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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Udacity Achieves 50,000 Nanodegree Grads Amid Company Reorganization

Udacity, a pioneer in the online teaching of IT skills, is celebrating a milestone today—50,000 students have now graduated from one of its revenue-generating “Nanodegree” programs.Launched four years ago, the Nanodegree courses allow students worldwide to gain expertise in areas such as data analytics, machine learning, and autonomous flight engineering by completing coursework that can take as little as six months.In a blogpost touting student successes, Udacity co-founder Sebastian Thrun (pi...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Deals, Startups, Mobile, Facebook, Lyft, Hardware, Talent Gap, Education, Microsoft, Workplace, Internet, Entrepreneurship, Funding, San Francisco


Black Diamond Emerges with $20M, Aiming for Cancer’s Hidden Targets

Nearly two years ago, Versant Ventures used some of its new $400 million fund to set up a drug discovery unit in Europe. The goal was to produce drugs and technology to spin out into independent companies. The first to launch from that effort, Black Diamond Therapeutics, has just emerged with an unusual approach to cancer R&D and $20 million in Series A funding, all provided by Versant.Black Diamond is developing drugs intended to precisely target mutant oncogenes, genes that can spark the grow...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Europe, Breast Cancer, Drugs, Cancer, San Francisco, Trends, Investing, Lung Cancer, Venture Capital, Fda, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Versant Ventures


IPOs Will Strip Veils From Uber & Lyft’s Financials, Strategies

The IPO of any private company comes as the resolution of a mystery, as closely-held details about its financial performance and strategies are revealed. But the suspense is heightened in the case of San Francisco-based companies Uber and Lyft, which pioneered the huge ride-hailing industry but have yet to come close to turning a profit. Market observers may be awaiting their disclosures as eagerly as political junkies longing to learn the findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation of President...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Transportation, Mobile, Lyft, Uber, Hardware, Internet, Entrepreneurship, Ipo, Funding, San Francisco, Trends, Web, It, Vc


As Unicorns Multiply, Bootstrapped Tech Businesses Holding Steady

Why do unicorns get all the attention?Brian de Haaff wonders this sometimes, especially as compared to his own tech business, Aha. It’s not a “unicorn”—a business with a valuation of more than $1 billion—and it’s not even close.Instead, Aha is a bootstrapped startup. Founded in 2013 by de Haaff and Chris Waters in the Bay Area, the company announced in July it had surpassed $40 million in annual recurring revenue from the subscribers to its software-as-a-service. Aha makes a program that helps ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Uber, Technology, Marketing, Sales, San Francisco, Trends, Startup, Tech, Investing, Investment, Indiana, Excel, Vc, Software


Bio Roundup: ASH Wrap, CRISPR Baby Fallout, Moderna’s Record IPO

The biggest yearly meeting for blood disease research has come and gone, and yet the stories to come out of the American Society of Hematology’s gathering in San Diego represent just a fraction of what happened in biopharma this week.Even if ASH wasn’t on your radar, the CRISPR baby saga—the apparent birth of gene edited twin girls in China that shocked the life sciences world a few weeks ago—rolled on. One massive buyout was signed, and another even bigger one inched closer to being finalized....
Tags: Deals, Startups, China, Ipo, Trends, IPOs, People, Vc, Adhd, San Diego, Astrazeneca, Fda, National, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Ash


Alto Lands $50M as Pharmacy Sector Embraces E-Commerce Lessons

The pharmacy industry’s transformation is accelerating, as traditional drug retailers strike deals to expand their businesses and fend off technology startups encroaching on their territory.The latest salvo in the increasingly competitive sector is a $50 million investment in Alto Pharmacy, a San Francisco-based “digital pharmacy” startup that has offices in Denver. Like others in its industry, Alto offers online ordering and delivery (including same-day delivery) of prescription drugs.Alto lau...
Tags: Amazon, Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, San Francisco, Trends, E-commerce, It, Walgreens, Vc, Software, Healthcare, Cigna, Retail, Denver


