Little Leaf Farms Pulled in $300M, Zoovu Got $169M, and More Boston Tech News

Read on to catch up on the latest Boston tech news.
Written by Cassidy Ritter
June 20, 2022Updated: June 20, 2022
Little Leaf Farms lettuce
Photo: Little Leaf Farms

Multi-million dollar funding rounds were the name of the game in Boston last week. Two local companies also reached the coveted unicorn status with a valuation of at least $1 billion. Read the Built In Boston Weekly Refresh to catch up on the latest local tech news.

Little Leaf Farms pulled in $300M. The Devens, Massachusetts-based company has developed greenhouse technology to grow lettuce year-round with a hands-free farming process. Little Leaf’s latest funding round comes as equity financing from The Rise Fund and debt funding from Bank of America. The fresh capital will be used to build a greenhouse in Pennsylvania as part of the company’s expansion plans to make its lettuce accessible to more than half of the U.S. by 2026. Little Leaf’s CEO Paul Sellew also said funds will go toward hiring 90 people by the end of the year. [Built In Boston]

Zoovu got $169M. Zoovu is an AI-driven conversational search platform used by more than 2,5000 e-commerce brands. It also offers insights into trends, buyer behavior and product performance. Zoovu customers like DirecTV use the platform to put together internet and cable bundles while Nespresso uses the platform as an assistant that helps shoppers find products. The latest $169 million raise was led by FTV Capital and will be used to build out Zoovu’s go-to-market strategy and increase product development. [TechCrunch]

Vendr raised $150M Series B. Newly minted tech unicorn Vendr is now valued at $1 billion after its latest funding raise, according to Bloomberg. The SaaS buying platform helps businesses quickly purchase cost-effective software. Backed with funds from Craft Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Tiger Global and Y Combinator, Vendr plans to speed up the development of its platform. [Built In Boston]

Boston Tech Quote of the Week

“We’re building an omnichannel experience that makes it possible for creators to reach fans wherever they exist. Our proprietary fan engagement score makes it easy for creators to generate rich, first-party fan data that creators can own and leverage to build more meaningful relationships and further drive revenue.” — Simran Pabla, Rivet’s co-founder and product lead

Rivet was featured as a Built In Future 5 startup. After struggling to convert an audience into a consistent fanbase, artist Anj Fayemi sought to find a solution. Fayemi and Simran Pabla teamed up to build Rivet, an audience engagement platform for creators. The Boston-based startup allows creators to engage and manage their fanbase by sending newsletters, selling merchandise and learning about their fans all on the Rivet platform. With a current team of five, the startup expects to double in size over the next year. [Built In Boston]

AirSlate became a tech unicorn. After raising $51.5 million from G Squared and UiPath, airSlate reached a $1.25 billion valuation. Boston-based airSlate’s portfolio includes companies like signNow and pdfFiller which make it easier to sign virtual documents. The tech unicorn plans to hire 400 employees across the U.S., Ukraine, Poland and other countries with its latest capital raise. [Built In Boston]

Opendoor launched in Boston. The digital end-to-end platform aims to make buying and selling a home faster and easier. Opendoor launched in three additional markets and now serves over 51 cities, including newly added Boston, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Cincinnati, Ohio. San Francisco-based Opendoor is also actively hiring for nearly 150 positions, most of which are remote. [Opendoor]

Drift hired a new CEO. Scott Ernst now serves as the company’s CEO. Ernst comes from Macromill and Tubular Labs and will lead the sales software company through its next growth phase. Drift co-founder and former CEO David Cancel will serve as the company’s executive chairman. In addition to this news, Drift is hiring for 11 roles spanning its engineering, sales and operations teams. [Boston Inno]

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