Tech roundup: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos spotted in Cambridge, Freebird raises $8M, and more

by Justine Hofherr
November 1, 2018
photo via shutterstock

What was Jeff Bezos doing in Cambridge this weekend?

Kendall Square is known for great food, but something tells us that wasn’t the only reason Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was spotted dining there over the weekend. Wearing the classic tech founder uniform of jeans, sneakers and a black hoodie, Bezos and his family ate at Sumiao Hunan Kitchen — an upscale Chinese-inspired restaurant. (Bezos got the crispy fried duck.) With the question of where Amazon will plant its HQ2 still up in the air, we can’t help but wonder if Bezos was scoping out our digs. [The Boston Globe]


photo via freebird

Traveltech startup Freebird raises $8M

Freebird wants to improve the travel experience, and with a fresh $8 million Series A under its belt, it’s one step closer to delivering on that goal. The investment, led by American Express Ventures, will allow the company to accelerate the growth of its core products, including a mobile flight re-booking service for corporate travel. The startup will also pursue new channel opportunities. The funding comes on the heels of a significant year for Freebird; over the last 18 months, the startup has added over 100 corporate clients and 10 corporate travel agency partners. [Boston Business Journal]


photo via shutterstock

Mavrck reels in $5.8M to help influencers

Just a few years ago, the term "influencer" might have been met with a confused look. But not anymore: influencers probably dominate a solid portion of your Instagram feed, recommending places to shop, foods to eat and hotels to stay at on luxury trips to Finland. Influencer marketing platform Mavrck raised $5.8 million in funding this week from GrandBanks Capital and Kepha Partners to drive the influencer industry forward. Mavrck currently works with brands like Godiva and PepsiCo to help them automate marketing strategies and measure their progress. [TechCrunch]


photo via shutterstock

Zylotech secures $5.5M to advance AI-driven marketing

MIT spinout Zylotech is growing quickly. The startup, which offers AI-driven customer analytics for marketers, secured a $5.5 million investment on Tuesday to build out its sales and marketing teams, as well as focus on product development. Early-stage venture capital firm Glasswing Ventures led the round, with participation from Geekdom, Revel Partners and Rubicon Ventures. The company currently employs 18 people and is hiring for numerous positions across sales, marketing and engineering. [Built In Boston]


photo via datarobot

DataRobot secures $100M for data science tools

Big data equals bigger money. DataRobot, a machine learning platform that allows data scientists of all skill levels to build and deploy accurate predictive models more quickly, raised a whopping $100 million Series D round led by Meritech and Sapphire Ventures. This investment, which brings DataRobot’s total funding to $225 million, will be used to meet the growing demand for its data science tools and to expand its product portfolio. DataRobot currently employs 150 people at its Boston headquarters. [Built In Boston]


photo via smartbear

SmartBear launches new dev-friendly product

Local startup SmartBear has unveiled a new load-testing tool for web applications called LoadNinja. The new cloud-based platform will reportedly help tech teams easily incorporate load testing in Agile and DevOps environments, freeing up time for developers to build more cool apps. [SD Times]

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