Smart Cities Startups, Upswing, Coder, VanillaSoft & More TX Tech

Let’s catch up with the latest innovation news in Texas.

—The Dallas-based Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator has named the six startups in its first program, according to a press release. The startups are using technology to help local governments sync data in currently siloed departments, analytics to help cities measure business and individual tourism, and others. In addition to hosting the startups in the program, Innov8te also features what it calls “Startup City Hall,” a dedicated office for civic leaders to engage with the startup and venture communities to address challenges facing the city.

—Austin edtech startup Upswing has raised $2 million, according to a press release. Impact America Fund, Rethink Education, Lumina Foundation, and Strada participated in the funding round. Upswing focuses on using technology to enhance education in “non-traditional and diverse” students, especially those in rural communities, the company says. So far, Upswing says it works with more than 75 colleges and universities and about 700,000 students.

Novi Labs, an Austin energy tech startup, has raised $7 million in a Series A funding round. The investment was led by Cottonwood Venture Partners in Houston and Bill Wood Ventures in Austin. Novi also named a new CEO: Scott Sherwood, who was previously CEO of Packet Design, which was acquired by Ciena last year. The startup says it has developed cloud-based software that uses artificial intelligence and analytics to enable companies to determine the financial performance of a shale well over time.

Coder Technologies, a software development company that makes tools to make software development easier, has raised $10.2 million, according to a regulatory filing. The Austin-based startup raised $4.5 million last fall in a seed round led by Uncork Capital and Redpoint Ventures, according to Austin Inno.

VanillaSoft, a Dallas-area maker of sales engagement software, raised $4 million in funding earlier this month, according to a press release. Investors include the Fonds Régional de Solidarité Outaouais and Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. VanillaSoft is co-located in Plano, TX, and Gatineau, Quebec. The funds will be used to further expand into North America, and increase its research and development and sales teams, the company said.

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