Growth Fundraising

Scott Francis
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Just when you think you have a handle on fund-raising in Austin, you see more of it, this time with Phunware:

Mobile app maker Phunware Inc. disclosed Tuesday raising $26.2 million of a planned $30 million Series E round of funding.

Austin-based Phunware, which launched in 2009, develops branded mobile applications. It was ranked No. 1 in the Austin Business Journal’s 2013 list of the fastest growing businesses in Central Texas— within the category of companies with less than $10 million in annual revenue The company grew revenue from about $534,000 in 2010 to more than $8 million in 2012. During that time, employee headcount shot up from 21 to 95.

That’s some serious growth, and a rate of growth that likely requires investment capital rather than bootstrap capital, to sustain.

Interestingly, this is another big raise without a lead investment from Austin Ventures, further evidence of the diversity of the investing climate here (and undermining the very tired refrain from Austin entrepreneurs that it is too hard to raise money in Austin – while simultaneously bolstering arguments by Joshua Baer and Bob Metcalfe that quality companies will draw capital and the real problem was the companies not the investor climate).  It seems like yesterday that SpiceWorks was closing a big round as well.