The Top 12 Boston Tech Stories of 2018

December 26, 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, we took a look at the stories that mattered this year in Boston tech—from startups to large companies. Here are some of the biggest headlines that came out during our last trip around the sun.

PillPack Acquired by Amazon

In a non-related-to-HQ2 move, the tech titan made a huge step into the drug-delivery market by entering into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Somerville-based PillPack. The “just under 1 billion” deal, which scooped Amazon competitors like Walmart and CVS, was announced at the end of June. The online pharmacy startup founded by T.J. Parker and Elliot Cohen in 2013 raised $118 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. It’s not the only Boston company that Amazon took home in 2018: in January, it acquired Sqrrl for just over $40 million. Nothing compared to other major acquisitions involving Boston companies, including Grubhub acquiring Boston-based LevelUp for $390 million and Siemens acquiringBoston software firm Mendix for over $700 million.

SoftBank Cuts a $500M Check for CMT

One of CMT’s driving maps. Photo provided.

One of the biggest funding rounds of the year for a Massachusetts company (and likely the biggest cash grab for a local tech venture this year) happened in the second half of December. The beneficiary is Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), a Kendall Square-based company with 70 employees that started from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. The company announced that it received an investment of $500 million. SoftBank’s massive $100 billion Vision Fund is led by Tokyo-based Masayoshi Son and nine other managing partners who are mostly from the world of banking. Almost half of the fund comes from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth, which has put in $45 billion.

Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan’s New Healthcare Company

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon selected Boston as headquarters for their (still unnamed) healthcare company. The trio announced in June that the company will be led by Dr. Atul Gawande, a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School. Three months later, the company hired its first COO: Jack Stoddard, a digital health specialist who instituted progressive benefit policies at Comcast.

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