With more than 30 days remaining on their campaign, Virtuix will be one of the few Houston technology startups to raise over $1,000,000 in funding this year. They did it through crowdfunding. This is a big deal.
Very few Houston technology startups raise over $1M. Even fewer raise $1M in a seed round. And even fewer raise a $1M seed round led by a first time entrepreneur.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any public data to tell us exactly how many Houston startups fit this criteria. But to put it in perspective, the Houston Angel Network — the largest angel network in Texas — invested a total of $6.7M in 13 companies last year (which, crudely, is an average deal size of $515k). And it’s new-ish sidecar fund, the Texas Halo Fund II, is capped at $5 million for a three-year investment period.
It’s unclear whether Virtuix, at this early stage could have raised a $1M seed round from these traditional channels. At this point, it doesn’t really matter. More and more, crowdfunding is becoming a legitimate fundraising option for projects and companies that don’t fit the typical investment profile.
Shortly after the Kickstarter launch, I sat down with Virtuix CEO Jan Geotgeluk for a Friday afternoon happy hour. We roasted in the Houston heat and talked about the Houston gaming community, the resources we need to support startups in this field, the (addressable) manufacturing challenges that lie directly ahead, and much more. Our conversation will be part of a longer blog about the Houston gaming community later this summer. Many thanks to Molly Ryan at the Houston Business Journal for covering this emerging group of startups and service providers.
In the meantime, mark your calendars: you can see the Omni for yourself at the Houston launch party (tentatively) scheduled for July 9. When they confirm the details, we’ll tweet and update this blog.