Business Startups Venture

Austin’s Funding in 2019 Already Exceeds All Of Last Year

For this month’s Texas column, we’re doing something a little different. Instead of looking at the state of the month as a whole in October, we’ll be doing a spotlight on Austin.

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As is pretty typical, it’s been an up and down year when it comes to venture funding for Austin startups.

After a super sluggish September, during which seven companies raised a mere $64.8 million, the Austin startup scene rebounded nicely in October. According to Crunchbase data, 18 companies with headquarters in the Texas capital brought in a total of $473.1 million in October alone.

There were a couple of large rounds that helped contribute to this total. We covered RigUp’s $300 million raise, which made the company Austin’s newest unicorn. We also wrote about AI startup SparkCognition’s $100 million in  Series C financing led by March Capital Partners that included participation from Temasek. Combined, the rounds represented the two largest funding rounds raised by Austin startups in all of 2019. They also helped make October by far the best performing month for Austin in 2019 as a whole so far, as you can see in the chart below. For further context, October’s dollar total was more than June-September combined.

But there were other notable rounds raised in October that weren’t nine figures. Those include freight trucking startup Shipwell’s $35 million Series B and children’s subscription book service Literati’s $12 million Series A, which we covered here.

October’s strong performance puts Austin on track to possibly reach $2 billion for the year, which is pretty impressive. In total, Austin startups raised a total of $1.7 billion from January to October. By comparison in 2018, Austin’s total venture raised amounted to $1.55 billion, according to Crunchbase data.

Earlier today, I wrote about how Austin-based LawnStarter not only raised $10.5 million, but also reached profitability earlier this year. And in April, we examined how tech companies – big and small – are increasingly moving, or opening offices in, Austin. But the way funding was going for much of the year, I was concerned that some of the hype around the city’s startup scene was well..just hype. But I’m encouraged by these numbers and have a feeling this is just the beginning of a ramp-up for the city when it comes to venture funding.

Photo Credit: Mary Ann Azevedo

Data/Chart Credit: Jason Rowley

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