The mission of Hi from the Other Side, a Harvard Business School startup, is to pair nice people across the political divide to talk like neighbors and create a healthy common understanding on key issues. The company announced this week that it’s teaming up with Starbucks for a limited time to match up liberals and conservatives to discuss American politics over free coffee. Users can sign up for the app via Facebook and are then paired with someone nearby who identifies with the opposing political party. Each user then receives half of the information necessary to unlock a Starbucks gift card so they must meet to receive a complimentary cup of coffee. Here’s what else happened in the Boston startup community this week:
DataRobot, an artificial intelligence company, raised a $54 million Series C round of funding from New Enterprise Associates, bringing its total investment to $111 million. The company aims to automate the process of creating machine learning models so companies can make better use of their data. The company has sold its software to both large enterprises and smaller startups for about 18 months.
Cambridge-based online car shopping platform, CarGurus, enlisted Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co this week, fueling rumors the company plans to file for an initial public offering this year. A report from Reuters, citing people close to CarGurus, said “the company aims to go public in the fourth quarter of this year at a valuation of more than $1 billion.” CarGurus declined to comment on the record.
The Carbonite Charitable Fund will partner with The Boston Foundation to focus on closing the technology skills gap in Boston. The company plans to develop the program over the next four years. “Carbonite depends on a highly skilled workforce to remain competitive and serve our customers,” said Carbonite CEOMohamad Aliin a statement. “We’ve experienced firsthand the tech talent gap caused by unequal access to education, and we are committed to reversing this trend. We are honored to give back to the community and play our part in creating new opportunities for everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from.”
Real estate marketing software provider Placester raised a $50 million Series D round led by existing investors New Enterprise Associates, bringing total funding to $100 million. According to its announcement this week, the company has seen more than 300 percent year-over-year revenue growth for the last three years.
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