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Openbay, a Cambridge-based online marketplace for automotive repair and services, announced on Monday it closed an $8M Series A round of financing.

Shell Ventures LLC led the round with participation from existing investor Stage 1 Ventures and an undisclosed, not institutional investor. Previous investors included Andreessen Horowitz and GV (formerly known as Google Ventures).

Openbay will expand its team from the current 10 full-time employees and five consultants to “well over 30 people,” Infantino said. The bulk of the new hires – around 12 people – will be in engineering and business development, especially mobile app, iOS, Android and Ruby developers. The company will also grow its sales and marketing team.

The complete article can be viewed here.

Acreage Holdings , a Stage 1 Ventures portfolio company and one of the United States’ largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators, announced it has successfully closed its Series E funding round. The Company secured $119 million of capital and concurrently completed the rollup of control positions in several U.S. states. The proceeds raised will be used to prepare the company for its impending public listing.

“Our objective with our investors is to set the standard in terms of professionalism and competency in order to remove as much risk from cannabis investing as possible,” said George Allen, the President of Acreage Holdings. “It is a mission that will remain paramount to us as we transition from a private to a public investor base.”

The complete press release can be found on the Acreage Holdings website.

Boston-based Gravyty Technologies, the industry’s leading provider of AI-enabled fundraising software, announced today that it has successfully completed its second round of funding, raising $2 million with the leadership of Boston’s NXT Ventures and Launchpad Venture Group. The round also includes the support of John Huysmans, Stage 1 Ventures, and The Venture Capital Fund of New England. This latest round follows a breakout year in which the two-year-old company significantly grew its revenue, tripled the size of its team, and released its initial suite of AI products, including First Draft, the company’s revolutionary self-writing email product.

Co-founder and CTO Rich Palmer remarked, “Artificial intelligence—namely machine learning, deep learning, and computational linguistics—is already having a profound impact on the way organizations build relationships to support their missions. With the help of these cutting-edge, cost-effective technologies, AI-enabled products such as First Draft allow for personalization at scale, without fundraisers needing to do more work. It’s like having ten copies of yourself working toward the same goal.”

The complete press release can be found here.

Gravyty Technologies announced today the appointment of JB Rauch as its Chief Growth Officer (CGO). Adam Martel, Co-founder and CEO of Gravyty, said, “Sales of our suite of AI-enabled fundraising products, led by First Draft, have been brisk. We know, however, that as we grow, we need someone with JB’s experience and skill set to take us to the next level and we are so excited that JB is joining our team.”

Rauch comes to Gravyty with a diverse and wide-ranging background in software and fundraising. Most recently, he served as senior vice president for industry solutions at WealthEngine, the leader in nonprofit wealth intelligence services, where he helped to secure and support customers and build alliances with nonprofit technology partners and service providers. He has held executive roles at both technology startups and larger organizations, including leading regional sales operations at CA Technologies and Xerox Corporation. Rauch also led the development effort at the Urban Land Institute, where he built and managed fundraising programs.

Additional information can be found in the press release.

ViralGains, the industry’s only digital video advertising journey platform, today announced the appointment of Mark Connon to its Board of Directors. Connon, who has long been regarded as one of the brightest minds in marketing and advertising, will be a key voice as ViralGains positions itself to take the next step in its mission to better predict and drive business outcomes through video advertising using deep consumer insights.

Previously, Connon was Senior Vice President, Global Chief Mobile and Data Officer at AOL, a subsidiary of Verizon now known as Oath, where he was responsible for leading mobile and data strategy within the advertising group as well as data commercialization across the enterprise. He also served as Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Nexage, and as Executive Vice President of Platform Business at Millennial Media. During his tenure at Nexage, Connon helped to bring OpenRTB Mobile to market, which is now an industry standard in advertising.

Additional information can be found in the press release on the ViralGains website.

Baron Ziegler, CEO of Banshee Wines, announced today the creation of a strategic partnership with Foley Family Wines.

This partnership leverages the strengths of both organizations – Banshee, a boutique producer of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and Foley Family Wines, the owner of extensive premium vineyard holdings and estate wineries.

Ziegler says, “The partnership of our two companies will provide Banshee access to grapes from premium FFW vineyards located in the best growing regions along the California coast, while also providing Banshee access to Foley Family Wine’s vast network of sales and distribution.”

Foley Family Wines’ President Hugh Reimers remarked, “Banshee Wines and RICKSHAW Wines have been hugely successful ventures that we’re proud to partner with. We look forward to working very closely with Baron and his winemaking team to help expand their successful business model. Their fresh, on-trend labels and unique approach to premium winemaking is something we’re excited to showcase in the Foley Family Wines portfolio.”

Additional information can be found in the PR Newswire press release.

Jon Gordon, partner at Stage1Ventures, was featured in a cover story in the Feb 2 edition of Tampa Bay Business Journal. The article, entitled “Tech Pioneer steps our of the shadows to grow Tampa’s young startups” detailed out Jons soon to be launched $10 Million Seed fund.  WaVE, a non profit organization that services and houses growing startups will focus on early stage startups in the Tampa Bay area.  Additional information can be found in the article.

Mobee announced today that it has merged with with Quad Analytix, a company based in San Mateo, Calif., into an entity with a new name, Wiser Solutions. The deal combines Mobee’s crowdsourcing abilities to gather information on brands in brick-and-mortar stores with Quad’s ability to track pricing and other information for brands across hundreds of ecommerce websites.

Additional information can be found in the BostInno article.

Marxent, a Stage 1 Ventures portfolio company, was named in Entrepreneurs 2017 Top Company Cultures article.  Marxent ranked 8th in the medium sized companies category. The list recognizes businesses that have successfully instilled a high-performance culture in their workplace. The complete article can be found here.

Mobee, a Stage 1 Ventures portfolio company, teamed up with npd to develop an in-store “health check” of GoPro displays at retail establishments.  Using the MobeeApp, this program was able to track the degree of non-compliance in specific stores and coorelate the data with sell through rates. The result: a 40+ MM revenue opportunity was uncovered.  Additional information can be found on the npd website.

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