Austin Ventures, one of the biggest technology startup backers in Texas, is said to be shifting its focus to younger companies. To work with these early-stage companies, the firm aims to raise $450 million in funding, half of the $900 million fund it raised in 2008, Bloomberg reported Friday.
While Austin Ventures has struggled with its investments in later-stage companies, it has seen success in its early stage portfolio. The firm is said to be cutting back on venture growth investments in bigger companies.
This new, lowered fund ranks at the smallest amount Austin Ventures has brought in since the $320 million it raised in 1998.
With nearly $4 billion under management, Austin ventures has helped revive the Austin technology scene by backing companies such as HomeAway Inc. and Bazaarvoice Inc., which both sold public shares. The firm is also the lead investor in RetailMeNot Inc., an online coupon company with an initial public offering it he works.
Guest blogger Hall T. Martin is the director of the Texas Entrepreneur Network and works with numerous entrepreneurs of startup and early stage growth companies to find funding solutions with angel investors around the state. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AngelHack organizes hackathon competitions for web developers and entrepreneurs, called AngelHacks, where they can learn developer tools, meet new friends, and receive funding and mentorship for their startup ideas. In 2013, AngelHack will organize 100 hackathons, bringing together 10,000+ developers in 50+ cities. They now have extended their hackathons into a full blown accelerator. Winners from each city are put through the AngelHack Accelerator Program, where they receive mentorship for 12 weeks before heading out to Silicon Valley for pitch practice and then to raise investment and potentially join incubators. Their stated goal is “to be the largest funnel of seed-stage technical talent into incubators and investors around the world.”
Damon Clinkscales is organizing the Austin event and Sam Decker is hosting it at Mass Relevance scheduled for June 1 -2, 2013. You can sign up here and with the discount code ‘txenet’, you can get 50% off of your ticket.
Damon said “we want to give developing teams in Austin a venue to showcase their talents…to get more exposure. I hope hackers, hustlers, and designers out there who have ideas of things they want to build will join us at Mass Relevance for the weekend.”
You can learn more about Angelhack at this link. I hope to see you there.
Austin-based data security provider Gazzang reported that Tonic Health has begun using its data encryption and key management solutions to secure the sensitive clinical and patient data collected through its mobile app.
Tonic’s iOS intake app offers a solution to health care organizations looking to improve their data collection processes and transition to electronic patient records.
The application guides patients through the data input process before syncing responses back to an electronic health record stored on the company’s cloud-based database.
All data is now encrypted at-rest using Gazzang zNcrypt™. The encryption keys are managed separately from the data, enabling Tonic to meet HIPAA security requirements.
NASA has awarded Austin-based Systems and Materials Research Corp. a $125,000 grant to develop a 3-D printer that will create ‘nutritious and flavorful food’ suitable for astronauts,” The Washington Post reported based on the company’s proposal.
Founded in 1997, SMRC says it “engineers innovative solutions to difficult challenges facing its military and commercial customers.”
Compare Metrics, an Austin-based Adaptive Commerce company, has raised $4.2 million in first-round funding, lead by Austin Ventures with participation from Mike Maples of Floodgate, Bob Greene of Contour Venture Partners, Julie Allegro of Allegro Venture Partners and Ralph Mack of Mack Capital. New independent investors, including Tom Meredith and Adam Ross, also contributed to the round.
This new funding will be used to support growth as companies, especially retailers, use the Compare Metrics solutions to harness disconnected information from across the web to power individualized discovery experiences and drive sales
Austin-based Open Labs disclosed that it has raised $800,000 in seed funding from music performer Timbaland.
The company has developed a Windows-based software called Stagelight, which allows people to create music using a PC, along with NeKo and MiKo music hardware. Timbaland has worked with Open labs for years.
IT management and monitoring software provider SolarWinds announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held N-able Technologies, a cloud-based remote monitoring and management service, for $120 million.
The acquisition will allow SolarWinds to more effectively address the growing IT management needs of small businesses.
“Upon completion of the acquisition, the addition of N-able to the SolarWinds family gives us the opportunity to respond to a growing need in the IT industry. As more and more small businesses begin exploring ways to deploy and efficiently manage IT and SaaS-based technologies to drive their businesses, MSPs are stepping up with Cloud-based services designed to help ensure that IT environments are maintained and employees have the access and device support that they need to get their jobs done. We’re excited to expand into another highly complementary branch of IT management that we believe is ripe for our disruptive go-to-market model,” said Kevin Thompson, SolarWinds’ President and CEO.
Based in Austin, SolarWinds expects the acquisition to close before the end of the month.
Postmaster, a cloud-based small business shipping solution, today announced that it has raised a seed investment round of $600,000 led by Capital Factory, Cloud Power and Zelkova Ventures, as well as a group of angels.
The company will use the seed investment round to expand its development team, build additional carrier integrations, and expand its core features and functionality.
“It’s been an exciting few months for Postmaster. Since our initial public launch in March, we graduated from TechStars Cloud, have been busy building out our product and onboarding beta customers, and forged an exciting partnership with Lonestar Overnight,” said Jesse Lovelace, CEO and Co-Founder of Postmaster. “With this seed round, we can more quickly develop our product, grow our staff, and bring Postmaster to more ecommerce developers and merchants.”
Last week, the company raised $590,000 of a planned $800,000 in funding from eight investors.
Based in Austin, Postmaster offers simplifies small parcel shipping shipping and tracking for SMBs and eCommerce businesses. The startup brings merchants a REST API, already integrated with UPS, USPS, FedEx, Canada Post and Lonestar Overnight. Its solution keeps these merchants compliant with the carriers’ label requirements, optimizes the route and cost for packages, and offers tracking, reporting and auditing tools.
Austin-based YouEarnedIt has hired Steve Semelsberger as its CEO.
The employee rewards and engagement platform launched in beta six months ago and now serves over 30 companies, including RetailMeNot, Mass Relevance, Tempurpedic and 24/7 Media.
Primarily through three Austin-based start-ups (iChat, Motive and Pluck), all of which were acquired and/or taken public, Semelsberger brings 16 years of early-stage executive, sales and marketing experience to YouEarnedIt.
Semelsberger was previously SVP & GM, Social Products Group for Demand Media, a publicly traded media and technology company. He came to Demand Media through the acquisition of Pluck, a leading provider of customer interaction solutions. While at DMD, he also oversaw real-time events tool CoveritLive and Facebook publishing system RSS Graffiti.
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- Austin Ventures Seeks $450M to Fund Younger Companies
- Datical Closes $1M Financing
- Guest Blog: Angelhack Coming to Austin June, 2013
- Tonic Health Enlists in Gazzang for Data Security
- NASA Grants Austin Tech Company $125M for 3D Printer Outerspace Initiative
- Compare Metrics Collects $4.2M
- Open Labs Raises $800K from Timbaland
- SolarWinds Acquires N-able Technologies
- Postmaster Closes $600K Seed Investment Round
- YouEarnedIt Welcomes New CEO Steve Semelsberger
- Emerging Technology Fund to Receive $50M
- Vista Equity Partners to Acquire Websense, Inc.
- Affinegy Names Frank LaBarbera SVP World Wide Sales and Marketing
- Austin’s tech scene 2001 vs 2011: Fewer workers but healthier ecosystem
- CM First USA to Move to Tech Ranch Austin