Golden days and cooler evenings have returned to Texas and homes are dressed in their Halloween finery. But there’s no spooky vibe among Texas’s entrepreneurs. Here is the latest innovation news throughout the state.
—Mozido, an Austin, TX-based developer of cloud-based mobile payment systems and marketing software, said it has secured a two-part round of Series B funding of up to $400 million. The first $185 million was raised from investors MasterCard; Wellington Management; Julian Robertson, Jr., CEO of Tiger Management; and Sheikh Nahayan, a member of the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates.
—Dallas billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban will invest $1 million in Austin’s BeatBox Beverages after its appearance last week on the TV show “Shark Tank.” BeatBox, which was started last year and markets wine-based cocktails in a box, is available in Texas retailers. The startup plans to use the funds to help expand its sales footprint.
—Peer-to-peer bike-sharing service Spinlister launched in Austin last week with plans to have 1,500 bikes available by next spring for the South By Southwest festival. The Santa Monica, CA-based service will compete against homegrown startup Spokefly, which launched last year.
—The Texas State Securities Board voted last week to approve new intrastate equity-based crowdfunding rules to allow startups to raise funds from non-accredited investors. The rules are expected to take effect in November. While the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is still finalizing federal rules on crowdfunding provisions in the 2012 Jobs Act, this ruling means that Texas joins about a dozen states that have approved the solicitation of such mom-and-pop investors.
—Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson plans to open a J-Labs facility at Houston’s Texas Medical Center next year. Formerly known as Janssen Labs, the program will be an incubator geared towards boosting early stage biotech and life sciences companies. J-Labs will be housed at the TMC’s new Innovation Institute, which itself will feature a newly announced accelerator called TMCx.
—Women working in the energy industry can tap into Pink Petro, a new social media site geared toward their career management. Founded by Katie Mehnert, a veteran of both Shell and BP, the site is expected to go live in January.
—Austin-based Macheen, a mobile cloud apps provider, was purchased by Good Technology in Sunnyvale, CA, for $8.3 million, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported, citing an SEC filing. Founded in 2010, Macheen had raised $34.4 million in funding.
—Cratejoy, a startup that offers an online platform for subscription-based e-commerce companies, has raised $4 million from Charles River Ventures. The startup, which came out of beta earlier this month, also has raised funds from investors such as Y Combinator, Capital Factory, and Andressen Horowitz.