Tech Roundup: OnceThere raises $4.4M, Speakers announced for SXSW and more

by Kelly O'Halloran
October 20, 2016

New startup from HomeAway exec gains $4.4M in funding

The vacation tour, activity and rental gear booking platform OnceThere closed a $4.4 million round of financing. The company includes former HomeAway exec John Weimer as OnceThere's co-founder and CEO, and HomeAway's former senior director of engineering Declan Dunleavy as CTO. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. [Austin Business Journal


Mark Cuban, Rogue One director to speak at 2017 SXSW

This week, SXSW announced over 150 sessions and additional speakers at its 2017 conference, including entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards. Cuban will participate in a panelist discussion alongside The Zebra CEO Adam Lyons, and moderator Michele Skelding, from the Austin Chamber of Commerce. [SXSW]


Austin ranks as hotspot for those in data science

The data science school at Southern Methodist University published their Ultimate Guide to Comparing U.S. Tech Hubs, recommending data scientists to move to Austin, amongst other cities, over Silicon Valley. Comparing cost of living, job postings, per capita annual income, job growth rate and more, Austin ranked high, alongside the likes of Denver and Raleigh.[DataScience.SMU]


Smart watch startup collects $2.1M

UnaliWear raised a $2.1 million round of a planned $5 million from 37 investors. The voice-controlled, waterproof smart watch is being marketed to senior citizens and features medication reminders, voice-activated directions, fall detection, emergency assistance and "Guide Me Home" assistance. [Austin Business Journal]


BigCommerce hires first CTO and appoints new head of sales

Brian Dhatt, a seasoned veteran in SaaS, joins the executive leadership as BigCommerce's first CTO. Dhatt, who comes from Borderfree, will oversee and lead over 100 members of the global engineering team in Austin and abroad. Tod Klubknik, who has more than 20 years in sales and business development experience, will take on the new head of sales role for the e-commerce platform. [Press Release]


Minneapolis heath startup selects Austin for new tech hub

Bright Health, a Minnesota health insurance startup, will open an Austin office following an $80 million Series A round of financing. The local base will house the company's tech innovation team. They plan on hiring individuals to help improve the insurance experience. [Business Wire]


Former SailPoint colleagues launch beta product

James Davison and Dan Greff, two previous employees from SailPoint, announced the beta version launch of their artificial intelligence and analytics system Nexd Corp. They designed the platform to determine the effectiveness of sales and marketing tactics. [Austin Business Journal]


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