had a chance to become one of the first to earn market clearance from the agency for a software product, says Propeller co-founder and CEO David Van Sickle. Propeller’s idea for ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Internet Of Things, Education, Connected Devices, Trends, Tech, It, Cybersecurity, Walgreens, Vc, Software, Healthcare, M&a


NAIAS: Ford’s Foray into Microtransit Proved Valuable, Klevorn Says

Detroit’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) pulled back the curtains for a media preview Monday and Tuesday before it opens its doors to the public next week.Coming on the heels of CES—the annual technology conference in Las Vegas that has increasingly become the preferred venue for automakers to showcase their latest technology developments—the Detroit auto show is a more car-centric affair. However, as automotive companies strive to be seen as tech companies, there is also plenty...
Tags: Deals, Lyft, Trends, Ces, Ford, Scooters, Auto Industry, Innovation, Mobility, Las Vegas, Volkswagen, Detroit, Smart Cities, Spin, Chariot, North American International Auto Show


Report: After a Boffo 2018, VC Deals in Digital Health May Flatten

Investments in digital health startups totaled $8.1 billion in 2018, a record year that marked a 42 percent increase over 2017’s total, according to a report released this week by Rock Health. But the report’s authors say it’s unlikely that venture capital investments in digital health, an area that encompasses the use of software and technology to try to improve care and lower costs, will continue growing at such a brisk pace.“We wouldn’t be surprised to see venture funding for digital health ...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Deals, Startups, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Vc, Software, Healthcare, Pwc, Doctor On Demand, National Venture Capital Association, Digital Health, Cb Insights, Healthtech


Bio Roundup: #JPM19 Notes, Loxo Buyout, Black Diamond’s Cash & More

Diabetes drugs are Eli Lilly’s bread and butter, but the pharmaceutical giant hasn’t lost its appetite for cancer drugs. It grabbed hold of a few more this week by betting $8 billion on Loxo Oncology.Loxo (NASDAQ: LOXO) has made a name for itself by becoming one of just two companies ever to earn an FDA approval for a drug that targets a tumor’s DNA fingerprint, no matter where in the body that cancer is found. The drug, larotrectinib, targets rare tumor abnormalities known as NTRK fusions. The...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Ipo, Cancer, Trends, Medicare, SEC, Fda, National, GlaxoSmithKline, Allergan, Shire, Biotech, Medical Device, Postpartum Depression, Bernie Sanders


Black Diamond Gets $85M for Cancer Drugs R&D and New Cambridge HQ

When Black Diamond Therapeutics emerged from stealth mode last month with $20 million in backing and a handful of preclinical cancer drugs, the company signaled that another financing was in the works for 2019. That day is here.Black Diamond announced late Wednesday that it has closed $85 million in Series B financing, which the company says it will use to advance its top drug candidates into human testing within the next two years.Black Diamond was incubated within the Switzerland drug discove...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Cancer, Trends, Venture Capital, Switzerland, Biotech, Drug, New Enterprise Associates, Life Sciences, Black Diamond, Clinical Trials, Allosteric, Versant Ventures, National blog main


Big Deals, Life Sciences Push U.S. VC in 2018 to Dot-Com Boom Levels

Venture capital investments rose in 2018 to levels not seen since the heady days of 2000, the last year U.S. startups collectively took in more than $100 billion.That’s according to PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association’s Venture Monitor report, released this week, which tallied nearly 9,000 deals made last year, through which venture investors sunk $130.9 billion into companies. That was about 500 fewer deals than in the year prior, but the total amount invested increased by $...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Lyft, Uber, Entrepreneurship, Funding, Trends, Vc, Software, Pwc, Venture Capital, Angel, National, WeWork, Magic Leap, Biotech


Beta Bionics Secures $63M as AI-Driven “Pancreas” Heads to Key Tests

Beta Bionics, a startup developing a medical device that monitors and manages blood sugar levels in diabetes patients, has closed $63 million to back late-stage clinical tests of its AI-powered technology.The cash tops off a Series B round of funding announced last year. The Boston company, which counts diabetes drug giants Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) among its investors and partners, says the capital will support Phase 3 studies of its device this year, and if all goes w...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Trends, Investing, Vc, Software, Diabetes, Venture Capital, Fda, Biotech, Novo Nordisk, Medical Device, Wearable Devices, Medtech, Life Sciences


