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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


What’s Your Emergency? Law Enforcement’s Increasing Interest in Tech

Fort Worth, TX—Data analytics and visual search technologies are increasingly being used by law enforcement agencies, growth that has captured the attention of tech giant Motorola.The Chicago-based tech company, which has long sold narrow-band radios to law enforcement, has been building its arsenal of software and camera technologies through a series of acquisitions. The latest by Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) was a $445 million purchase last week of Vaas, a Fort Worth, TX-based maker of imag...
Tags: Startups, Mobile, Motorola, Apps, 911, Police, Trends, Tech, Analytics, People, Cybersecurity, Law Enforcement, Broadband, Software, Chicago, South Africa


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


A VC’s Take: Global Volatility Hurts U.S. Venture Ecosystem

As Xconomy’s editors looked back at the year just passed, we asked technology leaders to comment on the trends they’d observed in 2018, and the developments they expected in 2019. Some leaders responded with their views on the business impact of the Trump era, pointing to specific policy positions such as tax code revisions, curbs on immigration, and the decision by federal regulators to roll back net neutrality requirements on telecom carriers.Alex Niehenke, a partner at Foster City, CA-based ...
Tags: Startups, Mobile, Hardware, Net Neutrality, Internet, Entrepreneurship, China, Russia, Funding, Immigration, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Investment, Eu, Web


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


Uncertainty Grows for Biotech as Government, FDA Shutdown Drags On

The partial government shutdown could soon become the longest shutdown in history, and biotech firms that have submitted regulatory filings are facing greater uncertainty about their future plans. More than 40 percent of FDA workers and thousands at the SEC are furloughed, and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is resorting to Twitter to post updates about how his agency is using its fast-dwindling funds. Here’s a roundup of how the partial government shutdown is affecting the FDA.On Tuesday, Gott...
Tags: Startups, Ipo, Trends, SEC, Fda, National, Biotech, Government Shutdown, Shutdown, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, NDA, Gottlieb, Scott Gottlieb, National blog main, New York blog main


FAANG, Public Trust, Valuations, in 2019: The Read from Menlo Ventures

The market caps of some of the most successful tech titans reach as high as $1 trillion. Yet in 2018, perceptions about these dominant companies often reflected uneasiness and doubt—and for some, so did their stock performance.Maybe the mood shift has to do with the fact that the public and government leaders no longer evaluate these tech giants based solely on their spectacular market growth and multi-billion-dollar valuations, but also on the effects of their products, which are woven into al...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Startups, Facebook, Uber, Microsoft, Privacy, Entrepreneurship, Ipo, Russia, Funding, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Vc


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


The Power Combo of A.I. Devices with Cloudlets Comes with Cyber Risks

When we have a chance to view it from a distance, the year 2018 may be seen as a period when innovations in a number of technological fields came together to transform not only the future of computing, but also the very structure of the Internet.First, entrepreneurs vying to invent self-driving vehicles, virtual assistants, and intelligent industrial machines created a hunger for more powerful semiconductors that could enable scattered devices to take over sophisticated calculations powered by ...
Tags: Startups, Mobile, Cloud, Hardware, Internet, Entrepreneurship, Funding, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Web, It, Cybersecurity, Ransomware, Vc, Software


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


From Immigration to Taxes, Execs Talk Trump Effect on Innovation

When it comes to developing and promoting innovation, external factors beyond the control of company founders, investors, and other business leaders can also determine whether a startup succeeds or fails.In 2018, geopolitical events—in particular, President Donald Trump’s hard-line stances on trade and immigration, and the repeal of net neutrality rules—were top of mind for several business executives we interviewed recently. They shared their thoughts via e-mail with me, Xconomy’s national cor...
Tags: Startups, Mobile, Politics, Net Neutrality, Internet, Washington, China, Funding, Immigration, Trends, Tech, Investment, Tax, Web, People, Software


Bio Roundup: $74B for Celgene, Two CAR-T Tales, Ready for SF & More

In 2018, my Exome colleagues and I published hundreds of stories about health, medicine, the biopharma industry, government policy, and more. You’ll find a few of our favorite stories in this review of some of the year’s best from across the Xconomy network. Topics ranged from the worries over CRISPR genome editing and Wild West biohacking, to Nobel Prize-fueled drug approvals and the headaches around drug prices (even for drugs meant to cure headaches).What will make our Best of 2019 list? You...
Tags: Ipo, Trends, CMO, Merck, Ceo, Vc, Lung Cancer, Fundraising, Venture Capital, M&a, Private Equity, Fda, National, Manufacturing, Immunotherapy, Abbvie


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


LÜM’s Music Discovery App Aims to Help Emerging Artists Find Fans

The music streaming wars are far from over. While big players like Spotify, Apple, and Amazon fight to make their music apps the go-to option for listening to the latest hit tracks from well-known artists such as Beyoncé, Drake, and Mumford & Sons, young startups still see room in the market for new services to help people discover and share music.Like with any consumer tech product, the question is whether these upstarts have what it takes to build a loyal following—and a sustainable business—...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Spotify, Music, Trends, Tech, Vc, Music Streaming, Tencent, Wisconsin, Streaming, Twitch, Soundcloud


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


New Year to Bring New Data Security Threats, Cyber Investor Warns

Bob Ackerman is one of the venture capitalists whose funding has long fed the growth of the burgeoning cybersecurity industry. So, you might imagine that his outlook on data protection for 2019 would be more optimistic than in past years, because businesses now take advantage of a broad choice of security services to protect themselves.Ackerman (pictured) is founder and managing director of San Francisco-based VC firm AllegisCyber, and co-founder of Fulton, MD-based DataTribe, which helps launc...
Tags: Startups, Mobile, Facebook, Hardware, Internet, Entrepreneurship, China, Russia, Funding, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Web, It, Malware, Cybersecurity


Copps: Key Ingredient As A.I. Permeates Daily Life is Building Trust

The promise, and pitfalls, of artificial intelligence became more apparent in the last year, and for Dave Copps, founder of A.I. companies such as Brainspace and Hypergiant Sensory Sciences, the pace of adoption will only accelerate in 2019.What can help to smooth the transition to our new machine learning-enabled future is an effort on the part of technologists to build trust between ourselves and these tools. One way to build that trust is efforts like Tim Berners-Lee’s “Contract for the Web,...
Tags: Startups, Texas, Cortana, Trends, Siri, Tech, People, Software, Innovation, Machine Learning, Dallas, Tim Berners Lee, Alexa, Exabyte, National blog main, New York blog main


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