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WI Watchlist: Fiserv, Promega, Arrowhead, Basic-code, EnSync & More

The biggest news of the week from Wisconsin’s high-tech sectors was by far Brookfield-based Fiserv’s (NASDAQ: FISV) massive $22 billion deal to acquire First Data (NYSE: FDC). Meanwhile, here are some headlines and happenings you might’ve missed:—Basic-code raised nearly $250,000 in equity funding, according to an SEC filing. The Brookfield, WI-based startup, which offers sales analysis and forecasting software, pulled in more than $736,000 in equity financing last February. Founder and preside...
Tags: Deals, Energy, Startups, Trends, Tech, Vc, Software, Wisconsin, Brookfield, SEC, Cleantech, Life Sciences, Resmed, Fiserv, Exabyte, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp


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


Fiserv to Buy First Data for $22B as Fintech Consolidation Continues

The mega-deals keep on coming. Today, it’s a massive acquisition in financial technology: Fiserv has struck an agreement to acquire First Data in an all-stock transaction valued at $22 billion.The deal has been approved by both companies’ boards but still needs to be accepted by shareholders and regulators. Assuming it closes as expected later this year, it would combine two big players in financial services and payments processing.Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV), a 35-year-old company based in Brookfiel...
Tags: Deals, Mobile, Apps, Trends, Tech, It, Software, M&a, Square, Wisconsin, Payments, Stripe, Fintech, Izettle, First Data, Worldpay


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


AlwaysAI Adds $4M to Bring Deep Learning to Embedded ‘Edge’ Devices

Many of our devices, from wearables to medical instruments to drones, can capture reams of images. Using algorithms to analyze those images on the devices, in turn, generally takes loads of computing power and energy—sometimes more than is feasible.AlwaysAI says it is getting ready to sell its software for enterprise developers looking to make applications that use deep learning to better process the immense amount of data from embedded devices, such as cameras, drones, wearables, and robots—an...
Tags: Deals, Cloud Computing, Trends, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Software, SaaS, Venture Capital, San Diego, Blackberry, Network, Ai, Financing, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Edge


Goods Unite Us Raises $500K to Track Corporate Political Leanings

Goods Unite Us, a Madison, WI-based startup seeking to inform shoppers about the political leanings of corporations they purchase products and services from, says it closed a $500,000 seed funding round last week.MaSa Partners, Humble Rogue Ventures, and Mark Bakken, a Madison-based entrepreneur and investor, co-led the round, Goods Unite Us says.Launched in 2017, Goods Unite Us aims to increase transparency around corporate money in politics by providing users with information on political con...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Politics, Trends, Tech, E-commerce, Mobile Apps, Vc, Software, Wisconsin, Glassdoor, Political Campaigns, Exabyte, Amy Miller, Brian Potts, National blog main


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


WI Watchlist: Northwestern Mutual, Epic, Exact Sciences, Propeller

It’s time to catch up on notable headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:—Northwestern Mutual, the Milwaukee-based insurance and wealth management services giant, has hired Souheil Badran as chief innovation officer. Badran was previously president of the Americas region for Alipay, the online payments platform operated by Ant Financial, the Alibaba-owned fintech firm.Badran’s new role was previously held by Alexa von Tobel, the well-known fintech entrepreneur who left Northwestern Mutu...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Internet Of Things, New York, Connected Devices, Americas, Trends, Tech, It, Walgreens, Software, Healthcare, Alibaba, Wisconsin


Online Tech Expands Cloud, Data Services with Neverfail Acquisition

Online Tech, the Ann Arbor, MI-based provider of cloud services, beefed up its capabilities last month when it acquired the infrastructure-as-a-service and data protection businesses of Neverfail, an IT company located in Austin, TX. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.Online Tech CEO Brad Cheedle says his company offers managed services around cloud computing. The company’s service include assessing if a customer is cloud-ready or migrating their data to the cloud, Cheedle says. “Companie...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Entrepreneurship, Cloud Computing, Trends, Tech, It, Software, Austin, Innovation, Data Protection, Detroit, Infrastructure As A Service, Ann Arbor, National blog main, Texas 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


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


4 San Diego Startups Ring in New Year With New Venture Dollars

Heads of some local tech startups—or at least their lawyers—stayed busy over the winter holiday. Four reported raising $10 million or more within days of the New Year, according to recent filings with securities regulators.While the softening stock market may have ruined a few holiday breaks, these San Diego software companies were undoubtedly raising a glass in celebration of their successful fundraising efforts.—LeadCrunch raised about $17.5 million in two financing rounds, according to a pai...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Trends, Tech, Software, SaaS, San Diego, Financing, Target, Cbre, B2b, Enterprise Software, Matt Ellis, National blog main, San Diego blog main, San Diego top stories


