TX Tech: Funds for True Wealth & Phunware, Rackspace Layoffs, & More

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Antonio co-working space Geekdom is providing employees who were laid off with six months of free membership.

—Software giant Oracle announced Tuesday that it will open its first U.S.-based startup accelerator in Austin, TX, focusing on working with startups in cloud technology. The program will choose five or six startups for each cohort, twice a year, the company said. Oracle also runs accelerators in Bangalore, Bristol, Mumbai, Delhi, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore, and Tel Aviv.

StemBioSys, a San Antonio biomedical company that makes products for developing new cells, announced it has created two new products and is rebranding its first product. StemBioSys is now calling its first product CELLvo Matrix, which is an extracellular matrix used to replicate stem cells. It was previously known as BM-HPME. The company is also now making a second and third product, including an extracellular matrix made of all human materials, called CELLvo Xeno-Free. The original product has some animal by-products, StemBioSys says. Its third device, also marketed under the CELLvo brand, is an endothelial cell that’s isolated from from human umbilical cord blood, the company says. [Updated to clarify the third product.]

—The U.S. Senate has confirmed Brett Giroir as assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to media reports. Giroir, the former CEO of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Texas “Ebola” Czar, was nominated for the position by President Trump last May. Giroir’s confirmation faced pushback by some Democrats who were concerned that he would restrict women’s access to healthcare, according to a Modern Healthcare article. The publication reported that Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, told reporters last year that she thought Giroir would not fight back against Trump administration efforts to pull Title X funding for family planning providers such as Planned Parenthood, for example.

Phunware, which makes multiscreen platform and mobile advertising software, reported raising an additional $26.8 million in equity funding and other securities, Austin Inno reported citing a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This follows a $22 million investment two years ago led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia.

Xconomy National Correspondent David Holley contributed to this report.

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