Xconomy Report: Let the Robot Reach the Top Shelf

By Xconomy.com

Mar. 23, 2012

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — In the Boston tech scene’s biggest deal of the first quarter, Kiva Systems of North Reading is being acquired by Amazon.com for $775 million in cash. Kiva makes wheeled robots and software to move shelves and packages around in warehouses more efficiently. The deal is a strong return for Kiva’s investors, and it makes sense for Seattle-based Amazon, which is expanding its distribution centers around the country. The e-retail giant, which is also setting up an office in Cambridge, says it will keep Kiva’s headquarters in the Boston area.
In venture capital news, Boston-based OpenView Venture Partners announced the close of its third investment fund at a higher-than-planned $200 million. The local VC fundraising scene is heating up lately, with General Catalyst and Summit Partners also raising big new funds
And a new report shows that life sciences companies that secured funding last year were worth on average 10 percent more per share than in previous financing rounds. But that’s sluggish growth compared to what software, hardware, Internet, and digital media companies saw. The report confirms what’s been a lukewarm picture for life sciences financing, with many VCs slowing down their activity in the sector.  

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The weekly roundup of business, technology and life science news from our partners at Xconomy.com airs every Friday on 89.7 Boston Public Radio.

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