Texas Tech Watch: Austin’s Impact Hub, Arundo Analytics & Procyrion
[Updated 1/31/18, 4:44 pm. See below.] One of the less pleasant innovations running around these days is strains of flu that seem to be hitting everyone. I, unfortunately, was not immune and out last week. Let’s get caught up on a few news items.
Up first: Austin’s Impact Hub accelerator, which incubates companies with civic tech innovations, held its first class’s demo day. The program used the accelerator model to seek solutions to one of Austin’s toughest problems: affordable housing. The startups went about tackling this issue in a variety of ways, such as creating new financing options to make it easier for people to purchase “tiny homes” or install the units on their property in order to provide housing to renters, or using 3-D technologies to help build homes.
One of those companies is Sprout Tiny Homes, a Colorado maker of small housing units, which was able to secure financing from lending institutions that could provide conventional 15-year and 30-year mortgages to those who want to buy the small homes.
Impact Hub says the median family home price in Austin increased 45.25 percent, while median family income only went up by 5.42 percent in the six years from 2010 to 2016.
“Austin has always been a bed for experimentation,” says Ruben Cantu, an Austin entrepreneur and an Impact Hub mentor. “Because we’re such a young city, it makes perfect sense for something like this to be happening in our backyard.”
—In other news, Houston’s Arundo Analytics reported that it has raised $25 million in a Series A financing round. Investors included Sundt AS, Stokke Industri, Horizon, Canica, Strømstangen, and Arctic Fund Management, according to a company press release. Existing investors that also put money into this round were Stanford-StartX Fund and Northgate Partners.
The company, which has now raised a total of $32.5 million since its founding in 2015, is a data analytics firm geared to industrial and energy companies. Arundo’s software targets both structured data—such as those coming from a specific piece of equipment’s sensors, say—and non-structured data, like weather reports, to build predictive models that can help companies avoid unplanned downtime.
The money will be used for marketing efforts as well as new hires, the company said.
—On Tuesday, Houston medical device maker Procyrion announced it raised $16 million in a Series C round. [The story includes mention of an additional investor.] The round was led by a partnership between Aquinas in Houston and New York-based Jefferson River Capital, which a press release described as an affiliate of Fannin Innovation Studio. Other Investors included Scientific Health Development, the state of Texas, and an undisclosed investor, according to a company press release.
Procyrion is developing the Aortix device, a circulatory support pump that helps the heart pump blood. The device, which is thinner than a pencil, can be implanted in the aorta of heart failure patients via a catheter threaded through the femoral artery.