Texas Roundup: New Funds for Bellicum, AirStrip, and Green & Grow

8/28/14Follow @angelashah

Here is the latest innovation news from the Texas ecosystem:

Mizzen+Main, a two-year-old Dallas startup that sells men’s apparel made of moisture-wicking material, raised $1.2 million in a seed round Thursday. Investors include VegasTechFund—started by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh—and Dallas entrepreneurs such as Hunter Hunt of Hunt Consolidated Energy and Chris Kleinert of Hunt Consolidated Investments.

Start Houston, a co-working space, has partnered with Austin, TX-based MicroVentures to form a dedicated investment website for a group of Houston startups, says co-founder Apurva Sanghavi. Start is putting together a group of as many as 100 Houston investors who will get first crack at the Houston-based tech startups featured on the online investing platform.

Green & Grow, an agriculture tech company that recently relocated to Austin from Arizona, said Tuesday that it raised $6 million in a Series B round. The funds will be used to further develop its “non-living, non-toxic, microbe derived by products” crop fertilizer, according to a company press release.

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals raised $55 million in a Series C funding round. The Houston biotech firm is developing immunotherapies to treat cancers; the technology includes a switch to suppress or enhance certain genes in the treatment, depending on the desired outcome. Investors included RA Capital Management, Perceptive Advisors, and others.

AirStrip has raised $25 million to expand its AirStrip ONE mobile technology platform into the home health market and expand overseas. The San Antonio, TX-based company seeks to integrate mobile health and IT technologies.

—Houston’s Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, have jointly received a three-year, $3.75 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create the Southwest Alliance for Entrepreneurial Innovation. This hub is charged with translating academic research into commercial applications, the universities announced Tuesday.

—Dallas startup Theatro has raised $5 million from Silicon Valley’s Khosla Ventures to advance sales and marketing efforts for its wearable device that’s designed for hourly employees in the retail industry. Theatro has raised a total of $8.8 million in funding.

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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