Dennis Keohane

Dennis Keohane, Senior Staff Writer

Uber, Aereo, and everything in between

Although there were quite a few funding announcements this week, all the buzz in tech revolved around the drama involving Uber, BuzzFeed, and Pandodaily, and the bankruptcy filing by Aereo.

Which is kind of a shame because there was a lot of great news this week featuring Boston-area and New England companies. Providence's TeeSpring had a huge funding round, as did InsightSquared, gaming company Disruptor Beam, Dispatch, and Alfred. Smarterer was acquired by Pluralsight, MIT got $15 million from the Hewlett family foundation, and Mayor Walsh, Unpitch, and Startup Institute were also all in the news for doing cool things this week.

Swipely lets restaurants manage their businesses more efficiently/ Screenshot via Swipely

Rhode Island's Pillar Company

Swipely reaches $4 billion under management. Is it the fastest growing New England tech company?


Providence-based Swipely, a maker of payments systems software and small business analytics and marketing tools, announced some of its growth numbers this morning, and they are quite impressive for the five-year-old company. Read More

Fidelity's StockCity lets users navigate their stock portfolio.

Virtual Investing

Fidelity launches ‘StockCity’ to lure millennials


For some investors, pie charts and graphs are all that’s needed to navigate their way through their portfolios. But in an attempt to lure millennials and reorient their views of the stock market, Fidelity Investments’ innovation team on Wednesday launched a program that uses video game technology to help investors understand their holdings. Read More

Image from Game of Thrones Ascent - The Long Night from Disruptor Beam

Boldly going where no company has gone before...

With new funding, gaming company Disruptor Beam sees potential to reach far away galaxies


Disruptor Beam, the Framingham-based company that gives the large fan communities of sci-fi franchises an immersive gaming experience, announced today that it has secured $3.2 million in new funding. Read More

Smarterer CEO Dave Balter and Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight.

Mad acquisition skillz

Pluralsight picks up Smarterer, focused on skill tests, for $75 million

Innovation Economy

You never know which meeting is going to lead to something worthwhile... Dave Balter, founder and CEO of the online skills testing site Smarterer, was at an edtech conference in Phoenix in April. Balter had about three dozen meetings scheduled over the course of the event, but other people at the conference kept telling him he should meet the CEO of Utah-based Pluralsight, which serves up online training in the tech and creative industries. Balter sent him a quick e-mail "and we squeezed in ten minutes before everyone went to the airport," he says. A few months later, Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard flew to Boston "and we began active merger discussions," Balter says. Read More

GeoOrbital's prototype wheel, on a used Cannondale mountain bike. (Photo by Scott Kirsner / BetaBoston.)

Beta Testing

First look: Test-riding a prototype electric bike wheel from GeoOrbital

Innovation Economy

Having just written about some Boston-area bike startups rethinking what the bike can be, I was excited to get a first look at a new electric wheel from GeoOrbital, a Cambridge startup. The company's premise is that millions of people don't ride their bikes very much, but they might if they could install an affordable accessory — like GeoOrbital's sub-$500 wheel — to give them extra range and keep sweat stains in check. Read More


Uber Idiocy

Uber getting heat for exec’s talk about targeting journalists’ private lives

Sarah Lacy

Buzzfeed released a scathing story on Monday evening detailing a conversation with Uber's Senior Vice President Emil Michael in which he proposed that the company might hire opposition researchers to discredit journalists who opposed their business practices. Read More

CVS store

Tapping tech talent in Boston

Pharmacy giant CVS Health will open digital innovation lab in Boston

Innovation Economy

Rhode Island-based CVS Health, operator of Minute Clinics and the country's second-biggest drugstore chain, is planning to open a technology development center in Boston this winter. Chief Digital Officer Brian Tilzer tells me that the CVS Health Digital Innovation Lab will fit about 100 people — some of whom will move from CVS HQ in Woonsocket, and some of whom will be new hires. "We may not hire all 100 next year, but we're going to hire a lot," Tilzer says. The lab's focus will be on "building customer-centric experiences in health care." Read More

Image via Shutterstock

Intelligent Biz Investment

InsightSquared gets $13.5 million to continue growing its business intelligence platform


There is an arms race going on in the business world similar to that in the sports world. Everyone wants to be bigger, faster, and stronger in terms of operations, technology, sales and marketing, and revenue. The key to it all is speed. And in business, that doesn't mean being able to run a 40-yard-dash in 4.15 seconds. It means having access to information fast, and, maybe most important, accurately. Read More

Twine Health co-founders, John Moore (right) and Frank Moss, at the MIT Media Lab. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe)

Doctors orders

High blood pressure? There’s an app for that


Among the ills of the American health care system is the disconnect between patients and their doctors. John Moore has an app for that. Moore is cofounder of Twine Health, which is making a mobile app to improve communication between doctors and patients and nudge the sick to more closely follow their treatment plans. Read More


not too hot not too cold

This self-powered boiler can help you survive New England winters


When the next cold snap cuts downs power lines and leaves New Englanders disconnected from the grid, a quarter-sized device could help them tap their boilers for electricity. The same technology—a precise combination of materials sandwiched together—is poised to impact larger markets, and make cars and heavy industries more energy-efficient.  Read More