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


WI Watchlist: Lame-Duck Bills, Johnson Controls, EmOpti & More

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to catch up on some recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:—Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed controversial lame-duck legislation that, among other things, limits the power of his Democratic successor, Tony Evers, who will take office in January. The legislation includes a measure that initially gives the state legislature more control over the board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC)—the quasi-public economic developmen...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Trends, Tech, It, Vc, Software, Healthcare, Wisconsin, Scott Walker, Blockchain, Life Sciences, Healthtech, Democratic


Relay Raises $400M to Kick Protein Motion Drug R&D into High Gear

The line dividing biotechnology and high tech is blurring as drug companies find new ways to apply computer advances in the hunt for new drugs. Relay Therapeutics uses these techniques to better understand a protein’s role in disease and develop a drug to address it. Cancer is Relay’s first target.The Cambridge, MA, biotech is moving forward with its plans to advance its lead cancer programs into clinical trials with an additional $400 million it raised in a Series C round of funding led by the...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Boston, Cancer, Trends, Tech, Investing, It, Software, Venture Capital, Cambridge, Machine Learning, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Alexandria Venture Investments


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


Merck Beefs Up Animal Health Unit with $2.4B Antelliq Acquisition

Merck has agreed to pay nearly $2.4 billion to acquire Antelliq Group, a privately held French company that makes devices used in monitoring and tracking animals.In addition to the cash payment, Merck (NYSE: MRK) said it will assume Antelliq’s approximately $1.3 billion debt, which it plans to repay shortly after the deal closes. After the acquisition is complete, Antelliq will operate separately within Merck’s animal health division, the company said.Merck’s Antelliq acquisition bucks the tren...
Tags: Deals, New York, Animals, Trends, Merck, It, Software, Private Equity, Tracking, Novartis, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Elanco, BC Partners, Zoetis, MRK


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


Aiera Bags $3.5M for A.I. to Help Wall Street Analysts Pick Stocks

Machine learning startups are trying to establish a deeper presence on Wall Street.The latest move comes from Aiera (pronounced like “era”), a New York- and Boston-based company that announced today it took in $3.5 million in seed funding. Flybridge Capital Partners led the investment and was joined by Macquarie Group, Innovation Endeavors, Fin Venture Capital, and WGI Group.Aiera, which stands for “artificially intelligent equity research analyst,” wants to use A.I. technologies to help active...
Tags: Amazon, Deals, Startups, Facebook, New York, Jobs, Finance, Wall Street, Boston, Trends, Tech, It, Vc, Software, Automation, Credit Suisse


Dell Sets Return to Public Market With Shareholder OK of VMware Deal

Austin—Dell Technologies is on its way to becoming a public company again. Shareholders of a stock that’s linked to Dell subsidiary VMware approved a plan for Dell to buy out the stock, allowing it to return to the public market.Dell, based in Round Rock, TX, announced Tuesday that 61 percent of the shareholders of the so-called “tracking stock” voted in favor the deal. (About 89 percent of shareholders voted.) The stock, traded as DMVT, was issued when Dell acquired storage giant EMC in 2016 f...
Tags: Deals, Texas, Hardware, Server, Ipo, Cloud Computing, Trends, Debt, Hp, Bloomberg, Shares, Computer, Software, Austin, Michael Dell, M&a


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


Wisconsin Watchlist: Gravy, Semba, Steamchain, OnCourse, GenoPalate

Time to catch up on recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:—Madison-based Gravy snagged the first investment from Rock River Capital Partners, which recently closed its debut fund. Rock River partner Andy Walker told Xconomy the venture funding round for Gravy totaled about $2 million. Other investors in the deal included MSA Capital, a Chinese firm that invests in “social e-commerce” companies, according to a press release.When Xconomy profiled Gravy last year, the company was ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Education, Trends, Tech, It, Vc, Software, Genetics, M&a, Wisconsin, Genomics, Bertelsmann, Gravy


5 Reasons to Seek Geographic Diversity in a Venture Portfolio

Silicon Valley. New York City. Boston. Call them tech hubs or startup capitals, they are drawing in our nation’s venture capital dollars. But when it comes to new investments, venture capitalists can’t be so short-sighted. The opportunities beyond these markets may be richer than many realize.In July 2018, my venture capital firm, Alumni Ventures Group (AVG), encountered an investment opportunity in RealSelf, a marketplace that features reviews of providers of medical aesthetics and cosmetic tre...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Boston, Trends, Tech, It, Vc, Software, Healthcare, M&a, AVG, Kauffman, Boston Xcon, Boulder/Denver Xcon


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


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



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