Microsoft, Kroger Advance Grocery Tech to Fend Off Amazon

From the cloud on down to the floors of supermarkets, the rivalry between Microsoft and Amazon spans many sectors in software, gadgets, and increasingly, retail.The Seattle-area tech giants are battling—both with one another, and other competitors—to further digitize grocery shopping. The latest salvo came on Monday from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which announced new details of its partnership with Kroger (NYSE: KR), one of the leading grocery store chains in the U.S. The Cincinnati-based grocer...
Tags: Amazon, Deals, Microsoft, Whole Foods, Cloud Computing, Trends, Tech, Amazon Prime, Supermarkets, E-commerce, Software, Grocery Stores, Retail, Seattle, Cincinnati, Kroger


Bio-JPM Roundup: Lilly Buys Loxo, Sage’s Stock Soars, ALS Cash & More

The flow of biotech news is particularly heavy today, and for good reason. The annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, one of the biggest gatherings for the biopharmaceutical industry, kicked off today in San Francisco, and many companies, whether they’re speaking at the event or not, use this time to get their news out.Xconomy is on the ground covering the conference this week. In the meantime, here’s a short roundup of biotech news announced today.DEALS AND DATA—Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) is pay...
Tags: Deals, Startups, San Francisco, Trends, Investing, Vc, Venture Capital, Fda, National, GlaxoSmithKline, Biotech, Postpartum Depression, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Celgene, Gilead Sciences


Humatics Raises $28M Round to Advance Spatial Intelligence Platform

Humatics, the Waltham, MA-based startup working on microlocation technology for use in robots and autonomous vehicles, today announced that it has raised $28 million in a Series A1 round.The investment was led by Tenfore Holdings, with participation from Blackhorn Ventures, JCI Ventures (the venture arm of Johnson Controls), and all major investors from Humatics’ 2017 Series A round, including Fontinalis Ventures, Airbus Ventures, Lockheed Martin Ventures, and Presidio Ventures. The two rounds ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Entrepreneurship, Boston, Trends, Mit, Vc, Software, Innovation, Venture Capital, Gps, Series A, Industrial Robots, Waltham, Johnson Controls, Airbus Ventures


Eli Lilly Makes an $8B Cancer Genetics Bet with Loxo Acquisition

[Updated 1/7/19, 11 a.m. ET. See below.] Eli Lilly is set to acquire Loxo Oncology for approximately $8 billion—a deal that brings to the Indianapolis pharmaceutical giant a class of drugs that treat cancers with particular genetic signatures.Under the agreement announced Monday, Lilly (NYSE: LLY) will pay $235 cash per share of Loxo (NASDAQ: LOXO), which is a 68 percent premium to the Friday closing price of the Stamford, CT, cancer drug developer. Following the news of the deal, shares of Lox...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Cancer, Trends, Indiana, Indianapolis, Mergers and Acquisitions, Fda, GlaxoSmithKline, Biotech, Life Sciences, Bayer, Clinical Trials, Celgene, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Stamford


Genentech, Adaptive Bio Join Forces on Personalized Cancer Drugs R&D

Genentech is paying Adaptive Biotechnologies $300 million up front in a new partnership focused on developing cancer immunotherapies personalized to individual patients.Seattle-based Adaptive has technology that can analyze the immune system to find targets for cell therapies. Adaptive says that its screening technology enables it to discover T-cell receptors (TCRs) that can recognize and target neoantigens, which are proteins generated by tumor mutations.Under the agreement announced Friday, A...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Cancer, Trends, Biotech, Seattle, Life Sciences, Personalized Medicine, Clinical Trials, Genentech, Roche, Adaptive Biotechnologies, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, National blog main, Seattle blog main, Seattle top stories


Alphabet’s Biotech R&D Arm Verily Raises $1B to Fuel Growth

Verily, the biotech research and development company owned by Google parent Alphabet, has raised $1 billion in an investment round led by Menlo Park, CA-based private equity titan Silver Lake.The South San Francisco, CA-based company was formerly known as Google Life Sciences before Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) spun it off from the search engine giant and rebranded it in 2017. Other new investors in the round include Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and other global investment management firms, Verily...
Tags: Google, Deals, Startups, Singapore, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Investment, Vc, Healthcare, Private Equity, Biotech, Silver Lake, Alphabet, Ruth Porat, Google Life Sciences


Tizona Lands $105M from AbbVie in Cancer Drug R&D Alliance

A cancer immunotherapy teed up for clinical trials by Tizona Therapeutics is now the centerpiece of a new partnership with AbbVie, which is paying the startup $105 million up front.In addition to the cash paid to South San Francisco, CA-based Tizona, AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) said Thursday that it has made an equity investment in its partner. The amount of the investment wasn’t disclosed.Tizona develops drugs intended to inhibit the activity of enzymes on the surface of tumor cells that suppress the ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Drugs, Cancer, San Francisco, Trends, Investing, Fda, Abbvie, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Roche, South San Francisco CA, National blog main, San Francisco blog main


