Boston's new investing obsession: car startups

February 4, 2017

The auto industry is the midst of disruption – electric cars, driverless technology and ride-hailing apps – and venture capitalists are obsessed with the possibilities. According to research firm CB Insights, venture funding for auto-tech startups topped $1 billion in 2016. Yesterday, ClearMotion, a Boston-based startup that makes an alternative to shock absorbers, raised $100 million in its Series C round. The startup hopes to set itself apart with software that controls the vehicle’s actuators, helping to quickly identify and react to road conditions like speed bumps and potholes and improve vehicle suspension systems.

Here’s what else happened in the Boston startup community this week:

Fortune: Exclusive: Christopher Lynch Leaving Boston VC Firm Accomplice

Christopher Lynch is leaving his role as general partner of the venture firm Accomplice. Lynch plans to use his profile, brand and experience to raise money and awareness for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a pediatric cancer charity. Lynch will continue to be involved with Accomplice and will keep his Boston-based board seats with DataRobot, Threat Stack, Sqrrl, Nutonian and Recorded Future.

Boston Globe: App-management startup Apperian acquired

After raising about $40 million in venture investment since its founding in 2009, startup Apperian has been acquired by the San Francisco app security company Arxan Technologies for an undisclosed price. Arxan says that Apperian will continue to offer its services and to operate as an autonomous group.

Boston Globe: Women are, very slowly, getting more seats in the board room

According to a study by Equilar, a corporate research firm, 15 percent of all director seats at publicly traded U.S. companies were held by women as of Dec. 31, up 14 percent from the previous year. The trend toward more equal representation on boards is happening, but the research finds parity won’t happen until 2055, unless the pace accelerates.

Boston Globe: Funding via the crowd is now a reality for businesses

After being refused a loan by the bank for the expansion he felt he was ready for and being unable to find an angel investor, the micro brewer and owner of Hopster's Lee Cooper turned to the crowd. Within two months Cooper crowdfunded about $1.2 million, making it one of four companies to raise $1 million or more during the inaugural year on Wefunder.

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