Tech roundup: 1 move to go public, 2 fundings, 4 acquisitions and more

by Kelly O'Halloran
March 1, 2018
photo via facebook

Phunware announces merger to go public

Phunware announced on Wednesday that it will merge with Stellar Acquisitions III, a special purpose acquisition company out of Greece, in a move to go public by June this year.  Alan S. Knitowski, CEO of Phunware, will remain in his role. The mobile application platform also announced its plans to enter the blockchain market with its cryptocurrency PhunCoin within the first half of 2018. [Built In Austin]


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ZenBusiness raises $4.5M

Austin startup ZenBusiness announced a $4.5 million seed round this week and the official launch of its free platform to help small business owners get incorporated. Lerer Hippeau led the round with participation from Greycroft, Slow Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and Founders Fund. The funding will be used for product development and to enter new verticals. Ross Buhrdorf, the founding CTO of HomeAway, leads as CEO. [Press Release]


closedloop ai
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ClosedLoop AI secures $3M in funding from 27 investors

Healthtech startup ClosedLoop reported $3 million in funding last Friday from 27 undisclosed investors. Serial entrepreneur Andrew Eye co-founded ClosedLoop and leads as CEO. Prior to ClosedLoop, Eye co-founded Boxer, which VMware bought in 2015, and the cybersecurity company Ciphent, which Accuvant (now Optiv) acquired in 2010. [FormDs]


photo provided by bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice acquires Chicago startup with search and discovery applications

On Friday, Bazaarvoice shared that it had acquired the Chicago-based startup AddStructure to improve user-generated content. Addstructure offers voice search capabilities as well as machine learning tools specific to the e-commerce industry. Details of the deal were not disclosed. As a result of the acquisition, AddStructure employees will join Bazaarvoice’s product, engineering and client success teams in New York City and Chicago. [Press Release]


photo provided by divinc

DivInc to begin 4th cohort in April with 11 startups

DivInc, the Austin-based accelerator for women and ethnically diverse founders, will begin its fourth cohort on April 2. To date, DivInc has graduated 34 founders from 26 companies that have collectively raised $1.8 million in funding. The 11 startups selected for the next cohort include BidCrane, Fire Spike, Game Time Giving,, JuiceBox Hero, Kinn, LAMIK, Omaiven Health, Oros Messaging, ProMama and Search Party. [Press Release]


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AI-powered commercial real estate engine Truss launches in Austin

Truss’s AI chatbot can now be used in Austin to help startups and small and medium businesses locate office spaces less than 10,000 sq. feet. The platform allows for users to tour spaces virtually and view accurate pricing. The startup is based in Chicago and launched in 2016. [Press Release]


photo provided by bigcommerce

BigCommerce names first-ever chief development officer

Austin-based BigCommerce announced the promotion of Russell Klein as the company’s first chief development officer. Klein previously served as VP of corporate development at BigCommerce and will now take on the additional responsibility of leading the creation and scaling of new products and services. [Press Release]


tiffs treats
photo via twitter

Tiff’s Treats completes first acquisition

Warm cookie delivery service Tiff’s Treats made its first acquisition since its 1999 launch this week. The Austin-based company acquired Jake’s Bakes, a warm cookie delivery service out of Nashville. When Tiff’s Treats secured $25 million in funding last November, the company announced its plans to move into its seventh market: Nashville. As part of the acquisition, Jake’s Bakes president Jake Veyhl — fellow Longhorn alumni, liked Tiff’s Treats cofounders Tiffany Taylor Chen and Leon Chen — will lead the Nashville expansion as the market district manager. [Nashville Scene]


springbox austin
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Springbox acquires demand generation agency nFusion

On Monday, Springbox made public that it will acquire nFusion, a 17-year-old, Austin-based marketing firm. nFusion specializes in demand generation services, which Sprinbox will add to its suite of products. nFusion’s CEO John Ellett, will join Springbox’s executive team as CMO, and operations will be consolidated at Springbox’s downtown office. Details of the deal were not released. [Press Release]

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