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Tour of Texas: Querium, Spredfast, Valify, TMCx, SWRI, StemBioSys

Xconomy Texas — 

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

Austin:

—Austin edtech startup Querium received an early-stage bridge funding round from the University of Michigan’s student-run Social Venture Fund. Querium uses artificial intelligence to provide students step-by-step coaching in STEM courses.

—Social media marketing company Spredfast raised $50 million, bringing its total to $116 million. The company will use the funds to further expand its international reach, namely beefing up its offices in Europe and Asia. Spredfast now has more than 500 employees across five international offices.

Team Chaos, based in Austin, has been acquired by Zynga of San Francisco, the Dallas Morning News reported. Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) purchased Team Chaos in order to expand the company’s social casino games such as online poker.

Dallas:

—Hospital systems are always looking for ways to cut costs. Dallas-area startup Valify says its software can track and analyze data on many of the vendors a hospital contracts with, including how much they’re paid These vendors can provide hospital supplies like syringes and medial tape, and also software and other business services. The company raised a $2 million Series A funding round this week.

Houston:

—The Texas Medical Center’s accelerator, TMCx, launched its first cohort of digital health startups. The companies proposed apps and digital dashboards aimed at helping users better manage patients with chronic diseases and those needing mental health care, track developmental milestones in children, and perform other tasks. In the fall, TMCx will host a second cohort of startups focused on medical devices.

San Antonio:

—The Southwest Research Institute, or SWRI, is working on a new formulation of the drug cepharanthine that could work as a therapy against the Ebola virus. SWRI, along with the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, plans to test cepharanthine in combination with another drug, chloroquine. The effort has won a $3.4 million contract from the Department of Defense to test the combo in early clinical trials.

StemBioSys and Japan’s Funakoshi Co. have signed a three-year marketing and distribution deal to bring the San Antonio company’s stem cell production products to the Asian country. The partnership is the first distribution deal for StemBioSys.