Weekly Roundup: 4 Austin Startups to Watch

Savannah Mazanowski
Weekly Roundup: 4 Austin Startups to Watch

Want to stay up to date on the latest startup fundings, launches, and expansions in Austin? Startup Over Coffee’s weekly roundup of startups to watch in Austin will keep you in the loop on the latest Austin tech news. 

Firefly Aerospace

Austin-based rocket startup, Firefly Aerospace, announced their plans for an initial launch this coming March. In addition, the rocket company aims to raise $350 million and will attempt a moon landing on behalf of NASA in 2023. This is a strong comeback for a company that just five years ago was filing for bankruptcy. 

Two years after its founding in 2014, Firefly Aerospace, previously known as Firefly Space Systems, filed for bankruptcy. Founder, Tom Markusic, set out on a rescue plan. With the help and donations of Ukrainian multimillionaire, Max Polyakov, the aerospace company rebranded and now competes alongside rocket company giants Blue Origin and SpaceX. 

According to Bloomberg, Firefly Aerospace builds the rocket equivalent to minivans as opposed to Space X who builds 18-wheeler rocket equivalents or Rocket Lab who build the rocket equivalent to a sudan. Firefly’s first rocket, Alpha, can carry roughly 2,200 pounds of cargo into space for $15 million per flight. In addition, Firefly secured a $93.3 million deal to build a lunar lander for NASA, which they dubbed “Blue Ghost.”


API design startup, Stoplight, recently announced an $11 million capital raise co-led by Next Coast Ventures and Bill Wood Ventures. The new capital will be added to their $6 million Series A round raised a year ago. According to Built In Austin, the Austin-based startup plans to use the new funds to expand it’s engineering efforts and introduce new marketing and customer engagement offerings for it’s expanding user base. 

APIs, or application program interfaces, are defined as computing interfaces that define interactions between multiple software intermediaries. In other words, they are tools that allow multiple programs that work together. Stoplight experienced the bulk of their consumer demand during the past 6 months in the wake of the pandemic. 


UpEquity, a tech-enabled mortgage platform, gives users a chance to turn their offer on a new home into a cash offer even if they are a first time home buyer. Cash offers are almost always preferred for sellers in the real estate market, as they have less financial risk. UpEquity’s platform not only gives buyers the cash advantage, but it aims to lower interest rates and close deals faster, according to Built In Austin.

The Austin-based mortgage platform recently announced a $25 million Series A round. UpEquity plans to use the funding to improve its tech and further their mission. The Series A round was led by Next Coast Ventures. UpEquity is currently operating in Texas, California, and Colorado. They plan to expand to new markets later this year. 


Austin-based dating app Bumble, premiered on the NASDAQ in a $2.15 billion initial public offering on February 11th. According to Austin Inno, the market debut gave the online dating company a new valuation of $8 billion. Under the BMBL ticker, Bumble’s shares rose as high as $79.60 and closed at $70.31. 

Bumble is an online dating company that gained popularity for enabling women to initiate conversations as a response to unwanted advances by men that often occurs on dating apps. Bumble has expanded their efforts to empower women by launching several community support efforts including working with non-profit JUST to provide coaching, capital, and community to women founders. Bumble has also provided small business grants to women entrepreneurs to help manage their business during the pandemic. According to Bumble President, Tariq Shaukat, 73% of Bumble’s board members are women.

About Savannah Burns: Savannah is a Business Development Associate for Swyft, which is a tech PR firm in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing and PR agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft recently opened a satellite office where it offers tech PR in San Francisco. Swyft was also listed as one of the top tech PR agencies in Texas by the B2B services review site, Clutch.co.

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