Tech roundup: Self-driving grocery stores, seed funding for 3D printing startup, and more

by Justine Hofherr
January 17, 2019
stop & shop
photo via stop & shop

Self-driving grocery stores? They’re coming to Boston this spring

Stop & Shop announced this week that its on-demand, self-driving grocery stores will launch in Greater Boston in spring 2019. Soon, driverless vehicles will bring a selection of Stop & Shop produce, meal kits and convenience items directly to consumers, so they can shop right at their doorsteps. The new initiative is part of a deal with San Francisco-based startup Robomart, which is supplying the driverless vehicles that can be summoned with a few taps of an app. When customers are finished shopping, they simply close the doors of the vehicle and send it away. The cars use computer vision technology to automatically record what customers select and provide a checkout-free experience. Your receipt appears in your email seconds later. This is the future, people. [Press Release]


photo via fortify

3D printing startup Fortify secures $2.5M in seed funding

Boston-based 3D printing startup Fortify announced a seed funding round of $2.5 million this week from Neotribe Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Mainspring Capital, Ocean Azul Partners and McCune Capital. Fortify works with engineering teams to bring their new products to market using their patented ‘Fluxprint’ technology, a process that combines magnetics and digital light processing 3D printing. According to Fortify CEO Josh Martin, this process produces composite parts with ideal mechanical properties at a fraction of the price of traditional manufacturing methods. Looking to 2019, Martin said the company is seeking an additional round of $8 million in Series A funding while moving into the beta launch of their system. [Press release]


owl labs
photo via owl labs

Owl Labs welcomes former CarGurus exec as new CEO

Video conferencing company Owl Labs has a new CEO: former CarGurus exec Frank Weishaupt. Formerly the SVP of sales at CarGurus, Weishaupt will be tasked with enhancing Owl Labs’ goal of making the perfect video conferencing product for hybrid teams of remote and in-office employees. At CarGurus, Weishaupt played a key role in orchestrating the company’s growth and successful IPO in October 2017. Prior to joining CarGurus, Weishaupt served as COO at Jumptap, which was acquired by Millennial Media. He also served in key executive roles at Yahoo and Criteo. [Press release]


photo via reggora

Reggora secures $3M in seed funding to speed up home appraisals

Reggora, a cloud-based real estate appraisal software platform, aims to speed up the process of home appraisals by essentially putting your appraisals on autopilot, allowing appraisers to create reports in the same software as lenders. Reggora raised $3 million in seed funding last week to make good on its promise. The funding round was led by Spark Capital with participation from Boston Seed Capital, an early investor in the company, and will be used to enhance Reggora’s platform and expand operations across the U.S. [Built In Boston]


devoted health
photo via devoted health

Boston’s 2018 saw 41 percent increase in VC funding

According to Crunchbase data, Boston had a pretty money-hungry 2018 — to be exact, Boston and its adjacent cities saw a 41 percent increase in venture funding from 2017, for a whopping total of $8.8 billion in funding. That’s a lot of green, and what really helped Boston have such a rich year was the growing popularity of partnerships and massive $100-million-plus investments in unicorn companies — think Devoted Health’s $300 million Series B round that wowed entrepreneurs and investors alike back in October. Wonder what 2019 will be like? So do we. [Crunchbase]

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