TX Roundup: New Money for Austin Startups, TMC, Lean DNA, & More

Let’s get caught up with the latest innovation news from Xconomy Texas.

Even though venture investment in Austin dipped in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2016, this week brought news of several funding announcements for startups in enterprise software, data analytics, and other fields.

—Austin blockchain software startup, Factom, announced it nearly doubled its Series A funding round, to more than $8 million. The funding was led by Tim Draper of Draper Associates, along with new backers such as Peeli Ventures, Harvest Equity, and a group of local Austin investors. Factom uses blockchain technology to secure and verify data in public records, business documents, and elsewhere. The company recently began selling a software product related to home mortgages.

CM First Group, which develops software for large businesses to convert legacy code into more modern code, raised $1.2 million in financing. The round was led by the Central Texas Angel Network and private equity firm Lone Rock Technology Group, with Capital Factory participating.

Lean DNA, which makes supply chain data analytics software for factories, raised $4.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Austin’s Next Coast Ventures. The Austin-based startup will use the funds for further product development and to expand sales and marketing staff. LeanDNA says it offers a dashboard to monitor key information on inventory levels that can also give recommendations for reducing inventory and other operational efficiencies.

—AVX Partners, a small venture firm that grew out of Austin Ventures in 2015, made its fourth investment in Tasktop, a Vancouver, BC-based software developer. Tasktop, which also has an Austin office, received $11.6 million in a funding round led by AVX, which contributed $8 million. Other investors included Austin Ventures and Yaletown Partners, also of Vancouver.

And up the road in North Texas, an accelerator announces it has raised a new $1 million fund:

RevTech, a Dallas-based retail-focused startup accelerator, has raised a $1 million fund, according to D CEO magazine. That’s the largest fund the accelerator has raised and RevTech says it plans to make as many as 18 investments from the funds. Six of these startups would be a the “pre-accelerator” stage, while a dozen would be in companies that have completed the Revtech program, the magazine reported.

Other news in the state includes a new CEO at the Texas Medical Center, an Uber partnership with a Houston seniorcare services provider, and our latest “Five Questions For” interviewee.

Bill McKeon has been named the new CEO of the Texas Medical Center. McKeon had been the number two to his predecessor Bobby Robbins, who left TMC last month to become the president of the University of Arizona. McKeon previously held positions in companies and institutions such as DuPont, Stanford University Medical Center, and Medtronic.

Family Tree, a Houston-based company that provides homecare services for the elderly, has started a partnership with Uber to make sure older adults can get to caregiver appointments.

Allison Lami Sawyer, founder and CEO of Rebellion Photonics is the latest entrepreneur to field “five questions” from Xconomy. Sawyer speaks about the dearth of women in the science fields (and her work to improve those numbers), her interest in running for electoral office, and doing things that scare her.

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