Tech roundup: 2 startups land and expand in Austin, 2 big fundings and more

October 18, 2017
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NYC edtech company relocates HQ to Austin, plans to hire 25

Viridis Learning, an NYC edtech startup, announced this week that it has relocated its headquarters to Austin. Launched in 2009, the company uses data analytics to connect and match college students with potential employers. As part of the move, Viridis Learning plans to hire 25 local employees over the next 12 months. [Patch]


baxter planning
Photo provided by Baxter Planning Systems website

Baxter Planning Systems raises $25M

Baxter Planning Systems, a 24-year-old Austin-based logistics software company, raised its first big round of funding late last week with $25 million. Polaris Partners, a VC firm out of Boston, led the round. The funding will be used to bring on 10 new hires over the next year in sales and marketing and to extend its international presence. [Built In Austin]


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Dialpad to open new office in Austin

San Francisco-based Dialpad has opened a new local office out of WeWork in University Park. The company develops cloud communication tools like video, messaging and meetings. The Austin team consists of 29 employees and is hiring for six more employees by the end of the year in sales, customer support and professional services. [Press Release]


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Certain Affinity raises $10M in new partnership with Leyou Technologies

Hong Kong-based gaming publisher and developer Leyou Technologies has invested $10 million into Austin-based Certain Affinity in exchange for 20 percent ownership. Under the agreement, Certain Affinity will continue to operate independently while creating a new game under the guidance and financial support of Leyou. Certain Affinity is the gaming developer behind mega-hit games like Call of Duty: Black Ops, DOOM and Halo 4. [Built In Austin]


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Duo raises $70M earning unicorn status

Duo Security announced on Wednesday that it has raised $70 million led by Meritech Capital Partners and Lead Edge Capital. The funding, which tips the company's valuation over $1 billion, will be used to expand its global operations and fund innovation in the TrustedAccess space. Duo launched in 2010 from Ann Arbor, MI, and added an Austin office in 2016. Today, the company has over 60 employees locally. [Press Release


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Austin ranks #5 in country as top startup city

Innovation That Matters 2017, a report that ranks cities based on talent, capital, density, industry and more, ranked Austin as the No. 5 top city in America for startups to thrive. Dallas and Houston also placed on the list at No. 7 and No. 21, respectively. [Innovation That Matters 2017]


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Techstars to launch accelerator specifically for social good startups

Techstars will expand its presence in Austin with a new accelerator program for social impact startups. Applications will open Dec. 1 for its June 2018 cohort. Founders leveraging technology to address social and environmental challenges are encouraged to apply. [Built In Austin]


Photo provided by Aceable website

Aceable makes 4 executive hires including CFO

Aceable, the mobile edtech platform and creators of the drivers ed app, announced it has made four key executive hires as the startup continues to expand. Randy Jonkers joined the team as CFO, Erin Defossé was promoted to COO, Jacob Rios joined as VP of product and Sarah Montante as VP of brand. According to a press release, Aceable has nearly doubled its user base to 600,000 users in six months and grown its number of employees to 80. [Press Release]


jan ryan
Photo provided by Jan Ryan

UT Austin's College of Fine Arts hires tech entrepreneur Jan Ryan

The College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin announced that it has appointed Jan Ryan to the newly created position of director of creative entrepreneurship and innovation. In her position, she will oversee and lead plans to create a new entrepreneurship program for students in the College of Fine Arts. Ryan will also integrate the college into the broader innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem growing at UT and in Austin. [Press Release]


wp engine
Photo provided by WP Engine

WP Engine expands team into new continent, ranks as 45th top workplace

WP Engine appeared in the news twice over the past week for expansion and for recognition. On Tuesday, the company announced it is opening up an office in Brisbane, Australia, to support its growing customer base in Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, Fortune recognized WP Engine as the 45th top workplace in the country for the medium-sized business category. [Press Release]

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