Q1 - 2010: A Step in the Right Direction

Posted by Keith Cline on Tue, May 4, 2010

Keith Cline, VentureFizzI was honored and humbled to be asked by MITX to contribute a quarterly blog post that recaps some of the trending activity happening in Boston's tech community.  So, each quarter we will review the following:

1.  Top Deals  
2.  Company Buzz Watch  
3.  Job Trends

After two very long years, Q1 was finally a major breath of fresh air.  As suggested by the title of this post: A Step in the Right Direction, there is a lot of optimism and momentum in the air (thankfully).  So, let's get to it:

Top Deals
2010 kicked off into high gear with two major acquisitions: Apple's acquisition of Quattro Wireless ($275M) and Time, Inc.'s acquisition of StyleFeeder (undisclosed amount).

According to the Deals section on VentureFizz, 52 companies received funding.  Here are some highlights:  Carbonite ($20M), Veracode ($12.3M), BuyWithMe.com ($5.5M), Pursway ($6M), Performable ($3M), Swaptree ($4.8M), Desktone ($5.4M), EveryScape ($6M), oneforty ($1.85M), DataXu ($11M), Unidesk ($12M), Akorri ($10.1M).

Company Buzz Watch
HubSpot - after raising $16M in funding towards the end of last year, HubSpot is very high on the buzz list.  This inbound marketing software company is helping companies of all sizes understand and benefit from the new rules of marketing.  HubSpot has almost 140 employees and has grown 172% in headcount over the past year.  Simply awesome!  Check out the book from HubSpot's Co-Founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, called Inbound Marketing.

Communispace - led by Diane Hessan, Communispace is a rapidly growing company focused on helping major brands generate feedback and customer insights via online communities.  They have a very impressive list of clients: Hallmark, Pepsi, Kraft, The Home Depot, Hasbro, etc.  Per a recent NYTimes.com article, Communispace has 260 employees - of which, 60 were hired last year and they have plans to add 80 more this year. 

oneforty - founded by Laura Fitton (@pistachio), oneforty has been making a lot of noise in the Twitterverse with their Twitter App Store.  They were a graduate of last year's TechStars Boston program and announced their Series A round of funding earlier this year. 

Job Trends
The overall job market in Boston's tech sector is very active.  Most companies are hiring again.  There is a significant amount of demand for technical talent (software engineers & web developers) at all levels.  Expertise in consumer web, customer acquisition, and product marketing are also in high demand. 

On the VentureFizz Job Board, there were over 118 jobs posted from a wide range of companies:  pre-funded / seed stage startups (ex: Sparkcloud), VC backed companies (ex: Viximo), later stage companies (ex: Endeca), and publicly traded companies (ex: Akamai).  Thus, another indicator that the job market is very healthy for companies both large and small.

Early indicators for Q2 are just as positive!  Thanks for reading.

VentureFizzKeith Cline is the Founder of VentureFizz, a destination website focused on the Boston tech and entrepreneurial community.  He also manages a recruiting firm called Dissero, which primarily works with VC backed technology companies.