Sante, GST, BackTracks, 101 Commerce, Plug and Play, & More TX Tech

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

—Healthcare venture firm Sante Ventures has closed a $250 million fund, its third. Sante’s Fund III has commitments from 32 investors, which includes half of previous investors joining in the new fund, according to Kevin Lalande, Sante’s co-founder and managing director. The Austin-based venture capital firm said it plans to make between 20 and 25 investments in healthcare companies. Sante has already made investments in companies such as Cryosa, which is developing a treatment for sleep apnea; DyaMX Therapy for treating Type II diabetes; and Geneos Therapeutics, a neoantigen-based personalized cancer therapy. Sante makes investments from seed to Series B rounds and either leads or co-leads all investments it’s in, except for follow-on rounds, the firm said. Sante raised its first fund of $130 million in 2007 and the second, also of $130 million, in 2011.

—A new Houston-based venture fund has launched with the goal of making seed investments in software companies. Golden Section Technology, a Houston technology consulting firm, launched the $20 million fund, called GSTVC, this week. Patrick Talley, the fund’s director, says the investments will not have a particular focus but will be in the $250,000 to $750,000 range, and have a bias toward Houston and Texas startups that develop and sell business-to-business software.

Backtracks, an Austin-based podcast analytics startup, has raised $2.1 million in seed funding in a round led by Moonshots Capital. Sputnik ATX, Capital Factory, Next Coast Ventures, Bull Creek Capital, and BNSG Capital also participated in the investment. Backtracks has developed with it calls the Open Podcast Analytics platform that collects behavioral and performance data. Podcasters and advertisers in turn use this information to create targeted audio campaigns. Backtracks says its software gives detailed audience data on who, what, when, where, and how a user is listening to a podcast.

Plug and Play, the Silicon Valley-based accelerator network, will join local startups and investors as part of Houston Startup Week June 4-6 for a series of events related to innovation in energy and sustainability and healthcare. In addition to Plug and Play executives, speakers include Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner; Tom Luby, director of the Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Institute; and Barbara Burger, president of Chevron Technology Ventures.

—Austin-based 101 Commerce has raised more than $2.5 million, according to a document filed with securities regulators. 101 Commerce is focused on acquiring and investing in Amazon “Fulfillment By Amazon,” businesses, which are third-party sellers whose e-commerce orders are fulfilled by Amazon. In June 2018, 101 Commerce raised $12.7 million in Series A funding in a round led by Next Coast Ventures with participation from 3L Capital, HomeAway founder Brian Sharples, and Cotter Cunningham, founder of RetailMeNot.

Actuate Therapeutics, a biotech based in Fort Worth and Chicago, has raised $21.7 million in Series B funding, according to a press release. The round was led by Kairos Ventures, with participation from DEFTA Partners, Tech Coast Angels, Bios Partners in Fort Worth, and other existing investors, the company stated. The investment will be used to expand an ongoing Phase I and II clinical trial of its lead drug, 9-ING-41. The company’s initial target with the drug is neuroblastoma, a cancer that forms in certain forms of nerve tissue.

 

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