CesiumAstro, MAP Health, StoryFit, Hatch Pitch & More Texas Tech
[Updated 3/14/19, 1:53 pm CT. See below.] Another South By Southwest festival comes to a close in Austin. Let’s catch up with the highlights from the tech portion this year and other innovation news in Texas.
—CesiumAstro, an Austin-based maker of antennas and communications systems for satellites, said it has raised $12.4 million in a Series A funding round. Airbus Ventures, the venture arm of plane-maker Airbus, led the round, according to a press release. Other investors were Kleiner Perkins, Franklin Templeton Venture Fund, Lavrock Ventures, Honeywell Ventures, and Analog Devices Ventures. The startup was founded two years ago and has raised about $14 million total, founder and CEO Shey Sabripour said in an interview with Space News. Sabripour is a former spacecraft design engineer at Lockheed Martin, the publication reported.
—StoryFit, an Austin developer of artificial intelligence and analytics software for the publishing and entertainment industries, has raised $1.75 million in a round led by ff Venture Capital, according to a press release. Other investors include Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments; Ascend Venture Capital; Walt Winshall, a Boston-based angel investor; Techstars; and Capital Factory. The startup said it plans to use the new money for hiring and product development.
—NeuroFlow, a Philadelphia-based health IT company, won first place at the Hatch Pitch contest at South By Southwest this year. A startup that works to connect cancer patients in China with oncologists, eHealth Now, took second place, while Edwel Energy, an Australia-based app that lets people calculate the carbon footprint of various products and services got third place.
—Adam Lyons, the founder of Austin insurance startup The Zebra, will be starring in an upcoming, yet-to-be-named reality television show on entrepreneurs, Silicon Hills News reported. Lyons is working with Pilgrim Media Group, which has produced TV shows such as American Ninja Warrior, Dirty Jobs, Ultimate Fighter, and American Chopper. [Updated to reflect Lyons current status with The Zebra.] Lyons left the insurance startup last year. “There are thousands of other entrepreneurs out there just like me, ready to make something out of nothing,” Lyons told the publication. “The show gives us a platform to meet those folks and do whatever we can to help.”
—Digital Pharmacist, a company that makes software that helps patients communicate with pharmacies through email and text messages, has sold to K1, a Los Angeles-based investment firm. K1 announced this week it is investing more than $100 million in Digital Pharmacist to expand its customer base, which currently includes 7,500 pharmacies. LiveOak Venture Partners, an investor in the company’s $6.5 million Series B round, confirmed it exited the investment in a tweet Monday. In addition to communicating with patients, the software also can handle a pharmacy’s social media accounts and online ad campaigns. The Austin Business Journal reported that K1 acquired Digital Pharmacist for $125 million.
—MAP Health Management, an Austin-based provider of online peer-to-peer recovery support services for those with drug and alcohol addictions, has raised $25 million in a round led by insurer Aetna, according to a press release. MAP will use the funding to “expand the company’s geographical base of operations and its patient enrollment strategy beyond addiction treatment providers to also include emergency care locations, primary care providers, and pharmacies,” the startup said.
Xconomy National Correspondent David Holley contributed to this report.