Boston Tech Watch: .406, Circle, Haven, Shift, LinkSquares & More

March 12, 2019

The Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan-led healthcare moonshot has a name. The venture capital dollars continued to roll in for A.I. startups. The Akamai-Janrain deal was pegged at $125 million. And a local VC firm is reloading for a new fund. Read on for more of this week’s Boston technology and innovation news.

—Shift Technology, a fraud detection technology startup serving the insurance industry, raised $60 million in a new Series C funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Previous investors joining the round include Accel, General Catalyst Partners, and Iris Capital. The Paris- and Boston-based company has more than 200 employees, and about a dozen of them currently work from Shift’s Boston office. The company says it plans to add 20 to 25 more employees in Boston. The new funds bring Shift’s total amount raised to $100 million.

— Akamai paid $125 million in cash to acquire Portland, OR-based identity management startup Janrain in early January, the Cambridge-based Internet content delivery network disclosed in a regulatory filing. Janrain’s technology is expected to be incorporated into Akamai’s Intelligent Edge security platform.

—Boston-based venture capital fund .406 Ventures is looking to raise $250 million for a fourth fund and another $100 million for an opportunities fund, according to SEC filings. (The VC’s Boston-infused name comes from Ted Williams’ batting average during the 1941 baseball season.) .406 Ventures’ website says it has raised $650 million across four funds.

—Student debt employer benefits startup has raised a new $11.2 millionSeries A funding round led by Rethink Impact and joined by Breton Capital, First Data, G9 Ventures, The Impact Engine, Reach Capital, Salesforce Ventures, SixThirty, and Vulcan Capital. The startup has so far raised $15.7 million. The Boston-based company, founded in 2015 by Laurel Taylor, gives employers a platform to make contributions to its employees’ student debt payments. More than 44 million people in the U.S. hold $1.5 trillion in student loans. The weight of those liabilities have sparked interest among employers to contribute a portion of their workers’ monthly payments, facilitated by platforms like FutureFuel and fellow Boston startup Gradifi.

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