OncoMed’s Saga Ends in Reverse Merger with UK-Based Mereo BioPharma

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals attracted hundreds of millions of dollars from investors and pharmaceutical partners with compounds it developed to target cells that drive cancer growth. But after a series of clinical trial stumbles and the dissolution of its drug development alliances over the last two years, OncoMed is now serving as a vehicle for a UK-based company to gain a public listing in the U.S.Redwood City, CA-based OncoMed (NASDAQ: OMED) announced Wednesday an agreement to merge with rare di...
Tags: Deals, UK, London, Ipo, Cancer, San Francisco, Trends, Investing, Ovarian Cancer, Fda, GlaxoSmithKline, Biotech, Pancreatic Cancer, Life Sciences, Bayer, Clinical Trials


15Five Lands $8M to Provide Coaching Software to More Managers

[Updated 12/4/18 9:20 am. See below.] San Francisco-based performance management startup 15Five, whose mission is to torpedo annual performance reviews for workers and replace them with supportive weekly coaching by managers, announced today it raised $8 million in a Series A funding round.15Five gets its name from the feedback and coaching process that its software turns into a consistent routine. Employees use the system to create and share a 15-minute check-in report with their bosses every ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Spotify, Microsoft, Workplace, Internet, Entrepreneurship, Funding, San Francisco, Trends, Linkedin, Web, It, Vc, Software, Employees


Volvo Expands In Silicon Valley As Auto Innovation Goes West

As GM announced a wave of auto plant closures in the North American heartland this week at the cost of thousands of jobs, Sweden’s Volvo Cars was expanding its U.S. presence, both in Silicon Valley and at a new South Carolina factory.Like Detroit-based GM (NYSE: GM), which is shifting its attention from traditional auto manufacturing to projects like its self-driving car unit Cruise—a San Francisco startup GM bought in 2016—Volvo Cars is one of the flock of established carmakers drawn to the Ba...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Deals, Startups, Mobile, Uber, Hardware, Sweden, Internet, Entrepreneurship, Accidents, Funding, San Francisco, Trends, E-commerce, Web


Bio Roundup: CRISPR Babies, Blood Diseases, Big Cancer Nod & More

This was one of those weeks when the world seemed to slip into a new era with no going back. A Chinese researcher, He Jiankui, claimed he helped bring to life two genetically engineered babies, twin girls with a gene disabled to make them immune to HIV infection. Even though the technology He used—in vitro fertilization, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, deep sequencing—has been in place for some time to attempt the creation of a gene-altered human, the scientific world hoped for three years that self-...
Tags: Deals, Hong Kong, Scandal, White House, China, Trends, Investment, Fail, People, Vc, Leukemia, Lung Cancer, Ireland, Venture Capital, Genomics, Private Equity


Auris Health Lands $220M to Expand Sales of Lung Testing Medical Robot

Auris Health has already received regulatory clearance to sell its medical robot in the U.S. Now it has $220 million in funding to help it place the technology in the hands of surgeons.The latest investment, which the company calls “growth financing,” was led by Partner Fund Management. Redwood City, CA-based Auris says it will use the capital to commercialize its medical robot platform, called Monarch.Auris developed its robotic technology for endoscopy, procedures that use slender, flexible i...
Tags: Deals, Startups, San Francisco, Trends, Investing, It, Software, Lung Cancer, Surgery, Biotech, Life Sciences, Wellington Management, National blog main, San Francisco blog main, San Francisco top stories, Lux Capital


Roche Gains Place in NASH Race with Purchase of Jecure Therapeutics

Roche is acquiring San Diego startup Jecure Therapeutics, with hopes of turning Jecure’s early research into a drug or drugs that treat the liver disease NASH.Through its South San Francisco, CA-based Genentech division, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant will acquire Jecure, whose work has yet to reach clinical studies, the companies announced Tuesday. No financial terms were disclosed, but a Genentech spokesman said it was an all-cash deal.Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, is a serious form ...
Tags: Deals, San Francisco, Trends, San Diego, Fda, Allergan, Biotech, University Of California San Diego, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Genentech, Roche, Gilead Sciences, Nash, South San Francisco CA, Inflammation



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