Houston tech company receives corporate investment, HX names new board members, and more innovation news
Houston's innovation ecosystem has been booming with news, and it's likely some might have fallen through the cracks.
For this roundup of short stories within Houston innovation, a startup snags funding from a new corporate venture group, a blockchain startup gets major kudos, CTV's latest investment, and more.
HX names newest board members
HX has five more members of its board. Photo courtesy
Houston Exponential has announced five new members to its governing board. Joining the group is:
- Stephanie Campbell, managing director of the Houston Angel Network and general partner at The Artemis Fund
- Martha Castex-Tatum, Houston City Council member
- Gordon Daugherty, co-founder and president of Capital Factory
- Emily Keeton, CFO of Mercato and co-founder of Station Houston
- Roberto Moctezuma, founder and CEO of Fractal River
New corporate venture fund makes first investment
Houston-based SmartAC emerged from stealth mode this summer. Photo courtesy of smartac.com
Pinnacle Ventures, a corporate venture fund created by Pinnacle based just outside of Houston in Pasadena, announced the company has invested in Houston-based SmartAC.com, a member-based technology platform that monitors the health of air conditioning systems.
The deal is Pinnacle Ventures' first investment and will help SmartAC.com expand their service offerings to homeowners and top-level HVAC service providers.
"We are excited to have Pinnacle Ventures invest in our company and to have Ryan Sitton, founder and CEO of Pinnacle, join our board," says Josh Teekell, founder and CEO of SmartAC.com, in a news release. "The capital provided by Pinnacle Ventures will help us accelerate the growth required to meet our customer demand, which has scaled quickly since our launch in June.
"Additionally, this capital will help us power a new residential connected service economy for a $30 billion industry while offering our service partners a way to increase loyalty through improved transparency and customer experience," Teekell continues. "We're very much aligned with Pinnacle Ventures' focus on improving reliability through innovation and are confident that this investment will help us support our end users."
Data Gumbo recognized as an innovative blockchain company
CB Insights ranked 50 blockchain companies and one Houston startup made the cut. Photo via CB Insights
CB Insights released its inaugural Blockchain 50 ranking and named Houston-based Data Gumbo among the top blockchain companies in the world.
"The Blockchain 50, which we've created in conjunction with Blockdata, was born out of a desire to reduce that uncertainty and recognize the pioneering companies using the blockchain," says CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal in the study. "This inaugural class of the Blockchain 50 is tackling a range of use cases across trade finance, capital markets, exchanges and more and are being used by banks, governments and major retailers."
Combined, the 50 companies included in the ranking have raised over $3 billion across 113 deals since 2017.
"Being named to this CB Insights' list is an honor and testament to the power of Data Gumbo's blockchain network GumboNet," says Andrew Bruce, CEO and Founder, of Data Gumbo in a news release. "Our smart contracts enable companies to leverage blockchain technology across the global business infrastructure to capture critical cost savings and value, forging a new foundation for commercial transactions: one based on trust, transparency, speed and visibility."
Currux Vision is deploying its technology in California
The Houston company's technology has been tested in California. Photo via currux.vision
Houston-based Currux Vision, which uses infra-tech artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions for smart city infrastructure, has conducted testing with the city of San Jose, California, and its department of transportation.
According to the tests, Currux Vision's SmartCity ITS can operate at 99 percent accuracy in the city. Moreover, Currux Vision can achieve high resolution results with older legacy digital and analog camera systems that offer lower resolution. Testing included but was not limited to vehicle detection and classification, turning movement counts, pedestrian counts, bicycle discrimination, stopped vehicles, and speeding, according to a press release.
"Increasing urbanization, traffic, mode shift, and increasing focus on safety drive the urgent need for a next-generation traffic management solution like our SmartCity ITS," says Alex Colosivschi, founder and CEO of Currux Vision, in the release. "We believe that efficient mobility and being able to do more with less creates economic opportunities, enables trade, improves quality of life, and facilitates access to markets and services effectively leveraging resources. ... We are happy to have worked with a great partner like San José's Department of Transportation to prove these transportation solutions."
Chevron Technology Ventures invests in software company
Chevron Technology Ventures, led by Barbara Burger, has announced its latest investment. Courtesy of CTV
Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures has invested in a Denver-based container platform company's latest round. Nubix today announced it has closed $2.7 million in seed financing led by Tuscan Management with strategic investment from Chevron Technology Ventures, in addition to participation from other new investors.
"Businesses worldwide are investing in digital transformation initiatives with IoT-based solutions," says Rachel Taylor, Nubix co-founder and CEO, in a news release. "Our unique innovation in container and services technology enables unprecedented agility and safety when building, deploying and managing applications at the edge.
"We're delivering on digital transformation's requirements for agile compute at the edge, empowering organizations to analyze data in real-time where the data is actually created. This is a massive market opportunity for Nubix and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with our new investors as we drive agility and intelligence to the edge."
Golden Section Ventures invests in Austin startup
GSV has invested in Accelerist's impact-driven software. Image via accelerist.com
Austin-based Accelerist Inc. raised a $1 million investment round led by Houston-based Golden Section Ventures to catalyze the company's growth plans. Accelerist specializes in social impact partnership technology that nonprofits use to prospect, screen, access and measure the efficacy of their relationships with each other.
"We are very impressed with what Brittany (Hill, CEO and founder) and her team have built and are excited to join the journey," says Dougal Cameron, General Partner at GSV. "We are confident that Accelerist can be the standard of excellence for social impact partnership technology. This solution is more needed than ever."