In a Huge Biopharma Shakeup, Bristol-Myers to Buy Celgene For $74B

Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to acquire Celgene in a deal that would create one of the largest biopharma organizations in the world and send ripples throughout the life sciences sector.Bristol (NYSE: BMY) on Thursday morning inked a deal to buy Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) in a deal that values the Summit, NJ, drugmaker at $74 billion, or $102.43 per share. Celgene shareholders will get $50 in cash and one Bristol share for each Celgene share they own. They’ll also get one tradeable contingent val...
Tags: Deals, Trends, Merck, M&a, Fda, National, Bristol, Biotech, Life Sciences, Celgene, Bristol-myers Squibb, KEYTRUDA, CVR, Opdivo, Orencia, Revlimid


MyoKardia Goes Solo as Sanofi Ends Precision Heart Drug Deal

MyoKardia rode a partnership with Sanofi to the public markets a few years ago. But the two companies are cutting ties today, with MyoKardia regaining full rights to its drug programs and assuming all the upside—and risk—of their success or failure.MyoKardia (NASDAQ: MYOK) said the deal, which started in September 2014, will wrap up in April. At that point, the South San Francisco, CA-based firm will fully control all of its experimental drugs, including the heart disease drugs mavacamten and M...
Tags: Deals, San Francisco, Trends, Vc, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Sanofi, South San Francisco CA, National blog main, Boston blog main, San Francisco blog main, San Francisco top stories, Third Rock Ventures, Boston top stories, MYOK


From Alnylam to Zayner: Xconomy’s Top Innovation Stories of 2018

2018 was a year of ups and downs for the business and technology community. It was a year of big exits—both IPOs and acquisitions—for tech and life sciences companies. Venture funding remained strong, but more money went to fewer (and later-stage) companies overall. As the year winds down, we’re reflecting on the big innovation trends and developments that will carry over to next year.Storylines in various sectors helped shape the overall narrative in 2018. Cell and gene therapies, cancer immun...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Technology, Cloud Computing, Trends, Tech, IPOs, It, People, Cybersecurity, Analysis, Vc, Software, Bitcoin, Bill Gates, Innovation


CFOs: Prepare To Become Your Company’s Data Czar This Year

In mid-2018, Tom Bogan was the leader of business planning software company Adaptive Insights as it planned its own next steps. The Palo Alto, CA-based company was on the point of raising about $115 million in a June IPO that would have set its market value at around $705 million, according to PitchBook.But like Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate,” the big enterprise software company Workday lured Adaptive Insights away from the IPO altar with a more attractive deal—a $1.55 billion acquisition off...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Cloud, Internet, Entrepreneurship, Ipo, Funding, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Web, It, Excel, Software, Data Science, Innovation


Gates Foundation, Bristol-Myers Join $27M Funding for Vedanta Bio

Microbiome drug developer Vedanta Biosciences has raised $27 million in funding to press forward with clinical trials for four therapeutic candidates.Vedanta’s experimental treatments are compositions of live bacteria that the Cambridge, MA, company says trigger a targeted immune response. By shifting the ecosystem of gut bacteria, Vedanta says its therapies can potentially treat autoimmune and allergic diseases, as well as cancer.The company’s most advanced drug candidate, VE303, has started a...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Drugs, Boston, Cancer, Trends, Investing, Venture Capital, Cambridge, Biotech, Microbiome, Ubiome, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Nivolumab, Vedanta


Ligand Inks Deal, Ionis Details Succession Plan, & More SD Biotech

San Diego’s life sciences companies didn’t tap their brakes much as December chugged along. This week—for many, the last full work week before a holiday break—has been peppered with financings and deals news. So while it might be nearly time to board your plane (or hop in the car, or simply spend a little time away from your screens), first catch up on recent local biotech happenings. Then, enjoy what remains of 2018.—Ionis Pharmaceuticals said Thursday that the company’s founder and CEO Stan C...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Trends, San Diego, Biotech, John Higgins, Life Sciences, Polaris Partners, Genentech, Ligand, Roche, ARCH Venture Partners, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, National blog main, San Francisco blog main, San Diego blog main


