fb-pixel Skip to main content

Foodler to be bought by GrubHub


SoftBank acquires Boston Dynamics from Alphabet

SoftBank Group announced Thursday that it’s buying Boston Dynamics from Google parent Alphabet Inc., as it pushes deeper into robotics technology. As part of the transaction with Alphabet, SoftBank also agreed to buy Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Google acquired Boston Dynamics, a Waltham company, in late 2013 as part of a spree of acquisitions in the field of robotics, but decided to put it up for sale earlier this year because it concluded that the company isn’t likely to produce a marketable product in the next few years, people familiar with the company’s plans have said. The researcher and manufacturer made its name with a series of two- and four-legged robots that are able to stay upright even when pushed or traversing rocky terrain. Videos of the robots, known for their animal-like movements, are popular on YouTube. It wasn’t clear whether Boston Dynamics would remain within SoftBank, a Tokyo-based telecommunications and tech investment company, or become part of the Vision Fund, the $93 billion technology investment fund started by SoftBank’s founder, Masayoshi Son. The fund will allow the billionaire to cut even more ambitious deals than he’s been able to do with his highly leveraged company. The Vision Fund already has the right to acquire 25 percent of SoftBank’s holdings in ARM Holdings PLC, OneWeb, US-based online lender Social Finance Inc., and US chip maker Nvidia Corp. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Foodler to be bought by GrubHub

The crowded online food delivery market is set to lose one of its longtime local competitors. Boston-based Foodler has agreed to be purchased by GrubHub, a Chicago company that says it is looking to strengthen its presence in New England. The companies announced on Thursday that they have a deal for a cash transaction, but did not reveal terms. Neither company has said how the purchase will affect the workforce at Foodler, which was founded in 2005 and said last year that it had 85 employees. Both companies have apps or websites where customers order food from menus of nearby eateries for delivery. GrubHub said the deal will add more than $80 million in annualized food sales this year. It will also increase GrubHub’s national total of more than 55,000 restaurants and 8.8 million active users in more than 1,100 cities. GrubHub also owns the services Seamless, AllMenus, and MenuPages. The announcement comes as a powerful new player makes its way into the digital takeout market in Boston. Uber announced in April that it had begun offering its UberEATS service around the city, its first foray into New England. — ANDY ROSEN



Allston man charged with defrauding investors

An Allston man was charged by state securities regulators with defrauding investors out of millions of dollars for personal benefit over the past decade. Raymond K. Montoya allegedly used money from investors for personal expenses, such as credit card bills and luxury automobiles, said Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin. Montoya could not be reached for comment. His attorney did not return a call seeking comment. Montoya allegedly raised $30 million from investors in the last three years alone, yet Galvin said he transferred less than $16 million to brokerage accounts. In addition to diverting funds, Galvin said, Montoya made numerous bogus claims, such as exaggerating the size of his investment funds and inflating returns. Galvin is seeking to bar Montoya from the securities business in Massachusetts and is trying to recoup any remaining money from Montoya and his business affiliates, including RMA Fund, Research Magnate Advisors LLC, and Resource Managed Assets LLC. — MADDIE KILGANNON



R.I. governor to go to court for grand jury records in 38 Studios case

Rhode Island’s governor says she’s going to appeal to the state Supreme Court to release secret grand jury records from the investigation into the state’s failed $75 million deal with the video game company started by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo on Thursday said she would appeal a judge’s decision last month denying her request to release the records. She also reiterated her support for legislation that’s been moving through the General Assembly to release the records. A Senate committee on Wednesday approved the bill and forwarded it to the full Senate, and the House has passed similar legislation. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has opposed the efforts, saying he is concerned about setting a precedent in releasing sensitive court records. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Minimum wage workers can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in US

There is nowhere in this country where someone working a full-time minimum wage job could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report released Thursday documenting the gap between wages and the cost of rental housing. Downsizing to a one-bedroom will only get you so far on minimum wage. Such housing is affordable in only 12 counties located in Arizona, Oregon, and Washington state, according to the report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. You would have to earn $17.14 an hour, on average, to be able to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment in a safe area without having to spend more than 30 percent of your income on housing. Make that $21.21 for a two-bedroom home — nearly three times the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The report details how much a household must earn to be able to afford rent in every metropolitan area and county in the country. Renters in the United States make, on average, $16.38 an hour. The minimum hourly wage required to afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment, of course, depends on where you live — ranging from a low of $11.46 in some counties in Georgia to a high of $58.04 in the San Francisco Bay Area. — WASHINGTON POST



Americans’ household net worth climbs to $94.8 trillion

Buoyed by higher stock prices, Americans’ household net worth rose 1.4 percent to $94.8 trillion in the first three months of this year, a trend that could support future spending. US stock and mutual fund portfolios jumped $1.3 trillion in value in the January-March quarter, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. Home values increased $499 billion. Total household wealth includes checking and savings accounts, and subtracts mortgages and other debt. Unlike some other economic measures, household wealth has fully recovered from the Great Recession and gone far beyond pre-recession levels. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Rates fall for the fourth week

Long-term US mortgage rates fell this week, as the benchmark 30-year rate declined for the fourth straight week to its lowest level in nearly seven months. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans dropped to 3.89 percent from 3.94 percent last week. The rate stood at 3.60 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent in 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971. The rate on 15-year mortgages eased to 3.16 percent from 3.19 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Nissan to put automatic braking on seven US models

Nissan plans to make automatic emergency braking standard on seven of 18 US models for the 2018 model year, putting the safety feature on most of its top sellers. The company also pledged to make the system standard on 90 percent of its models in two years, and to have it on all models before 2022. It’s the second automaker to commit to making automatic braking standard on its whole model lineup. Toyota is moving faster, saying the feature will be on all but a few models by the end of 2017. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Fewer claims for jobless benefits

Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week as most US workers continue to enjoy job security. The Labor Department said Thursday that claims for jobless aid fell by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 245,000 last week. The less-volatile, four-week average rose by 2,250 to 242,000. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Three dissident directors added to Rent-A-Center board

Rent-A-Center Inc. lost its proxy fight with Engaged Capital as shareholders voted for all three dissident directors nominated by the activist investor, ousting three incumbents from the board including the company’s chief executive officer. Shareholders at the rent-to-own electronics and furniture group’s annual meeting Thursday backed Engaged’s candidates Mitch Fadel, Rent-A-Center’s former chief operating officer; Jeffrey Brown, a private equity investor; and Christopher Hetrick, a principal at Engaged, according to preliminary results of a vote released by both the company and the activist hedge fund. Engaged, founded by Glenn Welling, has amassed 20.5 percent of the Plano, Texas-based company in stock and options. Since February it’s publicly urged its target to review strategic alternatives with a sale as the “most logical outcome.” Those replaced include incumbent board chairman Mark Speese, who is CEO and a co-founder of the company. — BLOOMBERG NEWS