Now is the winter of our hub rent bikes
Which Hubway stations will stay open for part, all of winter
DINA RUDICK/GLOBE STAFF
Hubway announced today that it will allow riders to use the system in Boston far longer than in years past, keeping several stations open through December 31, depending on weather conditions. In Cambridge, which tested the service last winter, a number of Hubway locations will remain open throughout the entire winter. Read More
Mad acquisition skillz
Pluralsight picks up Smarterer, focused on skill tests, for $75 million
Smarterer CEO Dave Balter and Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight.
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
T-shirts go big time
Teespring gets $35 million to expand its custom-printed T-shirts platform
Screenshot of a Teespring campaign
Teespring, the online custom T-shirt company headquartered in Providence, announced today that it has raised $35 million in new funding. The influx of cash will help the company to expand its efforts to produce, sell, and ship T-shirts and sweatshirts online, and enable them to expand their list of current merchandise beyond just T-shirts and sweatshirts. Read More
Beta Testing
First look: Test-riding a prototype electric bike wheel from GeoOrbital
GeoOrbital's prototype wheel, on a used Cannondale mountain bike. (Photo by Scott Kirsner / BetaBoston.)
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
Fixing things faster
Direct Tire now diagnoses your car's troubles via video
Direct Tire diagnoses cars using videos
In late October, when I started to hear a rattling-metal sound in my car's engine, I dropped off my car at the Galen Street, Watertown, branch of Direct Tire & Auto Service (where I've been a loyal customer for over three decades). But before I got the expected phone call to discuss the problems they'd found and the estimated cost, I received an e-mail message linking to a 42-second video showing the broken heat shield beneath the catalytic converter. Read More
Outsource your errands
Startup Alfred raises $2 million for urban butler service
An Alfred errand-runner brings in a customer's shoes for repair. Company-supplied photo.
Uber and Lyft made chauffeured cars accessible to non-Wall Streeters, and sites like Airbnb and Flipkey made it possible to find a sweet deal on a beachfront villa. Now Alfred, a startup born on the campus of Harvard Business School, wants to let you pay for just a fraction of a personal assistant, at $99 a month. And today, the company is announcing its first funding round: $2 million, supplied by Boston-based Spark Capital and SV Angel of San Francisco. Read More