Gilead Sciences Commits $150M to Agenus in Cancer Drug R&D Pact

For the second time this week, Gilead Sciences has partnered with a Boston-area biotech, this time with a deal that covers up to five experimental cancer immunotherapies being developed by Agenus.Under the deal terms, Foster City, CA-based Gilead (NASDAQ: GILD) will pay Agenus (NASDAQ: AGEN) $120 million cash up front and make a $30 million equity investment in the company. Depending on the progress of the drugs, Gilead could pay its Lexington, MA, partner up to $1.7 billion more in fees and mi...
Tags: Deals, Boston, Cancer, Hiv, San Francisco, Trends, Fda, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Agen, Gilead Sciences, Gilead, Hepatitis C, Kite Pharma, Lexington MA


Gilead, Scholar Rock Sign $80M Up Front Deal for Fibrosis Drugs

Drugmakers are increasingly turning their attention toward fibrosis, the excessive growth of connective tissue that can lead to scarring and dysfunction of multiple organs including the lungs, liver and kidneys. In the latest deal centered on this disorder, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) will pay Scholar Rock of Cambridge, MA (NASDAQ: SRRK) $80 million up front for exclusive  options to license antibody drugs that inhibit TGF-beta, a protein that  boosts cell growth and is thought to drive fibr...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Boston, Trends, Abbvie, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Gilead Sciences, Gilead, TGF, National blog main, Boston blog main, San Francisco blog main, San Francisco top stories, Boston top stories


Pfizer, GSK to Merge Consumer Health Units, Focus on Prescription Drugs

Two of the world’s top drugmakers want to focus on making prescription drugs. Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed to merge their consumer health businesses and spin them off into a joint venture, a move that will both create a new consumer healthcare giant and increase the pressure on each company to churn out innovative medicines.GSK (NYSE: GSK) will hold 68 percent of the new company, with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) getting the remaining 32 percent. The combined company will have some $12.7 billio...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Trends, National, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer, Vaccines, Pharma, Life Sciences, GSK, National blog main, New York blog main, Seattle blog main, Boston blog main, National top stories


Graphcore Scores $200M to Scale Up A.I. Chip Production

One of the leading contenders in the A.I. chip race, Graphcore, announced Thursday it pulled down $200 million in a Series D fundraising round that set its valuation at $1.7 billion.The Bristol, UK-based startup, founded in 2016, has now secured a total of more than $300 million in financing from venture capital firms and other investors including Microsoft and the corporate venture arms of BMW and Dell Technologies.Graphcore’s big haul is a notable milestone in the recent revival of investor i...
Tags: Google, Deals, Startups, Facebook, Hardware, Microsoft, Internet, Entrepreneurship, Softbank, Funding, Samsung, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, It, Mit


Cisco to Pay $660M for Luxtera, Maker of Advanced Data Center Chips

Cisco has agreed to pay $660 million for Luxtera, a Caltech spinout that makes optical chips for data centers.The semiconductor company, founded in 2001, is based in Carlsbad, CA, a San Diego suburb. Cisco, the San Jose, CA-based tech giant (NASDAQ: CSCO), said Tuesday that Luxtera’s advanced chips will help it offer its customers faster and better network service performance.Rob Salvagno, who heads Cisco’s mergers and acquisitions and venture investment team, said in prepared remarks that Luxt...
Tags: Deals, Networking, Trends, Tech, Cisco, Vc, Innovation, Venture Capital, San Diego, Data Center, Acquisition, August Capital, Enterprise Software, New Enterprise Associates, Caltech, San Jose CA


$100M Round Turns San Diego’s Seismic into Region’s Newest Unicorn

Seismic, an enterprise software company with ambitious growth plans, has raised $100 million in a Series E financing and added Microsoft chairman John W. Thompson to its board of directors.The venture investment, which the San Diego startup announced Tuesday, is one of only a few so-called mega-rounds—$100 million or more—recorded this year in the region. (In Southern California, rounds that large are more often raised by life sciences companies.)Seismic recently hired its first chief financial...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Uber, Microsoft, Entrepreneurship, Funding, Trends, Tech, Vc, SaaS, Innovation, Venture Capital, San Diego, Symantec, Financing, General Atlantic


Bio Roundup: Eli Lilly Tries Tau, Generic Insulin, NASH Cash & More

Pharmaceutical industry critics lament the cost of rare disease drugs, but some of the steepest price hikes have come on widely used insulin.The patent holder, the University of Toronto, gave companies the right to manufacture insulin. But the university also allowed them to patent the improvements they made, which enabled them to slap higher prices on each new version.In the nearly 100 years since insulin’s discovery, no generic version has become available in the U.S. to offer competitive pri...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Breast Cancer, Washington, Ipo, Cancer, Trends, Investing, Diabetes, Schizophrenia, Venture Capital, Addiction, Fda, National, Novartis, Biotech



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