According to a recently published report from Thomson Reuters, New England saw 119 venture capital deals in the first three months of 2016, representing $1.56 billion in investments. That’s up by 120 deals, worth a total of $1.37 billion, from the corresponding period in 2015. The majority of the investments were made in biotech companies, with Fuze Inc. landing the top deal with $112 million. Tom Ciccolella, U.S. venture capital market leader at PwC, said:
The first quarter appears to tell us that investors still have faith in the venture ecosystem. However, the increase in expansion and later stage financing, combined with the drop in first-time financing, suggests a shift towards relatively mature startups.
Below is a recap of this week’s other trending conversations and news from Boston’s startup ecosystem.
The Massachusetts economy is projected to add more than 1,000 software development jobs annually through 2022, making it the most abundant job category for college graduates behind accountants, auditors and management analysts. To help students develop coding skills quickly, Root, a six-sided robot-on-wheels, made its debut on Monday.
According to BetaBoston, Root is smaller than Roomba, but looks and glides similarly to the vacuuming bot – it’s small and low to the ground, with a center hole for a dry-erase marker, and its magnetic wheels drive determinedly across classroom whiteboards. The bot communicates via a Bluetooth connection with native software loaded onto a tablet, and can be used by students of any age or coding skill level. Root’s software developer, Julián da Silva, says the app will eventually have three levels that become increasingly complex as students begin learning to code, with the final level teaching students to write text-based code.
San Francisco may be home to Uber and Lyft, but Boston is a hub for many emerging tech companies changing the face of transportation. In the last few years, a number of new ventures have cropped up in the Boston area, including some that are working to make transportation more equitable and safe.
Executives from GE Ventures hosted an informational discussion at District Hall's monthly Café Nights event, focusing on six things Boston startups should know about the firm. The venture division currently boasts more than 80 portfolio companies, several of which are headquartered in the Boston area, and which include Boston-based online freelancer marketplace HourlyNerd, robotics firm Rethink Robotics and healthcare company Iora Health.
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