New Hub Startups

"Harvard Square"
I've been seeing signs of life in the Boston startup market lately and decided try to prove or disprove my observations with some data.  I collected information on series A round investments (which should be a good startup barometer) with the expectation the data would show an increase in new startups over this period last year.  Unfortunately, my data didn't back my observations.  While the overall Massachusetts economy is growing at a healthy rate (6.4%), and high tech is on the rebound, it appears as though investments in new startups are still in remission.

Twelve companies received a series A venture investment in the last 90 days in the Boston area. They include companies from diverse industries, including internet, mobile, storage, wireless, energy, transportation, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical instruments, and semiconductors. The average investment was $6.7M, skewed slightly by the $24M series A for the biotechnology company Eurymics Bioscience. The most active venture firm across these deals was North Bridge, which led or participated in four deals: 24M, ActFio, Healthrageous, and SynapDx.

The level of summer investment is comparable to last summer (13), but lower than the summer of 2008 (20) and 2007 (19). The Silicon Valley by comparison had 22 companies receive series A venture investment in the last 90 days (83% more than Boston; sigh).

At the same time, the total investment in the New England is substantially up (+65%) the first two quarters of this year in comparison to the same period in 2009, suggesting substantial growth in later stage investments.

So while the Boston area is definitely showing substantial growth in an otherwise anemic national economy, it looks like local investments in new startups have not yet recovered.

Companies Receiving Series A Investment (July-August):

  • SaveWave ($2.3M, 8/19): platform to enable consumer packaged goods brands and retailers to promote their products and services to consumers
  • Next Step Living ($2.6M, 8/17): residential energy efficiency company providing home energy diagnostics and improvements to New England
  • 24M Technologies ($10M, 8.16): scalable cost-effective, high-energy storage systems for emerging market
  • MedNetworks ($5M, 8/9): map, analyze and activate social networks across a broad range of constituencies
  • SilverRail Technologies ($9M, 8/3): technical solutions that help railways and travel distributors connect
  • Eurymics Bioscience ($24M, 7/22): developing next-generation treatments for depression
  • ActFio ($4M, 7/20): delivering a paradigm shift in the complexity and cost of IT storage ecosystem
  • Azuki Systems ($3M, 7/9): leading the charge into a new era of mobile innovation and user experiences
  • Visterra ($6M, 7/9): innovative products for the prevention, treatment and diagnosis of infectious diseases
  • MC10 ($0.3M, 7/6): stretchable silicon technology
  • Healthrageous ($6M, 6/9): give people personalized advice to help them reach health goals
  • SynapDx ($9M, 6/1): blood-based diagnostic tests for the early detection of autism