Texas Roundup: Tech Wildcatters, Funds for eyeQ & EquipmentShare, VR
Happy unofficial start to summer! Let’s ease back into the workweek by catching up with the latest innovation headlines from Xconomy Texas.
—Dallas’s Tech Wildcatters accelerator held its first pitch day since launching its new “Gauntlet” program earlier this year. Instead of a traditional accelerator model, in which startups get access to tens of thousands of investment dollars upon acceptance into a program, Tech Wildcatters now requires the entrepreneurs to hit certain milestones to receive funding.
—Merge Labs, a San Antonio, TX-based company that makes a virtual reality headset, has raised $10.1 million in new equity funding, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Merge VR Goggles maker had previously raised about $3 million in seed funding.
—InCube Labs is working on a medical device that would allow people with spinal-cord injuries to regain the ability to control their bladders. The San Antonio company is working with a University of Pittsburgh professor (and a $10 million U.S. Department of Defense contract) to build the device over four years and submit it to the FDA for regulatory approval.
—EquipmentShare, which allows contractors and construction firms to rent out idle equipment, has raised $5.5 million from Romulus Capital in Boston. The company, which started in Missouri, now operates in three other markets: Dallas; Jacksonville, FL; and New Zealand.
—Many ride-hailing services have swept in to help fill the void left by Uber and Lyft’s sudden departure out of Austin earlier this month. The latest is homegrown: RideAustin is a non-profit service started and supported by several prominent members of the city’s tech community.
—Kay Jones, a longtime Rackspace employee, has taken over as CEO of San Antonio Web developer bootcamp Codeup. She replaces co-founder Michael Girdley.
—EyeQ, an Austin maker of software to help retailers make shopping more personal for customers, picked up an additional $3.5 million in funding. The investment is led by Align Capital, also in Austin, a new investor. The firm is joined by existing backers such as the Capital Factory and the Houston Angel Network.