Tech Roundup: S&P Global buys Kensho for $550M, Fasten closes Boston operations, and more

Justine Hofherr
March 8, 2018
Photo via Shutterstock

S&P Global buys AI startup Kensho for $550M

S&P Global, a provider of independent ratings, analytics and data to the stock market, announced this week that it will buy Cambridge-based artificial intelligence and analytics company Kensho for roughly $550 million in cash and shares. Founded at Harvard University in 2013, Kensho offers its next-generation machine learning systems to investment firms, Wall Street Banks and national security agencies. Kensho will continue to operate independently and remain a distinct brand. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, but is expected to close late in the first quarter of this year or early second quarter. [Press Release]


Photo via WHOOP

WHOOP raises $25M to help elite athletes train smarter

Boston-based startup WHOOP raised a $25 million Series C round this week, led by UAE71 Capital with participation from the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), Durant Company, Thursday Ventures and existing investors. WHOOP creates lightweight, waterproof bands that can track an athlete’s sleep, recovery and strain, providing a continuous understanding of their body to help reduce injuries and predict performance. According to a press release, the financing will go toward accelerating WHOOP’s international expansion and growing its elite and consumer markets. [Built In Boston]


Photo via Fasten


Fasten is shutting down U.S. operations

Fasten, a Boston-based ridesharing service that launched in 2015, is shutting down its U.S. operations in Boston and Austin, Texas. The company announced that it is getting acquired by Vezet Group, a company formed last year through the merger of two of Russia's premier ride-hailing companies. Vezet will continue to use the Fasten brand in some Russian cities, but all of Fasten’s U.S. employees will be laid off. The startup, which has raised over $15 million to date, had 30 Boston area employees as of December. [WBUR]


Photo via Lola


KAYAK veteran launches Lola Works to help companies manage business travel

Boston-based Kayak co-founder Paul English announced the launch of Lola Works this week, a “simple” travel platform for small to medium-sized businesses that need help forming travel policies that are flexible and cost-effective. The goal of Lola Works is to help employers make smarter decisions about booking and controlling spend for their employees who are often on the road. Using the platform, employers can set up an account in just a few minutes and create controls for hotel and flight costs. Then, they invite members of their team to join. This announcement comes on the heels of Lola’s launch of “Lola 2.0,” described as the “ultimate” app for business travelers, which debuted in October 2017. [Medium]


Photo via Centage

Centage taps new CPO

Centage, a Natick based provider of budgeting and planning software, announced this week that Ed Gromann has joined its executive team as chief product officer (CPO). In his new role, Gromann will be in charge of developing a product vision and roadmap to drive value to the Centage client base. Gromann will lead market, customer and competitive analysis, as well as focus on product enhancements. Gromann comes to Centage with more than 30 years’ experience in the tech industry, working in management positions at software companies like Applix, Cognos, IBM and Tableau Software. Prior to joining Centage, he served as President for Jedox’s American subsidiary. [Press Release]

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